Sunday, July 26, 2009

Asuncion, Paraguay

In a few days we neared the end of our time in Paraguay. After a 5hr bus through green hillsides dotted with white oxen of some breed we arrived in Asuncion on a quiet Sunday afternoon. Taking the guide books advice we opted for a taxi instead of walking to our hostel where upon exiting we were bombarded with a man who wanted a tip for opening my door, and a dirty woman and her baby begging me for the change the cab driver handed over. Our fortress of a hostel had grand, high ceilings, tile floors, huge rooms and a large common area that was half outside, half inside. I wondered why anyone would stay in hotels when you have the opportunity to stay in countless, neat, old mansions. Wanting to eat before dark we set out for the diner a few streets down and walked by a plaza turned homeless shantytown with skinny walkways between numerous plastic bag tents and dirty clothes drying on knotted together string lines. We ate at the diner where the food was amazing, as we´re finding all Paraguay food to be, and went back to watch La Lea y Orden and go to bed, grateful I had bed, room and blanket instead of a plastic bag tent.

We awoke extra early the next morning due to the time change we weren´t aware of and slowly got ready to head out. With nothing in particular we wanted to do we wandered from plaza to plaza and in and out of hammock and lace stores (of which I wanted to buy every last piece however heavy they would be to carry, but resisted and kept my fingers crossed that Rio would be full of similar treasures.) We frequently the diner again for lunch which was busy once again and had delicious regional soups of meat and fish with heavy, fresh bread. The whole afternoon was sat people watching in the plaza until dinner at the diner where we enjoyed our last Paraguayan meal, sad to be leaving the cuisine behind.

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