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Don't jump to assumptions about Asuncion...

it's really quite nice!

View Around We Go on LauHot10's travel map.

Our bad luck with buses seemed to continue as about 2 hours in to the journey our bus broke down and we all had to get off. We then had to squeeze onto an already packed bus, and I felt guilty as the conductor evicted a couple of girls from their seats so we could sit down. It reminded of a similar incident in India. My guilt was eased though as the girls got off about half a mile up the road.

When we disembarked in Asuncion we were just sorting out our bags and a guy approached us asking if we had a guide book which covered Paraguay. We said yes and he asked if we knew were the majority of hostels were. This question opened up the conversation and soon we were sharing a taxi into the centre with Nico and his girlfriend Amber. We exchanged core information and they told us that Nico was from Paris and Amber was actually a Londoner but had moved to Paris five years earlier.

I explained that most of the hostels were centred around Plaza de los Heroes and that the hostel we'd booked was not far from there. They decided to come to the same one and despite the place having no record of our reservation we got rooms with no problems. By now it was getting quite late; Adam and I were both starving so we went in search of food.


Asuncion has a very small historic centre which spreads out from the Plaza, here there are some really nice buildings including Panteon Nacional de los Heroes, inside of which there are the tombs of several national heroes, including an unknown child soldier.


We found a really lovely place to eat, and were surprised by the number of expensive cars passing by. There is definitely a stark poor/rich divide in Paraguay and also rather surprisingly, a notable German influence. This strange fact dates back to 1866 when Nueva Germania was founded (about 100 miles east of Asuncion) by Bernhard Forster and Elisabeth Nietzsche (the philosopher's sister) to establish a pure Aryan colony. The descendants of these settlers are now producers of many regional products including tobacco, cotton, sugar, yerba mate, hides, meat and wine.

After dinner we went back to the hostel and with the tiring journey on the bus we had an early night. In the morning when we spoke to Nico and Amber who had opted for a fan room and were pleased we'd paid the extra for a/c! After Foz we were not up for suffering through hot, stuffy nights. When entering Paraguay in Cuidad del Este the bus Amber and Nico were on also did not stop at immigration but unlike us when they got to the bus station they decided it wasn't a problem and continued straight on to Asuncion. However when Adam mentioned to Nico that we'd gone back to get our stamps and the possibility of a fine I think they changed their minds. So before we'd arisen they'd found their way to some Government building and said that everyone there seemed very confused, as if this never happened despite the appearance of another tourist while they were there with exactly the same problem. They had to hand over their passports and were told to return later.

We were all hoping to head to Salta from Asuncion but there was no direct bus. We had to get to Clorinda which was about an hour and a half away, just over the border in Argentina and from there we could board a bus to Salta. Finding out about bus times though was a little bit tricky and we all seemed to be getting mixed information. We decided to get a bus back to the terminal and quickly stopped in at the tourist office to find out which one we needed to catch. Unfortunately our bus woes were not over, we were given incorrect information and after sitting on the bus for over an hour we ended up on the very outskirts of town, almost in the country side. We had reached the end of the line and I tried to explain the mix up to our slightly bemused driver. Another hour or so later and we were back in the centre having decided that buses to Clorinda would be frequent and no other bus trips would be necessary that day.

After a quick bite to eat in a little restaurant we had more of a look round.


There were some stalls set up on the square and we bought our magnets here. As both of us are always losing/breaking sunglasses we were on the hunt for some more. Adam has a habit of buying two at a time and today was no exception! Unfortunately I couldn't find any I liked so I would continue to squint for a while longer. We walked down towards the river and sat down on a bench on Plaza de la Independencia for a while, it was really hot and we went about downing a bottle of fizzy water which we grudgingly bought as there was no agua sin gas available at the shop.

Hot and tired we went back to the hostal where we saw Amber and Nico. Their passports had been returned and as they were free to travel once more we arranged to get a taxi to the bus station together in the morning. Neither of us was really that hungry in the evening so we just bought a few snacks which we took back to the room. Soon enough it was bed time once more.


More Soon,

Laura & Adam

Posted by LauHot10 15:32 Archived in Paraguay Tagged round_the_world

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