Tuesday (Martes) 20th April, 2010
Day 403

Hohenau, Paraguay
Hohenau, Paraguay
Miles: 40,665
S 27.08508°
W 55.66380°

This morning we went off to look at some of the local ruins at the old Jesuit towns. The Jesuits arrived in the province of Paraguay in the early 1600's and set up a series of towns all with a common layout and construction. According to history they were very successful at converting and protecting the local Guarani Indians from Portuguese slavers. Apparently they were generally too successful as in the late 1700's the king of Spain expelled all Jesuits from South America.

The ruins we saw this morning were quite impressive. Large sandstone constructions covering many acres comprising religious buildings as well as dwellings and work buildings. The remnants of three church halls we saw were surprisingly large. One was originally 150m long. Another was extremely elaborate. These Jesuits were not short on ambition.

The day turned out to be hot, with temps up in the high 90 °F, so by early afternoon we headed back to our campground and the relief of their nice swimming pool. As we lazed around the pool in the afternoon to the west we could see storm clouds gathering and by sun set there was also lightening in those same clouds. We went off to sleep with the air cooling and rain imminent.