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Turning 30 South American Style With the dreaded 30th birthday looming, I ran away to South America to celebrate the landmark birthday in style.

Paraguay - Ciudad del Este, Asuncion, Concepcion

PARAGUAY | Thursday, 27 March 2008 | Views [6504] | Comments [2]

Whenever we tell anyone Argetinian that we were planning to visit Paraguay, the answer invariably was why. For some peverse reason, this made us all the more determined to visit the country, guning for the underdog so to speak. After a week  here though, I´m inclide to side with the Argies on this one. It is nice, there just isn´t really that much to see, or where there is, it is very hard for gringos with limited Spanish and no Guarani skills to get to. Maybe they planned it that way!
It took us ages to get over the border from Iguazu as you have to cross into Brazil and out of Brazil and then enter Paraguay, all with very unhelpful and grumpy bus drivers who won´t wait for you at the border and sometimes have to be screamed at by a bus full of passengers to stop at all so you can get your exit stamp.
Ciudad del Este was a proper border town, with shady characters linign the streets mubling cambio cambio cambio but not the hell hole that other people told us it was. There just ain´t much to it.
We got the bus to Asuncion the next day, rolling into the capital city at the start of Holy Week to find it utterly deserted, and so it remained for the next four days. Again, after all the horror stroies about what a dangerous place it is we were releived to find it was fine, safe and secure but utterly deserted! The weather was so hot that we found it difficult to do much but what we saw was nice, if all within a one KM radius of our hotel. On easter Saturday it was 46 degrees. FORTY SIX DEGREES. We strarted out for a walk but I began to feel dizzy and had to sit in the shade while Steve ran off like a super hero to find sugary drinks to revive me!
We did have  nice hotel though with cable TV so we got all the Easter weekend Premiership games. And we got some nice grub in us, all for a very resaonable price.
We hoped to find a boat to take us to Concepcion but no joy, every time we went down to the port it was utterly deserted and when we did find a man there, he directed us to an empty beach to but tickets. Clearly this was not going to work. So we took the bus up to Concepcion where we are now. On the way we had to pick up another coach load of people whose own bus had broken down so there were people and bags everywhere and it was so hot the air con couldn´t cope. The steward came around with a screw driver to open up the window seals and let the air in.
The town here is nice enough but once again the heat is driving us indoors during the day. It reminds us of an Asian town as it has the red earth roads, balmy nights, plastic table cafes and kids on motos everhwhere. They clearly dont get much tourism here though. Our hotel is dirt cheap but rather less then splendid, resmebling a prison cell at Strangeways that would have Amnesty reps screaming human rights abuses. But it is only for another night, and the food is nice and the beer is cheap so we find that a few scoops of Brahma helps us get to sleep at night. Tomorrow we will hopefully get a boat up to Brasil but again the port authority workers dont seem to be too helpful to two vacationing gringos who dont even speak good Spanish, let alone Guarani and have no idea what they are asking about. Fingers crossed eh!

Tags: asuncion, beer, boat, border, brahma, ciudad del este, concepcion, guarani, hotel, paraguay

Comments

1

hello, it looks like you had a bad experience visiting paraguay. i'm from there, and there are many visitors from everywhere who love paraguay. maybe you just haven't a good luck there...

  osmar Feb 2, 2010 1:12 PM

2

Actually, the high for Holy Saturday 2008 in Asuncion was less than 36 degrees. This kind of tourist exaggeration is silly. It never gets to 46 degrees anywhere in Paraguay. In fact, the record high in Asuncion is 42.

http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/SGAS/2008/3/22/DailyHistory.html?req_city=NA&req_state=NA&req_statename=NA

  saus und braus Jun 21, 2010 3:50 AM

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