Edit Blog Post
Published: March 9th 2010
Hola Paraguay! People have questioned why we would choose to come here, especially considering it is the most corrupt country outside of Africa; one of the hottest countries in the Americas; the 2nd poorest country in South America; 85% uninhabitable; has a 1st language of Guarani; and - according to one of our guide books - sees more jaguars than tourists. The draw, all of the above. We are willing to endure the incredible heat to finally be back in a country that is cheap to visit, especially after spending the past couple months in Chile, Uruguay and Argentina. It is also nice to be back in a country that hasn´t been completely taken over (yet) by MacDonald´s or any other major American corporation that can be found in many of its Latin American counterparts. Paraguay still has its authentic look and feel which makes it appealing, even though it means we become the spectacle. And what a spectacle we are! Braeden gets second looks and stares but I get the obvious, open-mouthed gawks that last way too long. I try to say it´s my beauty but Braeden insists it´s the facial piercings 😉
The trip across the bridge to
The sweet bus we rode in on.
Encarnación turned out to be very quick and simple. Much to our surprise we were officially stamped in and settled into our hotel within an hour of leaving Posadas. The immigration posts were very quick but that could be due to the fact that they barely looked at anyone´s documents (Argentinians and Paraguayans apparently go back and forth all the time). I don´t think the woman working on the Paraguayan side had ever seen a Canadian passport before as she stared blankly at ours for a few moments then had to call another woman over to be shown what to do; they also barely looked at our photos or the expired date under my picture (page 9 explains the extension from the stolen passport). Didn´t matter to us - new country, new Visa, new stamp - all good.
So we entered Paraguay on the morning of the 4th - officially 5 months into our trip. We chose to stay at ´Hotel Germano´ as it is directly across from the bus station and recommended in both our guide books as a cheap and clean place to stay. The books didn´t lie as it only cost us 60000 Gs/2ppl/night ($12.75 USD)
Our hotel located directly across from the bus station.
for a private room with 2 small beds and a shared bathroom. The place was extremely clean as well - at least until Sunday when the staff were nowhere to be found and the bathrooms got a little gross. Didn´t matter though, it was well worth the money.
* Paraguayan Guaranies: USD = 4700: 1
There really isn´t much to do in Encarnación except visit the Jesuit ruins of Trinidad del Paraná and Jesus de Tavarangue (the world's least visited UNESCO heritage site) which we did on our 2nd day. Although small in comparison to some of the other ruins we have seen, they were still absolutely beautiful and worth the day trip out of the city. It is extremely hot in Encarnación, often reaching the high 30s before noon, which made the trip a little uncomfortable, especially on the over-crowded local bus which of course didn´t have air conditioning. But you get what you pay for and one way on the bus only cost 5000 Gs/person - perfect!
On our 3rd day we decided to head to ´Hotel Tirol´ to escape the heat by making use of their pool. Unfortunately, the pool was over-run by teenage
boys who were constantly spitting and farmer´s blowing into the water and all around the walkway. We also never once saw a single one of them make their way to the bathroom which was alarming considering how many beers they were packing away - gross! So with that ruined, I spent a couple hours laying in the sun, reading a book while Braeden walked around the wooded areas surrounding the hotel.
Next we are off to Ciudad del Este for a couple days of shopping and touring the Itaipu dam.
Tot: 0.057s; Tpl: 0.018s; cc: 9; qc: 65; dbt: 0.0147s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb