Thursday (Viernes) 22th April, 2010
Day 405

Asuncion, Paraguay
Asuncion, Paraguay
Miles: 41,040
S 25.25311°
W 57.56924°

It rained heavily again last night, and to our shock and horror we discovered that we had left our book of maps and the Argentina guide book outside. They were saturated.

Since we still need some of the information in them we set about taking the sodden pages apart and beginning the drying process. This activity continued all day and by the end we had a nice sized pile of paper that looked like a 16th century bundle of parchments.

We decided to move on from the Rural Hotel to Asuncion,the capital, partly to look for new maps and a new guide book, but also partly because the electricity was out and hence no wifi.

On the drive north to Asuncion there was evidence everywhere of heavy rains although the weather did improve slowly, the farther north we went.

So far we have not seen much of the city of Asuncion but what we have seen suggests a very big division between the haves and the have nots. Our initial entry to the city from the south passed through miles of small shops selling mostly vehicle products, small markets selling food, accompanied by old buses belching black diesel fumes. It felt like entering a place like Lima. Everything said - poor.

After a stop in the city center at the Auto Association we headed North East out of Asuncion to Luque. Along this route there were numerous high end shops and restaurants, sparkling car dealerships and very nice residences that would be notable even in Australia or the US. What a contrast.

Luque is famous for its silver filigree. Nina had heard about this town from Sam and wanted to look and perhaps buy. It took a little navigational luck but we got there and within 10 minutes had acquired some more stuff.

A bit more navigational luck had us at the Botanical Gardens and our nights camping spot.

If this entry is a bit disjointed it's because I am trying to write it while holding a conversation in pigeon Spanish with 20 municipal workers who are sheltering from the rain in the campground picnic shelter.


Believe it or not the city Botanical Gardens has a small area for camping. The local Automobile Association (The Automobile Club of Paraguay - TACPY) Office did not know about it. We found out about it from the Lonely Planet guide. After entering the main gate we were directed, straight ahead 200m then right 300 m to the large house. At the house a helpful guard led me upstairs to the office of a young women who sold me the camping pass and showed me where to park. A cooking shelter with electricity and fire wood, toilets, showers that might sometimes be hot. A very nice setting. There were guards nearby all night so very secure. All for less than US$5.