Expedition XBrazil 2006
"Finally we have a plan"! This sentence was in subject of my email to my friend Vlasta Puczok, when we solved our trip to the famous Brazilian take-off Patú. During my searching of several take-off places in the northeast Brazil I imagined in my head a line connecting some of them - YES, we´ll try to overfly whole of the Brazilian northeast from one take-off to another one with goal somewhere on the beach in the north! Total distance was over 700 km - it sounds pretty adventure!:-)
- 1st leg: Tacima - Patú
- 2nd leg: Patú - Quixadá
- 3rd leg: Quixadá - Ubajará
- 4th let: Tianguá - middle of nowhere :-)
1st leg: Tacima - Patú
And which route we planned before our departure?
1st leg: Tacima - Patú, distance c. 225km
2nd leg: Patú - Quixada, distance c.195 km
3rd leg: Quixadá - Sobral (or Ubajara or Tianguá), distance c. 200km
4th leg: Sobral or Ubajara or Tianguá) - coast or Amazonia direction :-)
The departure was frantic classically. With one big difference - huge reduction of weight of our equipment. We want to travel whole of the route without any support on the ground - only with our honey gliders in the air and with help of locals on the ground. Two t-shirts, the same socks and pants, it must be enough for 3 weeks! :-)
For the beginning our trip we choosed the site Tacima in Paraíba state close to the city Natal. Our first leg leads to another take-off Patú in Rio Grande do Norte state 230 km far away and it was the furthest leg of our expedition. Simple rule was - the more distance we manage in the air, less remains for moving on the ground by foot or any kind of transportation!
After arriving to Salvador we were standing second day at the crossroad close to Natal and after first beer we tried to hitchhike cars of our direction. And we were lucky, we stopped a guy who took us to the Tacima village for a good money. We left the car after distressful finding of take-off already in the night somewhere in the "caatinga" (name for the local dry vegetation) and found a place for sleeping among some cactuses :-)
We slept piecefully under brazilian sky until the strong equatorial sun awoke us. After some searching we realized that take-off can´t be far and began to find it according one pictures from the web. And finally we found one place! It looked only that its not used much and we had to clean it from rising vegetation. The elevation is only abour 200 meters, but its a first ridge after flatlands and thermals should work here enough...
I knew from my previous experience from XCeará 2002, that main enemy of local sites is strong wind. Therefore we did´nt wait a lot and took-off in the right moment before 8 a.m.! Half an hour we soared above take-off and waited for the right lift. It took us to the cloudbases but they were at this time of the day only at 1.250 ASL and the highlands with 600 ASL waited for us! Vlasta had to land immediatelly after first glide. I saved luckily very low above him and continued...
My flight was not easy, I was very low several times and my confidence was not very strong. But the more kms I covered, the more I fighted. Finally I landed with sunburnt face very happy after 8,5h in Patú, I was so lucky!!! Children surrounded me and the right anarchy now began :-))
After finding local new paragliding posada (a cheap kind of hotels) I slept whole of the night as baby and waited for the news from Vlasta as he had to pass the track on the ground...