Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --- Mark Twain

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Paraguay, Asuncion

Day 703,
82 148 km since the beginning of the journey
Location: South America.

I am now in Ushuaia, in one of the southernmost city of South America, but many earlier issues and happenings are worth to write down and share. The previous post was in December and about reaching Paraguay and this time it will be about the pre-Christmas week in this cool and friendly country.

I just surely wanted to visit the Ruins of Jesus de Tavarangue ( UNESCO World Heritage Site) in Trinidad and Asunción, the capital. Only while coming from Brazil - they are located in different directions. Trinidad is in the south and Asuncion is in the south-west, and since Christmas were just at the door, it seemed better to drive to Trinidad at first and then towards the capital. In some maps a bigger road goes directly to the south, to Trinidad, and in some other maps the last hundred kilometres of the road were missing. But as the choice of the maps was decent - I decided to drive south on the principle that, "in the end somewhere should be reached”.   This means that - persistence is important to reach the place.

About traffic. Compared to Brazil the traffic was really low and this car in the middle of the road caught the eye from a far.

I stopped my car and went to look closer. Nobody was hurt and it could be said that the accident had a happy ending, because the mini-bulldozer from the car had flown into the ditch by the road and fortunately not on the oncoming lane. A very likely cause of the accident is in the image below, a dozen yards away from the road.


Further southwards the big road that was marked on the map turned narrower and narrower. From a Tourist Information office I got quite a lot of coloured issues about the attractions of Trinidad and Paraguay, and in addition, I learned that a shortcut is indeed planned, but it has not yet been built.

The existing road was supposed to be in very poor condition, stones and sand and broken bridges, and I was suggested to drive around, along asphalt roads that will be faster, but not so interesting. But the locals use the shortcut and so my decision was to do the same thing. As one can always turn back if the road is not passable any more.

The road was an ordinary village road. I had driven about ten miles and then suddenly from behind a bigger tour bus appeared and resolved all the problems. If a big bus can get through - so can a small one as well. And no more thoughts about the situation. The main thing is to know that the road is passable.


It started raining at the end, but the road and the bridges did not deserve any bad word.


It started raining at the end, but the road and the bridges did not deserve any bad word. ja


When the weather is fine one can enjoy the following view (from Wikipedia)


I am not going to wait for a nice weather, but will continue driving on.
With the same ticket one can also visit the San Cosme y Damian restored settlements.





Further on towards the capital.

Here is the entire journey through Paraguay.

The capital of Paraguay is Asuncion and the town welcomed me with heat and nice chaotic movement. The city was founded in 1537 and according to Wikipedia the population is 542 000.

It took me a couple of hours to drive across the city. The best way to get a good overview.

The average speed could be 5 km per hour and all around there was real and cool street trading. In the traffic jam nobody was pushing and somehow everything seemed to move and resolve by itself, although very slowly.

Why buy expensive fruits in the supermarket when there are much cheaper possibilities in the street and one has no need to get out of the car either.

Some pictures of the road.

Paraguay is a country of football.

The advertisement of an overnight place. Brisas del Mediterraneo is about 50 kilometres from Asuncion

Enough space, there was electricity and water was available.

And now the further story belongs to the category "The world is small", as a German motorcyclist, whom I had met in March 2012 in Swakopmund, Namibia. was also stopping there.

Ralf ( was working as a small aircraft pilot in Namibia and flew every day and sometimes several times a day with tourists over Swakopmund neighbourhoods, and the red sand dunes of Sossusvlei. I have always been interested in the issues of flying in Africa, and now I had the opportunity to talk to a real African bush-pilot.

Anyway, the next day we went to visit the local airport and flight club and talk with the people, and the brief story is that we had a nice half -an- hour flight over Paraguay with Cessna for only 20 Euro.





The next day in Asuncion – talking to the local traffic police. Nothing serious - just passed the intersection a bit too late, but the situation was solved.

After the holidays I went to the tire – change service. An appropriate size (215/75/15) of BF Goodrich tires were available.
The used 4 tires were left there. In fact, these tires could still last for ten or even twenty thousand miles, but knowing the road conditions ahead (Ruta 40), it may be wiser to continue with the new ones.

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