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Meeting family in a country far far away

Bloged in The gap 2010 by gu-ru on 01:00 AM

Long time no hear … how is life in March 2013 in Europe, the US or wherever else you might be reading our report?
It´s been two months that you haven´t heard from us. For us they were two exciting months in Paraguay, very different from all our travels. And yet … so many question marks remain in our lives.

Our first and most important goal was to discover whether it was true, that Mo still had relatives in Paraguay. It was on her surprise visit in Germany when family asked: „And where are you traveling next?“ Answering „Paraguay“ a sudden outburst followed: „In Paraguay we have relatives“. Now it’s pretty obvious that it’s a longer distance relationship, but still …

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With many people’s help we found the clan in Paraguay. And to our surprise they welcomed us very warmly and treated us as family. By far we haven’t met everybody and some of them we hope to meet in Germany when we come back the next time.
We don’t have to mention that this contact with family was our highlight! We stayed long and are very much looking forward to meeting everybody again on our way back.
Among the places we visited were Parque Nacional Ybycuí with its waterfall and huge pool and its 100dreds of people. We enjoyed spending a couple of days off the beaten track and remember that place very much for our broken clutch. Oil pouring out and not being able to shift gears was the real adventure there. Somehow Tino made it 40km in 3rd gear to the next village where they luckily enough had spare parts.
Everybody talking about Villa Florida we stopped there to take a quick bath in the cooling floods of the river Tebicuary and there we met a really nice fellow traveler, Yvonne from Germany, with her Australian dog, Bruno. All of us enjoyed the time and place together so we decided to stay the night and doing some fishing.

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In San Ignacio, Pimienta was the first dog entering the oldest guarani Jesuit mission (built in 1609). But we didn’t stay long and continued to Ayolas. It is supposed to be the fishing paradise of Paraguay and therefore you eat … fish … like Surupí. Ayolas is set on the river Paraná and everybody gathers at the playa municipal. Since the state has gained a lot with the hydroelectric power plant Yacyretá the town has renovated the beach front including a free BBQ and campground with beach volley, restaurant, shower place and free WiFi. The only downside being that Paraguayans like to party hard … meaning that every night playing at least three car stereos full volume but not so much in stereo. The goal is for each individual car stereo to be louder than everybody around, so you have the full enjoyment of only your own music. Welcome to the Paraguayan outdoor disco.
San Cosme and San Damian is a town named after two Jesuit monks. Besides its Jesuit Mission, founded in 1632, the main attraction is an Astronomy Center created in tribute to Father Buenaventura Suarez, who had worked in the science of Astronomy from his observatory in the Jesuit-Guarani Mission of San Cosme and San Damian during the first half of the 18th Century. What we enjoyed most was the Celestron telescope which allowed us direct vision of the sky. We even were allowed to spend the night there and use their internet as we observed the stars late at night.

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In Encarnacion we arrived just in time for the last Carneval weekend. The newly built “costanera” was THE place to be. Originally we wanted to attend the last evening’s show but when we realized that Carnival here only meant watching pretty much naked women carrying their way to heavy feather wings and spraying artificial snow in everybody’s face … sorry … but neither of us was very attracted. So we spent a very nice night at the highly visited coast line. Even Pimi got her special treat as our car broke down before finding a supermarket to buy new dog food. Not many dogs can say they´ve got a Hamburgesa for dinner … lol. Sorry, we were quite crazy that night.

We are not going into details of crossing into Argentina only to find a vet who can implant a chip required for a dog in search for asylum in the European Union.

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But rather we would like to share with you our visit to the nicely kept Jesuit Missions “Jesus de Taverangüe” and “Trinidad”. Especially the later one was very impressive as they performed a nice light show lighting up the ruins accompanied with background Jesuit Chorals. We even got to be in there together with the “Ministra de Cultura”, the Paraguayan secretary of Education.

Visiting the three German colonies Obligado, Hohenau and Bella Vista. Paraguay just feels very different here, it´s soooo not South America. Once there we decided we could pass by the Reserva San Rafael for a couple of days.
Well, that´s our travel style I guess. We really felt at home here with the Swiss family fighting for over 20 years to protect the reserve and make it an acknowledged National Park. As they did have some work for us to do we decided to stay … and as they continue to find jobs for us and treat us so lovely we are still here after … hm, 6 weeks I guess.

1 Comment »

  1. Was mach Ihr in San Rafael für Arbeit?

    Trackback by Nicolai Michel Tuesday April 9th, 2013 11:18 AM

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