Brazilian Cars - Buggy
«Transportation in Natal
The buggy is the vehicle used most to drive along the beaches.
Driving a conventional car is forbidden in some areas (for example, the beaches of Jenipabu) and, even where it is not prohibited, there is a high risk of getting stuck in the sand.
Some operators offer tours in Land Rovers and other 4WD vehicles; these cars offer much more comfort, but buggy drivers claim that the buggy is more flexible.
Riding a buggy, you feel the sun and the wind. Buggies can take you almost anywhere. Buggies are safe; accidents with buggies are much less frequent than accidents with other cars (most buggy drivers are certified by the Tourist Authority).
There is one feature which distinguish the buggy from other cars: the tyres, which are much wider than those of conventional cars. Because buggies are lighter, and have wide tyres, they apply a much smaller pressure on the sand, and therefore are less likely to get stuck.
There is not an assembly line of buggies; they are produced one by one, by a few car makers. Buggies used to be assembled around the motor of famous Volkswagen Beatle (in Brazil, it was called Fusca); nowadays, Fuscas are out of line, and buggy makers use the motor of Volkswagen Kombi. This is another advantage of the buggy: the motor is simple and well known; many mechanics (and probably the driver) are able to fix it, in case of need.
There are a few different brands of buggy. Buggy drivers seem to consider Selvagem (Savage) the best; the site Planeta Buggy brings information (in Portuguese only) for people interested in buggies.
Some companies rent buggies (usually, at a price higher than a basic car). Notice, however, that driving a buggy takes experience, both about the car, and mostly, about the path you are following; itīs more difficult to get stuck with a buggy, but buggies do get stuck. Also, in some areas, like the mobile dunes of Jenipabu, access is permitted only to buggies driven by certified drivers.
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