Left the big city for a smaller border town.

Trip Start Mar 06, 2005
Trip End May 27, 2005

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Thursday, April 7, 2005

A mere fifteen hour bus ride and I already find myself in Posadas on the Argentine / Paraguayan border. The bus was another one of those super-comfortable luxury models (pictures attached this time), and as usual it had its noise makers. RIGHT next to me was an older man of about 55 years who looked like the perfect guy to be traveling next to. But it wasn't to be. He had apparently just acquired a mobile phone and he had it set to give off a strange beeping noise every minute. Then he pulled out a Sony Discman and in spite of the fact that he was using headphones, I could hear the blaring of his music loud and clear. (He was probably deaf - which might explain why he didn't notice the high volume.) After awhile I got fed up with his noise and I moved to the back of the bus, which was very bumpy, but at least it was quiet. Before I knew it I was asleep at about 10 p.m. (the trip started at 6 p.m.), and I didn't wake until 7 a.m. The most important reason for me to sleep on the bus is not so much for the rest, but rather for helping the time to pass.

We arrived at Posadas at about 9:30 a.m. to the bus station that is located 5 kilometers away from the center of town. I hate places that do that. It's just a way to get extra money out of tourists by forcing them to take (usually overpriced) taxis. Well, not with THIS tourist. I'm also experienced enough to know that locals don't take taxis to and from bus stations, so I asked some non-taxi drivers about the bus and one guy not only put me on the right bus, but he got off with me and walked me to my hotel!

After checking in, I immediately went to do what I came here for: To get my Paraguayan visa. I had done some research on what I would need (2 photos, 2 copies of my passport, 2 copies of my Brazilian visa, and 2 copies of my credit cards - the latter presumably to demonstrate my solvency and hopefully not to allow the Paraguayan official to have a shopping spree at amazon.com at my expense!) Anyway, as it turned out, they needed THREE copies of everything - with one exception: They didn't need the copies of my Brazilian visa - for the simple reason that I had already made the copies. So after making all the copies, giving my thumbprint and handing over 45 dollars cash, I had my visa. Success!

I then went to the tourist office, which was manned by a very friendly and knowledgable chap would was able to answer all of my questions, such as: How do I get to Paraguay from here? Do I have to go back to that far away bus station? (Bus stop just around the corner - no need to go back to the bus station.); Where is the supermarket; place to change money; a good place to drink a beer tonight; a place to change money; an internet cafe (Right here, as it turns out!). He really went out of his way to help me - unlike those guys at the bus station in Cordoba, if you recall.

On another subject: One of the reasons I travel away from Thailand at this time of the year is to escape the heat of the Bangkok summer. And up to now on this trip I have managed to stay somewhere between cold and very pleasantly cool. Well, I have just found hot again. And I don't like it.
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