Paraguay
Asunción

Here you’ll find travel reports about Asunción. Discover travel destinations in Paraguay of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

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  • Day39

    Paraguay

    October 30, 2016 in Paraguay ⋅

    Paraguay stond eigenlijk alleen op ons lijstje voor de paspoort stempel, maar het land heeft ons positief verrast!

    Nadat we lopend de grens over zijn gegaan van Brazilië naar Paraguay, was er vooral veel hectiek, getoeter en taxichauffeurs die ons ritjes aan boden. Omdat we in tijdsnood zaten (dachten we), hebben we toch maar een taxi genomen om onze bus te halen. Eenmaal daar was het iets te stil voor een busstation en wat bleek......dat het in Paraguay een uur vroeger is. Tevens hebben we geleerd dat de bussen hier er minimaal een uur langer over rijden dan wat men zegt en dat hier geen lunch/plas stops zijn. Mocht je hier dus heen willen...!

    We kwamen op de eerste dag laat in Asuncion aan, maar gelukkig was het daar Halloween avond. Dit kan vergeleken worden met koningsnacht in Nederland. Op veel plekken in de stad stonden podia en waren er cocktail barretjes en straatverkopers met ijskoude biertjes. Laat Paraguay nu ook heel erg goedkoop zijn dus dit was een perfecte combinatie.

    Ons plan was om de volgende een soort jezuïeten 'tour' te doen en om verschillende stadjes aan te doen waar ruïnes te zien zijn. Aangezien de bussen dus dubbel de tijd nemen hebben we 1 plek uitgekozen om te zien. Ook hier waren we maar echt net op tijd! Nu letterlijk. De zon ging net onder. Dit bezoek werd wel prachtig afgesloten met een privé lichtshow, want andere toeristen hebben we hier niet gezien.

    Als afsluiter van Paraguay zijn we naar de Itapú dam gegaan (lees grootste werkende dam ter wereld). Deze dam creëert 75% van alle energie in Paraguay en 25% van de energie in Brazilië. En Brazilië is ENORM..! Nu gaan we zo weer de nachtbus in om naar de kust te gaan om even een paar dagen 'weekend' te houden.
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  • Day91

    Hot Hot Hot

    February 27, 2016 in Paraguay ⋅

    So we arrive in Asuncion at 7 in the morning and I'm more than grateful we are in one piece with all our luggage. We get a taxi to the hostel amd we're shown our dorm. The hostel is set in a working factory which is great for people who are travelling because they can stay here and work at the same time. A Russian girl called Evgeniia works here and shows us to our room. The room even though a dorm just has me and Mark in it and is set in the prettiest garden. We have a quick chat then head out to explore the city. There are so many beautiful colonial buildings here and we walk towards the river. There is a warship here that I think is still in operation, however I'm informed later in the day that it's actually a museum. There is masses of poverty here , with whole families living under tarpaulin, washing there clothes in the river and literally just behind the are all the big presidential buildings.
    After an hour or so we head back to the hostel , the heat here is crazy ,easily in the 40s and walking around in it feels like I,ve just done a marathon. When we arrive back Evgeniia is packing, the Russian Embassy have told her she must leave today and go to Buenos Aires (I hope someone else here speaks English) we quickly say our goodbyes and there is only one thing for it in this heat.....Siesta.
    We sleep for 5 hours and awake to find Adrian the owner of the hostel outside , we are invited to join him for a couple of beers and we're more than relieved to find he speaks good English. There are a couple of Columbians a French guy and a guy called Eric fom Chile. We all sit and share a few beers , I discuss with Mark there is no way we can sleep without air con tonight, I honestly don't think I'll get out alive if I stayed in this room so we pack our stuff and move to the room with air con. Its like being in a luxury hotel . After a few hours I leave the boys to chat manly things and retire to my bed, today has drained me physically and mentally.
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  • Day109

