The choice of beaches west of Fortaleza is fabulous. Frequent buses from Fortaleza’s rodoviária head for the beach town of PARACURU, 80km from Fortaleza, which gets crowded during weekends, but is less frenetic during the week. From here, you head out of Fortaleza’s influence and the further west you go the less crowded the beaches become. A good place to head for, reasonably remote but not impossible to get to, is TRAIRI, 118km from Fortaleza, also served by direct buses from the rodoviária, which take around three hours. From here it’s a few kilometres to the beautiful and usually deserted beaches of Mundaú, protected by a 100m reef, and Fleixeiras, more deserted still. When the tide is out, you can walk for an hour along the beach to the fishing hamlet of GUAJIRU, named for the indigenous local fruit that still grows abundantly in the scrubby bushes scattered around the dunes. There is no electricity or running water, but the people are friendly and the scenery marvellous.