Paraguay

I need to clear my mind a bit. Last days I have stayed in Resistencia, Argentina,  writing other posts. The more official ones. So now I don’t feel like writing anything official. I will just empty my head from the last two weeks.

The decision to visit Paraguay was absolutely a good one. If I had headed from Brazil straight to Argentina, I would’ve missed so much. Paraguay has been so far one of the best countries I’ve cycled, definitely the best in South America.

Paraguay was cheap,  traffic  mild, all the paved roads were good, people were nice and  the landscapes pretty nice as well.

But above all, I felt like  exploring something new, because there were basically no Tourists in Paraguay.

I cycled 600km from Ciudad Del Este to Pilar in six days, and four days I just relaxed at  American peace corps volunteers/ couchsurfers.

Last day I broke  15 000km , but I couldn’t celebrate that much as I had a stomache ache from some bad street food I had eaten the previous day.

Did something interesting happen during those ten days?

Well, as I was afraid of, those tent eating ants made a small hole into my tent during one night, so that was the last time I am making crumbs  in the tent. It is very unpleasant to wake up in a itchy feeling on your calf.

Another interesting act took place, when I wanted to cross the river Paraguay from Pilar to Argentina. It was hot and sunny Sunday afternoon, and no official ferries were available. The lady at the immigration office (with her child or grand child) told me that I should wait until Monday, because the road on Argentinian side is flooded. My Spanish has improved slightly, so this part I understood. I decided to pay a private boat anyways, because I thought what difference would one day do to a road. A grumpy man came with his motor boat to pick me up, and took me to the other side of the river. Two men at the frontier stamped my passport and told me that the road is partially bad, but if I can carry my cycle for fifteen metres, I can do it. Luckily I wasn’t able to pay the skipper straight away, so we had to find someone else to brake my bills. The frontier was nothing but lots of  water and a house , but one older man jumped out of it when he heard I want to cycle this way. He was looking at me like I had no brain, telling me something in Spanish. What I could understood of his half speech, half pantomime performance was, that he tried to cross the road the day before with a horse. The tone of his voice turned slowly into shouting, and words like agua, ruta feo and mosquito popped up. But it was his body signs which I was impressed by. First he showed the water was until his neck, then he showed his hand full of mosquito bites and finally, and I swear this happened, he turned over, lowered his pants and showed his bare ass to me. I guess he wanted to show me his blisters from the saddle or maybe he was asking me to go into it. All I knew, that this man was dead serious, because  half of the time talking he was standing in a horse shit.

Well, I stamped my passport again (second time I did a twenty minute visit to Argentina), took a ferry back to Paraguay and paid ten dollars to the grumpy skipper. Next day I came to the port at 6.30 a.m, and learned that the official boat is actually going 30km more south to another border city. From there the road was supposed to be much better. And it was.

As I mentioned, now I’m in Argentina and tomorrow I will continue from Resistencia towards Salta. It is 830km long trip, so lets hope I make it in a week.

ps. My German friend Herbert Born is leaving in three days for his Cologne-Singapore bike tour. Follow his trip here.

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6 Comments

  1. Posted April 7, 2011 at 5:58 am | Permalink | Reply

    hi lukas,
    tent eating ants, flooded roads, bare male bottoms – south america seems to be really adventurous!
    congrats to 15,000 k’s cycled in 7 months!
    3 days left – my panic level rises! but, i’m ready for it!
    keep on riding!
    herbert

    • Posted April 13, 2011 at 5:26 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks. In time pedaling it may be seven months, but from the beginning it is 9 months. However, my spedometer shows 16 011km now.
      Have a nice journey yourself too!

  2. Posted April 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Congrats on 15 000km Lukas!
    Paraguay sounds like fun. Good luck with you next leg.
    Ruan

    • Posted April 13, 2011 at 5:28 am | Permalink | Reply

      Hey, newcomer! Thankuschoiine. That’s my afrikaans for thank you. I’m facing a huge wall here in Salta. It’s called Andies. Need a Knight rider’s bike to jump over this obsticle.

  3. Kevin
    Posted April 12, 2011 at 10:08 am | Permalink | Reply

    Great story – sounds like a stroke of luck that you ran into the ‘arse man’!

    • Posted April 13, 2011 at 5:30 am | Permalink | Reply

      haha. You never know, but it seem so. These “prophets” I’ve met quite often during my trip. Strange, as if somebody would be looking after me… maybe martians.

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