Paraguay - new country!

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
Trip End Nov 04, 2008

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Where I stayed
La Española - Guarani 100k

Flag of Paraguay  ,
Saturday, February 16, 2008

Well, the 18 hour trip from Buenos Aires, finally became a 22 hour one due to delays and problems at the frontier with some of the documentation of the passengers - but we made it. 4th country on our trip and we plan to explore it a bit.

The main problem at the frontier was lack of stamps on passports for some people - Marcos had the stamp from Uruguay to Argentina missing but luckily the stamp was on the visa paper so the police man just stamped it with a different date. They said it was the error of the Argentinians at Buenos Aires which was a surprise for us as we were expecting some sort of "fine". They seem to be behaving slightly better with tourists.

Some other passengers (Paraguayans) were fined about Euro 20 for problems in their documentation, although after a lot of arguing they passed into a dark room and came back with a smile. That probably means a reduction of a fine after some negotiation!

Anyway - we were starving by then. After all we only had the "dinner - breakfast" 20 hours before and had survived on water and an apple since then...Around 3pm we arrived at Asuncion bus station (which is 30 mins away) and got a taxi to the centre. We normally dont use taxis to keep expenses down, but the sticky heat and 22 hours of bus ride just made it a must.

On the taxi we managed to listen to some national Paraguayan radio, and boy do they need new systems. The radio (we checked it later again with our portable radio) sounds like it was recorded in a toilet. It is hardly understandable.

The hotel is acceptable - we cant complain for 15 euros a night, with our own bathroom, cable tv and breakfast included (quite good by the way). Somehow we have managed to end up in hotels called "Español" or "Española" during the last week (pure coincidence) - so next week we have booked one called "Austria" just for a change!

The hotel actually looks like a Sevillian street inside and has paintings and maps of Spain, but that is all the connection. We had to take a picture of the towel arrangement on the beds when we arrived. Its not quite clear whether they do it as decoration or they just spin them into the air and let them drop on the bed randomnly. Nice!

The loud air conditioning is a must also. The area is subtropical - plenty of palm trees around already, and the humidity and heat is sophocating during most of the day and night.

Anyway, it was nearly 7pm by the time we had a shower and got ready so not too many picture of the city. Its one hour less than Argentina here, and it is usually dark by 8pm so not much to do except a good Paraguayan dinner.

We decided on a typical restaurant (around for 107 years) called San Roque, and tried the local river fish - Suburí which they do with all sort of sauces and there is about 30 variations of it. It was quite delicious, but as with many other exotic tastes like chicken.

Along with our fish we had some local paraguayan beer...yes you guessed it - its called "Baviera". All in all dinner was Guarani 140,000 (apporx 20 euros) but well worth it and in one of the better places here. Normally you can have dinner for half the price.

The Guarani by the way gives you the feeling you are spending lots of money given the rate of exchange. 1 Euro = 7,000 guaranis. A night at the hotel is 100,000. No matter how many time you think in Euros, it still feels like you are spending like crazy!

Evenings in Paraguay are extremely quiet (with most places closed) so most of the stuff needs to be done early in the day, with a good lunch and just a sandwich in the evening or similar.
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