Published: March 8th 2012March 8th 2012
So, after moaning about stuff last time, was a ticket to Paraguay the remedy? It certainly was. We spent 55quid each on a bus from Sao Paolo to Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay, but failed to sort out a bus from Paraty to S.P. The first bus was full, the second gave us 40 mins to make the connection. Alright, if this was Germany or some other uber-efficient country. As the bus struggled through the Brazilian metropolis, the prospect of spending a night in a bus terminal (the world´s 2nd biggest) loomed large.. then boom! 5 to 6, and we were pulling in. Fuck.ing.run. No idea where we were going, but each turn was the right one, the ticket office appeared like some beautiful holy apparition - although it admonished us for our tardyness - and we made it.
20 hours later, the tax haven of Paraguay. So off the beaten track for travellers the capital has 4 (four, in the manner of the Grandstand vidi-printer) hostels. Brilliant. The heat was intense. Your sweat sweats here. If you want to go for a walk - have a destination in mind. This is not the place to aimlessly wander. Spent 5 days in Asuncion, and we actually went out clubbing. Got off our arses and spent some money. Hip, cool clubs in a swanky area were belting out sizzling d&... no they bloody weren´t. Everywhere was playing shitting Rhianna. Stayed in one spot and were rewarded with a local band, then some chunky South American bass. Whitey here showed the locals how it was done. Shake that ass, Pedro! Fortified by litres of beer costing 1.60quids a pop, a good time was actually had and I didn´t complain! (Once they quit the Rhianna bollocks.)
But Asuncion is a boring city. Cheap, friendly - aye - but not a great deal to do. Some despotic maniac a few years back got paranoid about snipers so knocked down all the buildings over 1 story high. Buenos Aires is full of beautiful old colonial buildings, Asuncion had all of hers ripped down. The whims of one man.. The history of Paraguay is exceptionally fascinating. She found herself at war with Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina at the same time a while back. That finshed, badly, then Bolivia had a go. 80% of all males were killed during this spell.
If you survived, would´ve been well easy to get laid after that.
Getting bored of Asuncion, we headed to a farm further north near a town called Concepcion called Granja El Roble. That was brilliant. Quite simply. Three excellent vegetarian meals a day, the sound of frogs wanting a ride filling the night air and a wee bit of carnavale in a village called Belen. Have a deeks at the phots on Mushbook, I could put some on here but frankly I can´t be arsed. The owner, a German fella called Pieter had built it all up. Arriving with not much cash, what he has achieved there is quite remarkable - truly an inspiration. Some earplugs for the bus journey up would have been good though. No desire to hear the BeeGees at full whack. Not sure why bus comapnies do this - if you are going to travel in S.A. be prepared to be subjected to cack music for the duration of your bus trip!
A bit more time in Asuncion after this and then the arduous, rain soaked 22 hour bus trip to
which was a snip at 37quid. The friggin thing did leak rather badly though, so perhaps not..
Not been here long, so this should be brief. It´s been nice being able to walk around a city and get more of a feel for it without having your organs slowly cooked. Buenos Aires is a beautiful city, and pretty good for veggies - surprising in a country famed for its meat! Yesterday was Caroline´s birthday so we thought we´d sample some famed B.A. nightlife. We tried to, at least. Forgoing the ´glitzy´area (smart dress and a sense of self importance necessary) we thought we´d stay in area we kinda knew after a couple of days. The expensive titty bar with the bored (clothed) dancer unfortunately turned out to be the highlight as the one club we knew of in the area was shitting closed. It did raise a smile however. We were the only patrons and presumably it stayed that way. Rouge, in Carlisle, would put it to shame.