    Asunción

    May 18, 2018 in Paraguay ⋅ 🌬 18 °C

    Seit drei Tagen sind wir in der Hauptstadt Paraguays und das erste mal enttäuscht. Die Stadt ist laut und hässlich! Das Zentrum ist ein Geflecht aus Straßen, es gibt keinen zentralen Platz oder eine "echte" Sehenswürdigkeit. Neben dem Regierungspalast ein Slum, danach die Katedrale, dann verfallene koloniale Häuser, plötzlich ein Hochhaus.. eine eigenartige Anordnung. Die tatsächlich noch hübschen alten Häuser sind zugeparkt und von Elektrokabeln verhangen. An jeder Ecke stinkt es anders. Überall liegt Müll, die Straßen und Fußwege sind in schlechtem Zustand. Die Busfahrer fahren wie die Henker. Wir werden nicht warm mit dieser Stadt. Während wir durch die Straßen laufen, kommt uns immer wieder in den Kopf: "Könnte schön sein, ist es aber nicht." Und unter diesem Motto sind mir dann doch noch ein paar Fotos gelungen, Philipp hat die Kamera gleich gar nicht ausgepackt. Dafür haben wir heute ohne das Gefühl etwas zu verpassen einen Gammeltag im Hostel eingelegt, das war schon lange mal nötig. Morgen abend geht es weiter nach Bolivien, eine 20stündige Busfahrt erwartet uns.Read more

  • Day7

    Paragvajski derbi

    August 6, 2016 in Paraguay ⋅

    Nekaj fotk današnje top izkušnje. Paragvajski derbi med črno-belo Olimpio in rdeče-modrimi Cerro Porteño. Tekma je bila v Asuncionu, na skoraj polnem stadionu Defensores del Chaco, ki sprejme dobrih 42000 gledalcev. Po zaostanku Olimpie je "našim" uspelo izenačit. Glede na rdeči karton Cerra in nedosojeno enajstmetrovko v prid Cerra je bil to kar srečen remi. Igra ni bila na najvišjem nivoju, vzdušje pa praznično na obeh straneh. Vrhunsko in sploh ne tako strašljivo kot so me vsi opozarjali :) aja pa še vrhunski steak in sok Pasjonke za dobrih 15 € :)Read more

  • Day6

    Viva la Asuncion

    August 5, 2016 in Paraguay ⋅

    Vceraj sem prezivel prvo dolgo avtobusno voznjo. Po sedmih urah sem prispel v Asuncion kjer me je pricakal Diego in me peljal do gostiteljce Paole. Vecer smo preziveli ob super rostilju in pivu :) Danes sem spoznal se Vanesso, ki me je vsega zmackanega peljala na kratek sprehod in kosilo v znano restavracijo Lido, ki je noro popularna med lokalci. Ribja juhica je bila fina. Je pa zabavna njihova navada pitja pijace Terere, ko s hladno vodo prelijejo razlicne kombinacije zelisc. Termovko s salcko in slamico nosijo s seboj cele dneve! Sedaj ciliramo in pocivamo ob Netflixu, filme imajo na sreco podnaslovljene in ne sinhronizirane.Read more

  • Day79

    Paraguay

    October 28, 2017 in Paraguay ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    The Sun Shone in Asuncion

    It was a lovely flight from La Paz to Asuncion, with great views of the snowy mountains. Chris was a bit disappointed with the size of the plane - it was too big for him, but we took a picture of a dilapidated twin prop plane and tagged the relatives to scare them, as compensation. Actually, it was two flights, with the first terminating at Santa Cruz. Our second flight left half an hour later, so we even had a built in toilet stop, and time for a quick argument (about snacks) - hangry! We stepped off the plane into an oven - a steam oven.

    The hotel was excellent. We had a traditional large suite, with parquet floors, twin Queen beds, writing desk, large wooden sideboard for that essential holiday china, and a separate dressing area leading to the barthroom. We took advantage of the hotel's laundry service, which was so efficient that we thought some items had not been returned - they had delivered it back to our room while we were out, but only half (t shirts etc) was neatly folded on the bed. The other items (trousers, dresses, long sleeved tops) had been hung in the wardrobe. On the edge of the pool, the hotel had it own trattoria style restaurant, where we ate for two out of the three nights of our stay, and particularly enjoyed the live traditional music and folk dancing. We actually recognised one of the tunes from the trolley bus minstrel in Valparaiso - we're turning into true South American officianados. Our motel, which was 3 star was attached to a larger, more modern hotel on the opposite side of the pool, where we took their 5 star breakfast (all inclusive) in their first floor sun room. This is where we saw our crew from the La Paz flight on our first morning - we only stay at the best places!

