Maybe, the transport in Paraguay has some rules. But it
lasted a long time for me to recognize, if in this
beautiful country the cars go on the right-hand or on the
left-hand side. The pedestrians have no rights. As regards
to the cars, the priority is a problem of discussion or it depends on
the size of the car.
the lapacho trees were in blossom. Mostly they are pink,
but they can be yellow or white. Local inhabitants are
proud of this trees, everybody shows them to foreigners.
It looks like some kind of deviation.
Though it is hot during the day, the inhabitants clothe
trousers and never shorts. The shorts are used only by
foreigners. In the city does not exist a network of
letter boxes. You can buy a postcard, but it must be
sent from the post office. The bargaining with venders
is very common. Jacob bought waterproof titanium watches
for only 5 USD and two beers. After first swimming he
gained a water level for more an may be the watches
could serve like a fountain.
Paraguay is a sparsely settled country. The most of the
people live in Asuncion, over 600 000. On the
contrary, the Chaco plain, which is three times bigger
than the Czech republic, is almost unsettled. The
people speak mostly Spanish or native languages. Nearly
no one speaks English. The most typical animal is a cow. The
cow population is twice bigger than the human one in
Chaco the ratio is even one inhabitant per 20 cows. The
favorite meal is an underdone bloody steak. For most of
the population it is the only one meal they can afford.
Meat, meat, meat. In store you can buy meat for the
price less than for 4 toilet papers rolls.
In Paraguay you can buy two beers for one dollar. It is
said, that indigenes have one dollar for the whole day
nourishment. The street-girl costs also one dollar, but
the natives said that it is hazardous. You could end up
as an astronomer looking on the stars without the telescope.
In the whole Paraguay the railway transport nowadays does
not exist. But a long time ago
the trains were a common means of transportation. Now
the track is cast in asphalt. There is a museum instead
of the main railway station in which one can see the
first locomotive going through the South America and the
president's train from the beginning
of the railway transport.
The crucial instance in Paraguayan history was the proclamation of independence
in 1811 following by two absolute dictatorships, and two bloody wars. The
first, beforehand lost ruinous war, led Francisco Lopez against an alliance of
three neighboring countries during period 1865-1870.
During the war half of the population had been killed,
only women and children remained in the country (the ratio was 25 women per one
The lack of male population had solved Spanish
incomers. The second was the Chaco war during period 1932-1935. This war was
won by Paraguay after serious losses. After the war Paraguay was given about
three-fourths of the disputed area.
The Chaco or Grand Chaco is a low, flat, alluvial plain
located north of Asuncion. It is immense, huge and
sparsely settled plain. The one hectare of soil can be
bought for only three dollars here. The native Indians
had an interesting custom earlier: The caught
pale-face was not eaten immediately. He was fattened
firstly and offered Indian women. As lately as the first
child of him was born, he was roasted and eaten up. Isn't
it an interesting way of civilization
Everywhere in Asuncion there are phone cabins or rooms
in which an attendant is present. You can call from
several kiosks and the price is seen on a display. A
call to the Czech Republic for blockage of the stolen
credit card cost about 12 000 Guarani (2 US
The Paraguayan-Brazilian border was completely free and
unguarded. The Paraguayan-Argentina border was a place
with common check-in typical for southern countries. We
wasted there only about one hour. But the border
between Argentina and Chile is worth seeing. Between the
Argentina and Chile check-in points is roughly 100
kilometers of Atacama desert. There was a lama on the
Argentinean side, which went to every bus crossing the
border. On the contrary on the Chilean side the customs
officers have a panic from diseases coming over the
Andes. We had to go through a special mat impregnated by
some kind of chemicals and a boy sprayed both the wheels
and the inside of the bus by disinfection solution. You
are strictly prohibited to have any food and the
inspection is radical. The customs officers even
insufflated Charles flute.
Money exchange in Antofagasta
We had a bad luck in Chilean Antofagasta. It was a
holyday and all the banks were closed. In the biggest
hotel the money exchange was possible but they had not
have a sufficient amount of money. A taxi driver told us
that it is possible to change money at the
confectioner's. And really! In the middle of the
confectioner's was a glassed-in cabin, in which an
attendance changed all kinds of money.
We had seen lamas on the traffic signs
very often. Once
we saw a sign with bended cactus. Probably it stood
The hitch-hiking we had tried in Chile only. According
to the Lonely Planet guide the hitch-hiking ought to be
without problems there. But this was not our case. After
six hours of hitch-hiking we gave up and went by regular
bus. Only two of us succeeded. The next day it was the
same. The only one result was charred skin from the sun.
During the last hitch hiking we have stopped after five
hours of waiting a car with an opened bed in which Charles spent
next four chilly hours. The whole result: hitch-hiking
in Chile is a great misery and I would not recommend it