The first thing I have to mention was the bus journey. Amazing bus! Two floors and the seats were more comfy then any hostel bed I've slept on. We all wished the journey was longer so that we could have more of a lengthy sleep. We had to pass border control and got our stamp to Paraguay. Luckily Paraguay is close to the border, so it wasn't long before we all fell into a deep sleep on our comfy seats. Once we got to the bus terminal I could see the difference from Brazil. It was just like an indoor market with stalls all around the terminal. Claire and I grabbed a coffee to perk us up a bit and then all 3 of us jumped in a taxi. Claire speaks good Spanish so took the opportunity to test it on the taxi man, he enjoyed it and even tried to teach us a few phrases.
We arrived at our brightly coloured hostel, it was very cool and hippy like. The garden is full of fruit trees and hammocks and its all very peace and love themed if that makes sense. A long haired Swedish guy showed us around and eventually into our 8 people dorm. The hostel is different to any I've been to before, the people here are so different and quirky. There's a few older people here too. One crazy French man has been here 90 days.
An American guy recommended a place for breakfast so we made our way into the city. Very different to Rio, although the odd sky scrapper it wasn't even nearly as built up. Stands on the pavement side sold the national tea mate. Everyone walks around with massive leather flasks drinking the herb like drink. We tried some back at our hostel and I think it's a acquired taste. We had lunch outside in the 30 degree heat, perfect! Then wondered around the town and into the different markets. Taking in all the different old buildings with tower blocks and more modern buildings around them. We tried to get to the river but it was under construction. They are currently renovating it and it looks like eventually it will be beautiful, a place to stroll by the river or just chill out in the hot sun. The river is the border between Paraguay and Argentina, so again I got another glimpse of our next destination. After walking around in the hot heat for a good few hours we passed by a fruit market bought some pears and apples with a bit if a struggle. The stall owner obviously spotted I was a gringo (term used for white people/Europeans) and tried to short changed me. Figuring out the money is so hard as they deal with thousands! It's mental trying to tell someone they've short changed you by a couple of thousand! Josh worked out if we withdrew £165 we'd be millionaires!
When we got back to our hostel I quickly jumped into one of the hammocks in the sun and relaxed falling asleep for an hour. Such a good life!! As it was our last night with Claire we decided that we were going to eat out and have a few drinks. The crazy French man had returned with 60% alcohol and had poured us a strong drink before we had time to even refuse! We found a fresh lime from the garden and squeezed it in with a tiny amount of coke. It was lush! But very strong and without food I could feel it go to my head slightly. The crazy French man continued to talk to us, he is just mental!!! Going on about the war and his time in Chile where he was with two women who he called his wives. Then mentioning his wife and 17 year old son at home who he'd been away from for 90 days. He was quite a handful so we took it in turns talking to him sometimes slipping off for a bit to jump in the shower or get ready. After a few beers later we decided to go out and grab some food at the local gringo bar Britannia. The crazy old French man had bought his diner so wasn't coming with us, kind of a relief! The bar sold massive sangria towers which are 2.5 litres and you attach it to your table and pour yourself. Definitely helped us get drunk, we hadn't even eaten yet! Not knowing what to order josh and I shared a tapas option which as it was before 8.30pm was half price, so the equivalent to £5.00. Paraguay is just ridiculously cheap, the tapas was actually are massive platter of meats and chips and could definitely of fed 5 people. We tackled it but definitely couldn't finish it! We continued to drink until the early hours of the morning and made the most of our last night with Claire!
We woke up feeling slightly worse for wear and dehydrated but eventually made our way out of bed. Josh and I decided to go sort out our next bus and take a look at some historical buildings we hadn't seen yet. Also we needed some kind of food for our hangover! We hadn't quite decided where to head next to either Uruguay or Argentina. A bus to Argentina only cost £40 and included all our meals plus it was over night so accommodation was sorted too. We wanted to visit Colonial del Sacramento in Uruguay but if we took the bus there we would have to visit Montevideo first then get another bus. The bus to Montevideo was £106 as well so it made our decision easier for us, next destination Buenos Aires!
We continued to look around the city finding buildings that we had researched and going inside the city cathedral which is guarded by uniformed men with guns, very bizarre for a cathedral. Across the road from the cathedral was Lido Bar which we had heard was a top place to go to in Asuncion so we decided to visit. Again it was dirt cheap! We had a caesar salad and chips with guarana flavoured fanta. Certainly Helped get rid of our hangover! When we got back to our hostel the little puppy I had fallen in love with was there so I spent a good amount of time following her and picking her up. So cute! Made me miss Preston my pug even more.
We got everything packed again said our goodbyes to everyone at the hostel. The crazy French man had returned and forced some other strong drink down Josh's neck, poor Josh. We had a quick beer with Claire then left to make our way to the bus terminal. Claire had come to wave us off in the taxi accompanied by the crazy French man, he really is just mental. I'm now on the long journey to Argentina excited to see the 'Paris of South America', Buenos Aires!