    It was so unbearably hot that day as we walked out into the city centre (only 10-15 minutes away), that after a brief stop in a dark, cool junk shop (house clearance tat which made me feel slightly anxious), and after having been moved on by the security police for looking over the parapet and seeing the people living in the shanties on the edge of the River Paraguay, we ducked desperately into the cathedral to get cool. Sweat was trickling down our temples, despite the marble floors and the large fans, but I was still shocked at having been told to leave what was an obvious place to look out over the river that runs through Paraguay's capital city. Basically, don't look at the poor people! After this, we sweated at the railway station, or what's left of it. It's a museum now, with a Stephenson's Rocket type train with a large funnel (the Sapucai) on a plinth at one end, and a 'Casey Jones and his Canonball Express Wild West train' (wood-panelled carriages, a buffet car, and front and back 'balcony' views) at the other.

    Next we decided to go to the Botanical Gardens, just a short walk away (or so we thought). It would definitely be cooler there - all those trees and large shady plants. After wandering round for a bit until my legs stopped working in protest, we decided to try a cab. Lucky we did, because the gardens were 20 minutes away by car, and were no cooler than the town. We were dropped outside the Natural History Museum at the near end of the gardens, so we ducked straight in there to get cool again - the taxi had been like a sauna, even with the windows wide open (with pollution thrown in). After we had had our fill of badly stuffed exotic animals (5 minutes), we walked to the 'palacio' at the other end of the garden, before giving in and sitting on a bench for a few minutes, then walking back to the main entrance to get another taxi. The beautiful, bright orange, flowering trees and the green parrots made me feel a bit better about the hot journey back, but not much.

    We had genuinely thought that we'd be skipping around like altitude acclimatised athletes when we came down to sea-level from the high mountains in Bolivia, but hadn't factored in the 38 degree heat on the edge of the rainforest. We arrived back into the Plaza de Los Heroes, from where we traipsed to a large restaurant we had spotted earlier. Amazing air conditioning, and absolutely packed, mainly with lunching office workers, it turned out to be one of the oldest and most prestigious cafe-restaurants in the city. Established in the 60s, but in a late 19th Century building, it had good food, beer, and mix and match freshly squeezed/pulped juices! Perfect! After lunch we went back to the hotel for a long swim in the pool. Even more perfect!

    The next day, we walked to the Presidential Palace which was a little like the Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires...pink, and then walked to the sanitised, landscaped edge of the river, with Ascuncion writ large in concrete. We were allowed to look at this bit. We strolled along the prom a bit further, to find a small boat which appeared to be running trips out onto the river from a tiny jetty. We didn't resist the opportunity, along with three over-excited Argentinians. The chug chug of the exhaust turned Chris into Humphrey Bogart. There were in fact a few reeds where the heron sat, but this was condor country, with harbour cranes. We then explored a derelict part of the port with a particularly interesting war memorial, featuring a broken earthenware nativity scene (with no baby Jesus) nestling amongst its graphite coloured obelisks. This day was much cooler because it had rained the previous evening, so we explored a few more squares and revisited places too hot to stop on the previous day. In the evening we tried Bolsi, (our lunchtime cool retreat), for dinner. Not as quirky as the hotel restaurant, but good food, and a change of scene. We enjoyed our bit of r & r in the sun.

