Ciudad del Este to Encarnación

  • Ciudad del Este, Paraguay
    Taxi man who was serious about having an interior light light again. Ciudad del Este
  • Ciudad del Este, Paraguay
    Tough living in Ciudad del Este.
  • Ciudad del Este, Paraguay
    Tough living, but they were playing really loud music and dancing.
  • Paraguay
    Our bus driver man’s best friend. He told us that they always travel together. Ciudad del Este, Paraguay
  • Paraguay
    MTV all day every day?
  • Encarnación
    In Guaraní mythology, Kerana, the beautiful daughter of Marangatú, was captured by the personification or spirit of evil called Tau. Together the two had seven sons who were cursed of the high goddess Arasy, and all but one were born as hideous monsters. Encarnación, Paraguay
  • Encarnación, Paraguay
    Fire Chicken

March 23
Ciudad del Este to Encarnación.
Ciudad del Este is not a necessary place to spend time, unless you want to hang out at a really cool hostel, which the Casa Alta is, and really nice people work there.  But, we decided to get out of the second largest city in Paraguay to head to Encarnación.  We went to the bus station and the man behind the counter tried to skin tax us an extra 10%, but Irmante caught it and sorted us out.  Nice work on her…

So, we got on a ‘4 hour bus ride’ that magically became a ‘6 hour bus ride.’  Our bus driver had his little dog with him who he told us goes everywhere with him.  At stops, locals would get on the bus to try to sell us drinks and food.  That is how I found my new love for ‘Chipas,’ a kind of cheese bread that was served hot to us and sort of tastes like licorice.  It is my favorite food so far in South America.  A Paraguayan specialty…

Paraguay reminds me of Laos in Asia.  It is a landlocked country surrounded by famous countries, but not many people know about it, and it usually gets bypassed by travelers.  It is sort of quiet and quite poor in comparison to the countries around it.  It has the same red dirt that gets all over everything.  And the people in the country are the sweetest people you could ever meet, besides the bus ticket salesman.  The rest are just so kind and so nice and so happy to meet you with big smiles.  Everyone we have met has been so cute in their sweetness.  That seems to be the code for a landlocked non-famous country…

Encarnación is so quiet that the dogs do not even bark here during the day.  I feel like Irmante and I whisper when we walk down the streets so that we do not disturb the peace.  And they are addicted to a drink called terere, which is a cold version of Argentina’s mate.  Everyone has a cup and a thermos of water to keep topped up through the day.  On the streets, little groups of friends sit around on chairs and drink terere together, hanging out.  Or else, as it gets later, other groups of dudes park their cars in front of liquor stores, where they buy beer, and then a group of them all hang out around the vehicle with the doors open, blasting music from the car as they drink beer on the sidewalk.  That is the only sound in Encarnación; music blasting from a car with dudes drinking beer around it in front of a liquor store, or complete silence.

We went out for dinner and a 1 liter bottle of beer in a restaurant is worth $2.75.  Awesome!  But, it is 18 degrees Celsius, and it is too cold for the Paraguayans, so there was no one out tonight at all.  It was a very quiet city.  I put on a sweater and pants.  It was the first time I have had legs on my lower body clothing in over a month, and pants now make my untrained legs itchy.  That is pretty cool how that has happened…

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