Hotel Cordoba - Asuncion

Asuncion Travel Blog

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Street Art named desire

There were plenty of buses to Asuncion and the journey was a relatively stress free five hours. Though I did have to move at one stage. Even though the bus was relatively empty, one guy sat in front of me, pushed the chair into full recline then looped his arm over the back - extra comfort for him, extra annoying big arm in your face for me. After that Pablo McLegspready sat next to me, so I ended up squashed in a bus that had half the seats empty. I think it must be nice aftershave I was wearing…

For the first day in Asuncion we decided to go on the ‘city tour’ a route suggested around the city centre that picks up all the cultural highlights. Unfortunately none of us thought to bring the map, so we ended up wandering sporadically from one thing that looked kind of cultural to anything else that we could see that had a spire, or looked park-esque or a little bit monumenty.

Statuey thing overlooking some hovels

Highlights included Plaza del Heroes, featuring a white colonial building complete with two guards stood stock-still outside the door, the theatre (a pink building, closed, with homeless people in bin-bag tents under the eaves) some churches, a statue of a dog (that someone had left a saucepan underneath) and the Plaza de Armas - a park again full of bin-bag tents.

Although full of non-homeowners, the park felt safe and we stopped there to eat watermelon, giving a couple of slices to some local waifs. Good deed for the day - check.

After a bit more mooching around the crumbling city we settled at a bar/restaurant for dinner. As soon as the food arrived the inappropriate music started - pumping euro-dance at a volume unexpected at seven p.m.

Each tune seemed to be more ridiculous than the last - from lyrics about using one’s big broomstick to sweep the lady vocalist’s front yard (rigorously and for a long time if possible) to another featuring the sound of a woman coming like a volcano.

The perfect dining ambience.

The next day was Sunday and a bit of all-too-late research led to the discovery that no buses run to Bolivia on the day of the Lord. In fact not a lot happens at all in Paraguay on Sundays, which was a shame as we had a full day to kill.

I went for a wander round the city to photograph some graffiti. The streets were eerily empty, like something out of a post apocalyptic movie.

At some stage a spandex-clad granny spotted me taking photos and started up a conversation with me. I understood about half of it and ended up sat on her porch with her and her friend drinking hot mate. It tasted like shite even when hot, but again the air of hopeful expectancy led me to pretend that it was like having a party in my mouth (fiesta in boca mio!).

Crumble town
The lady then started slapping makeup on and asking me to take a photo of her. Unfortunately my camera had conked out at that moment, so I have no amusing photo of spandex-granny to share.

The next day it pissed it down. Really pissed it down, streets becoming more like streams. The bus wasn’t due to depart until 8:30 pm so we had another day to whittle away, ideally without venturing outside.

We spent the majority of the day cluttering up reception and watching day-time television. ‘Mujer’ - real life stories of mothers, acted out for television! Electric.

There was also a ‘Bold and the Beautiful’ style programme. The opening credit montage consisted of one third passionate clinches, one third scenes involving babies and one third wife-beating.

The most ridiculous clip was of one of the characters forcing his wife’s head into a bucket of water after giving her a cheeky slap. Perhaps not the best country to be a woman in.

The highlight of my day was witnessing a car crash - to clarify that, nobody got hurt.

I’d popped out for yet another empanada (hmm, maybe ham and cheese this time…) when an ambulance at the next intersection decided to take a short cut by going the wrong way down a one way street.

Unsurprisingly the truck coming across the crossroad didn’t expect this and smashed into the front of the ambulance. Probably thanks to the rain, the ambulance spun around about 400 degrees, but remained upright.

Next a few moments of silence, then people, including a disinterested police officer, staring as the ambulance driver popped his door and got out to inspect the damage.

As everyone realised no-one was hurt and that the ambulance and police were already there they started to laugh at the irony of it all. Oh how we laughed. *sigh*

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Street Art named desire
Street Art named desire
Statuey thing overlooking some hov…
Statuey thing overlooking some ho…
Crumble town
Crumble town
photo by: Andy99