Concordia, Argentina to Salto, Uruguay

This morning a taxi driver took us across the Uruguay River to Salto, Uruguay. The temperature was a steady 50 degrees here with rain all day. Crossing the border was easy and the immigration check was fast and painless.

This afternoon we walked around Salto. We visited a small art Museum and went down to the river.

Paso de los Libres to Concordia – Sunday, 13 October

What a difference a day makes! Today was much cooler than the last few days. We continued to head south. Before we left Paso de los Libres we walked into the center for coffee.

When we left for the bus station it was overcast. While we waited for our bus we had thunder and lightening and a few heavy rain showers.

We had a pleasant bus ride to Concordia across the river from Uruguay.

Prices in Argentina have been mostly quite cheap. Dinner last night with steak, a good bottle of wine, and desert was $31. Our hotel was about ten miles from the bus station and the taxi ride was $9.

Posadas to Paso de los Libres

We are making our way south from Iguazu to Montevideo, Uruguay. The weather has been in the 90s and today we had another six hour bus ride with no air conditioning. Luckily we were carrying lots of water. I don’t think I have ever sweated as much as I have the last two days.

I think we are in Argentine Gaucho (cowboy) country now. We saw a gaucho today and have seen several stores with horse and riding gear. The terrain looks kind of like Wyoming or the Australian outback.

After arriving in Paso de los Libres we cooled off a while at the place we are staying and then walked several blocks to the town center where we had pizza and cold beer for dinner and bought more water for tomorrow. They had a special insulated holder on our table for the liter bottle of beer that we shared.

Iguazu to Posadas

We had a lovely morning. We hiked the lower forest trail again to enjoy some of the Iguazu waterfalls.

We also saw lots of monkeys,

and coates. There were a lot of coates trying to steal people food. They were really pests.

When we got back to the hotel we went for a quick swim in the pool before checking out.

Our afternoon was not so good. We took a six hour bus ride from a Iguazu to Pasados. The temperature was in the 90s and there was no air conditioning on the bus.

All is good this evening. We are in our air conditioned hotel eating empanadas from the local grocery store.

Asunción, Paraguay to Iguazu Falls, Argentina

Today we took a seven hour bus ride from Asunción across Paraguay to Ciudad de Este on the Brazilian border. Our bus ride was lengthened when our bus broke down and we had to wait for another bus. The delay was only about forty five minutes.

We originally thought the bus ride would take five and a half hours but we pulled onto Ciudad de Este about eight hours after leaving Asunción. At every stop on the way vendors get on selling trinkets and food. At one point we bought some pastries, chipas, that are traditional to Paraguay from a woman with a basket of them on her shoulder.

At the bus station in Ciudad de Este we found a wonderful, friendly taxi driver who drove us across the border into Brazil and then across the border into Argentina. He knew all the ins and outs of the border posts and made what could have been daunting easy.

After a two hour taxi ride we arrived at our Meliã hotel in the Iguazu National Park in Argentina. This is the view of the falls that greeted us when we walked into the lobby.

I’m experimenting with making videos of some of our travels. You can find today’s video here.

Asunción Day 2

Yesterday when we visited the old train station we talked to some very friendly people who were part of an architecture conference going on right now in Asunción. They told us there would be a tour today of La Chacarita a poor neighborhood nearby that the architects have plans to improve.

At the train station we toured the small railroad museum. I liked the slogan above the keys on this typewriter.

When we talked to the conference people this morning we learned that the tour would start at 2:30. They recommended a good place with traditional food for lunch called Bolsi.

On the walk to lunch we stopped and bought some traditional Paraguay lacework coasters. Duke loves to negotiate the price so he had a good time.

Bolsi was very busy but after a short wait we got seats at the counter. We enjoyed a great meal.

The tour of La Chacarita was fascinating. It is a very poor area originally populated by people from the interior. We were shown places where the architects have made plans to improve the area, clean up garbage and make the neighborhood more livable.

We also saw some beautiful murals and mosaics.

Almost all the people on the tour were students about a third our age. The weather today was hot and humid. Marie, who speaks English and who we met yesterday stayed with us the whole tour. She helped us understand the Spanish and to understand what we were seeing. She made the whole experience so much more interesting.

All the people we have met in Paraguay have been extremely friendly and helpful. It’s a wonderful country.

By the end of the tour We were very hot, sweaty and tired so it was heaven to go back to the hotel, shower, and put our feet up.

For dinner we went to a wonderful restaurant not far from our hotel, Mburicao. We each had great steak and an amazing desert.

San Francisco to Asunción, Paraguay

Duke and I are off on another adventure. This time we are planning to visit Paraguay, Argentina , Uruguay and Chili. After three flights and more than twenty four hours of traveling we arrived at our hotel in Asunción, Paraguay at about one am this morning. I slept like a log once my head hit the pillow.

Paraguay is a land locked country of about seven million people located on the Tropic of Capricorn. It borders Bolivia, Brazil, and Argentina. Today we went walking to check out Asunción.

We checked out an exhibition in the old train station.

We bought lunch from the vendors nearby,

and walked around the government buildings.

This is the Palacio de López.

Spain got us in the habit of having a drink around five. Today we sampled the local beer,

We ate dinner in our hotel. They have a dinner time like the Europeans here. The restaurant opened at eight pm.