    Gangsters' Paradise

    The best bus journey of the trip was the one that took us from Asuncion to Cuidad del Este, the romantically named City of the East. It was one straight road all the way, and what was supposed to take eight hours took just six. The coach was clean, the seats were wide and comfortable, and we had the best spot up front - double the leg room, a great view in fine weather, and Wifi. On arrival, a taxi from the station took us to our hotel, via a checkpoint (with armed guards) where we were required to show our passports. We were a little confused because we hadn't crossed any borders yet. As far as we knew, we were still in Paraguay. We then entered what can only be described as a 'compound', a controlled area that looked like a wealthy Californian estate, with large detached houses - many were mansions, with colonnaded porches, stepped paths up to large front doors, metal lions on plinths at the bottom - that kind of shit. Some earlier research had revealed the town (not in fact a city) to be a tax haven, where goods and drugs are traded with impunity. People mainly seem to visit for the shopping, for obvious reasons. All the more surprising then, that our little corner of town was so heavily guarded and 'policed'. When we went out for dinner 'over the border' that evening, we had to pass through the checkpoint again, and were stopped by a security guard on a moped whilst we walked the last part of the journey (all 50m of it) to the restaurant. We had apparently been less of a worry to the administration whilst driving, when we were just waved through with a Mona Lisa smile from the man at the barrier. Our means of transport may have been a factor here though...On arrival at the hotel we had been told at reception that they did not provide dinner, and that we could either send out for it, or be taken in a golf cart to a nearby restaurant. We decided to eat out and requested the lift. The receptionist disappeared, and returned a few minutes later, driving the buggy. He invited Chris to sit beside him, so I sat on the back. He then gesticulated that I was sitting in the wrong place, and began to demonstrate the controls. Chris realised before I did that we were expected to drive ourselves - no lights - no indicators - across a maze like estate - in the dark. We found our way there, but got lost on the way back. Two gringos in a golf cart are definitely non-threatening, but a massive embarrassment when asking for directions from people who drive mercedes.

    The bizarre Wonderland that we had stumbled into was 'The Parana Country Club' - protected on one side by the checkpoints, and on the other by the impenetrable, Brazilian rainforest, which lay on the far bank of the fast flowing Parana River (initially misheard as 'Piranha' - it sounds more 007). We had chosen the hotel at random, simply because it looked a good place to relax - it had a pool, and, from the pictures, it appeared to have spectacular views from the balconies. It definitely wasn't because of the guns and the gates, of which we had been totally unaware. Our personal theory was that the policing was to protect the bad, rather than the good. Think Lord Lucan, and imagine war criminals and drugs barons, living in splendid isolation on the edge of the jungle - true identities fading along with the grandeur, the golf courses a cover (and location) for dodgy dealing on the greens.

    We appeared to be the only guests at first - floating alone in the bougainvillea and mosquito scattered pool, and wandering silently on the jasmine scented balconies, photographing the single launch which drifted engineless with the flow of the river, all to an insomniac's soundtrack of soft rain and birdcalls. Later we saw a handful of people on the terrace beyond the breakfast room, and spoke with a Brazilian couple who could point (across the river) to where they had travelled from. I did ask the man if he had swum, but he didn't get the joke. Lost in translation, despite my accompanying mime.

    The next morning, after a leisurely breakfast in front of the sort of huge fireplace you see in the homes of the villains in Columbo, the mantelpiece filled with golfing trophies (probably the murder weapon), we called for our taxi. This took us to a small border ferry point, just south of the city where we could go directly into Argentina across the river, avoiding Brazil, heading for the Falls.
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  • Day21

    Asunción (PAR) - San Jerónimo, Tacumbú

    November 25, 2016 in Paraguay ⋅

    De meest toeristische wijk van Asunción. Felgekleurde gevels, pittoreske straatjes, in elk derde huis wordt iets verkocht. We komen er geen enkele toerist tegen. Ook het panoramisch uitkijkpunt is vandaag gratis maar leeg. De rest van de wereld moet Paraguay nog ontdekken. Er is dus nog tijd om de stoep aan te leggen. Dankzij onze Franse gastheren vinden we ook de mooiste plaats voor de ondergaande zon.Read more

  • Day20

    Asunción (PAR) - Centro

    November 24, 2016 in Paraguay ⋅

    De grens over naar het ondergewaardeerde Paraguay. Op het eerste zicht een stad een stad in egelstelling, die zich gelukkig snel ontbolstert. Afval, oud ijzer en armoede op straat, maar evenveel vriendelijke mensen. En je kan er op safari met de tropische, daverende, ratelende, radbrakende stadsbus.

  • Day22

    Asunción (PAR) - Locals

    November 26, 2016 in Paraguay ⋅

    De meeste Paraguayanen doen het rustig aan en sluiten de boel tijdens de siesta. Een hoog tempo houden ze er niet op na. Ze vullen de dag door hun schoenen te laten poetsen, te wachten op klanten, te wachten op de bus. Ze vullen hun maag vooral met vettig vlees, liefst besteld al wachtend in de auto. Met de avond valt er al eens een uitzondering uit de lucht. Bomenklimmen voor stroom, of brullen voor vrouwenrechten.Read more

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Asunción, Asuncion

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