Trip Start Feb 06, 2006
Trip End Aug 01, 2006

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Where I stayed
Hotel Miami

Flag of Paraguay  ,
Sunday, March 19, 2006

got into the the capital city of asuncion on st. pattyīs day. navigated the local bus system to arrive at hotel miami, a quaint little hotel overlooking the park with john wayne tapestries hanging on the walls. dropped our bags and headed to the britannia pub, the only english bar in town, which we felt was close enough to an irish bar and an appropriate place to celebrate the night. sat with a couple from paraguay, which the guy spoke a bit of english, and we spoke a very little of spanish, and mostly he spent his night teaching us spanish. all in all, good beer, very friendly locals, and ok food, even though it wasnt even close to what we ordered... but i guess thats what spanish lessons are for...

next morning, it looked like rain so we decided to tour the city. we did the walking tour and saw the presidentīs palace, on which we walked almost onto his helicopter pad bfore a guard blew his whistle for us to get off the property. also, right next to the presidents house were the worst slums in the city. so weird how close you can get to the presidentīs house without being snipered. also saw the congress and senate houses, the oldest building in paraguay where they declared their independence in 1811, and the palace of the heroes where a bunch of war heroes ashes and coffins are on display among a bunch of plaques, saw the national cathedral and the national theater house too. went to the museo del barro, which was incredibly difficult to find, but somewhat worth the chase. it was filled with all kinds of art, some of that modern kind that doesnt make much sense, but also lots of stuff from the missionary times and lots of indigenous masks, pottery, feather art, and trinkets. mike was mad that the art 'wasnt old enough' since some of it was just from the late 90s, which may or may not have been made by students at the art school attached to the museum. went out to the pirata bar since we missed our boat trip, which means pirate, which means the bar looks like it came out of disney world. probably the most american place weve seen since we left home, which is weird we found it on a backstreet of paraguay. but it turned out being really good, good people watching and big beers and bathrooms with toilet paper, but not much of a cultural experience, since the place was full of asuncionīs young elite rocking out to a medley of the beatles, elvis, the beach boys, and lots of other random, random songs. but good times nonetheless.

slept all day today. see above.

got up early to attempt the bus system again... destination san bernadino, which has been described as a vacation spot for elite asuncionites, a beaufitul little town on a big lake with beaches and resorts and bars, basically implying there was a lot to do. on arrival we quickly realized we were clearly there at the wrong time of day/week/year/life since those things didnt seem to exist... and when they did they were always closed, closed, closed, or selling bread from 1985 (older than the art collection in the city museum). but the lake was in fact large and beautiful, unlike the piece of waterfront allotted for public use. the impending thunderstorm helped to make the decision to get back on the bus and head back to the city................ the city of limpio that is. and by city i mean very very small town that gets two tourists a decade. apparently we passed right through asuncion. oops. so we had to get baaaaack on the bus again to get dropped off in some random part of the city, and finally just take a taxi back to the hotel. cant wait for those spanish lessons......
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