Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Asuncion & Concepcion (08.04.2014 - 11.04.2014)

To enter Paraguay we had to cross through Brazil again. We hopped of the bus at the border control in Ciudad del Este and got our entry stamp. To get some Guaranis, the paraguayan currency, we entered one of the many shopping malls in Ciudad del Este. It is the least valuable currency in the Americas with one million valuing around 200CHF, but Guarani is also an indigenous and official language in Paraguay which kids lern at school.
Walking past the shopping window I couldn't help but notice the low prices for the GoPro Hero3+, which I planned to buy for my next trip... Not much later I was the proud owner of one of these little wonders! Super excited!
We had an enjoyable six hour ride to the capital as our bus was of the big sleeper chairs type.
In Asuncion the next day we strolled through town, snapped pictures of the presidential palace and city hall and had a gigantic picada. A picada is a platter with assorted cheese, meets, sausages, olives & etcetera. We would call it "es Plättli" back home ;)
Heading north to Concepcion we caught a bus which ventured into the Chaco before turning east again.
Paraguay is split into two pieces by the Rio Paraguay with East Paraguay on the eastern shore and the Chaco on the western side. Where the eastern part is densely inhibited and developed the west is sparsely populated, mainly by indigenous groups, and difficult to access. Over this semi-arid land Paraguay and Bolivia fought a bloody war in 1932 which cost more than hundred thousand lives and was "won" by Paraguay two years later.
Our accommodation in Concepcion was the totally run down and dirty Hotel Center, so we where glad when we got picked up the next day to head to Granja El Roble!