top of page
  • Writer's pictureSuziePrevett

Week 108 - Bienvenidos a Paraguay!

We set off in the pouring rain from Posadas (Argentina) across the bridge over the Paraná river on Av. Access Sur to Encarnacion in Paraguay. There was hardly any queue on this rather wet Sunday morning at 10am to get across the border, which was a welcome surprise considering we'd seen the queues the previous day and were not relishing the thought of being stuck in it. It's always luck of the draw with border crossings and we'd got lucky on this occasion! It was a super fast check out of Argentina, and then about 30-40 mins to get into Paraguay, mainly due to the TIP's (Temporary Import Permits) for the motorcycles as they had to be handwritten. The staff on the border were very friendly, and some of the time taken was due to them being very inquisitive about the bikes, our trip and where we came from in the world. We're always happy to take the time to chat, it makes both their day and our experience more interesting I think.

After our successful and relatively quick border crossing we were officially in Paraguay and first stop was finding an ATM, which was relatively easy. Then we went in search of hostel Lotus, which we got to quite early as the time zone in Paraguay was a one hour behind Argentina, but all was well.

Lotus Hostal, Encarnacion, Paraguay -
Lotus Hostal, Encarnacion, Paraguay

They allowed us to park our bikes into small room to keep them safe, which was extremely hospitable of them, and put our minds somewhat at ease. The room was lovely, not very expensive and had air con, which was much needed as it was so humid like in the North of Argentina...not surprising as we were still only a stones throw from there!

We managed to find a local supermarket cafe for some re-fuelling and some provisions. It was an awesome buffet style cafe and you pay by the weight of the plate, which was a relatively new one for us. It was very yummy and only £8 for two large meals...bargain! Then we just chilled out in the hostel and just ate a few snacks later as we were still stuffed from our weighty lunch.

With the air con to help, we slept ok, and on having a quick squiz at the weather forecast we decided to ask if we could stay an extra day. There were some hefty thunderstorms forecast in the morning which we didn't feel overly excited about riding in! Instead we ate our nice, basic breakfast in slow time, and once the storms had subsided we moseyed around and down to beach, then to Plaza de Armas for a coffee and a bite to eat. It was then time to go in search for a SIM card for TIGO, which was highly unsuccessful. We always try to get a local SIM card as they are so cheap and it allows us to communicate with others should we need, including the use of What's App (don't forget to add some data) in areas without WiFi, which has been very helpful at times on this adventure.

Following our little outing to explore the local area, we retreated to our welcoming air conditioned room at the hostel as we were both sweating so much from the humidity, and downed a shit load of water to try and remain hydrated. It was just SOOOO Humid! I felt very odd, maybe it was dehydration, maybe it was something else, but it was time for a lie down and a bit of a read about Paraguay. The one thing that I gleaned from all of the reports from those who had travelled in Paraguay was that the Police sound scary! I really hoped we'd have an alternative experience.

Lotus Hostal, Encarnacion, Paraguay -
Lotus Hostal, Encarnacion, Paraguay

It was time to do a quick weather forecast check's apparently be dismal until at least Saturday and apparently most of the roads were mud so most recommended a 4x4. Bugger! We tried to make a bit of an alternative plan to the back roads for the short term as riding in lots of slippery mud on a fully laden DR650 didn't fill me with joy. It also meant sticking to the main route, which also meant more potential police stops. Sigh!

We left Encarnacion and headed to Carapeguá, about 90km South East of Asuncion. We found an absolutely brilliant hotel for a grand sum of £13 per night. The people working there were very lovely, and the weather actually turned out to be really pleasant once we arrived, and no stops at any of the multiple police check points...woohoo! We must have been going so slow and looked dirty enough that we didn't warrant the bother of stopping us, ha ha!

We decided to go for a bit of an explore locally and found that the petrol station had some decent food, which was not only cheap but also had amazing pudding. Win! Then we successfully acquired a SIM card. It turned out to be a bit of a challenge as people initially just said 'no' or wanted copies of documents, and once I got copies made and returned, they then said no. Our penultimate experience was in the Tigo shop where the computer was frozen...a classic case of 'computer says no'. The chap didn't turn the computer off and then on again (the usual option most turn to after a long stint of computer frozen-ness), he just sat and played on his phone while we waited, but sadly it still didn't work after quite a while, so we decided not to waste any more time watching the wheel of doom. It seems that attendance to work is key, but whether you actually do work or not is another thing, Ha ha! C'est la vie, definitely only a very minor thing in the grand scheme of things so we continued our search. We eventually found a 'Claro' shop that turned out to be good, and we left with a SIM card. Yey! 

Suzie with Fabio Fernández and the Paraguay Flag patches he donated to us -
Suzie with Fabio Fernández and the Paraguay Flag patches he donated to us

We went back to the petrol station the next day for some grub, which we enjoyed with the backdrop of a huge thunderstorm and very heavy rain. It was relentless and didn't stop for the whole day. Needless to say we stayed put. The following morning there was once again more heavy rain and another storm, but we waited a little and it stopped just as we loaded the bikes. Good timing! As we got going on our next stint on the road the weather got better and better, so much so we were sweltering by time got to Asuncion, and once again it the humidity returned with a vengeance.

We'd looked up an affordable hostel (Residencia Leones de Castilla) in advance but just couldn't find it. Eventually, after a few circles of the area we thought it was in we pulled up at the side of the road, which happened to be right next to a military base. One of the soldiers (Fabio Fernández) coming out of the base came over to talk to us and, after noticing we didn't yet have a Paraguay patch on our panniers (we tend to add them once in country and get hold of some decent glue), he went off to acquire some. How amazing is that?! He was so very friendly and smiley and also pointed us in the direction where he thought we may find the hostel.

Kelvin with Fabio Fernández and the Paraguay Flag patches he donated to us -
Kelvin with Fabio Fernández

On following his suggestion I walked a good way back along the pavement to some buildings with a restaurant and managed to find the hostel owner. We had to ride all the way around the area in the traffic once again to get to the right turn. I was red in the face so hot from the walking and slow riding through traffic in the heat and humidity, but it was worth it as it was a lovely, welcoming place.

Lunch at Pira Puerto just a couple of buildings away was fabulous, before heading to the dentist (Asunción Dental Clinic) in the afternoon to get a possible cracked tooth looked at, Fortunately there was no crack in the tooth, just a small chip that didn't need any work doing, much to my delight. Phew! Unbelievably it cost a mere 150000 (£18) for the appointment including a state of the art panoramic X-ray...I don't even get one of those at my home dentist! The place was spotless, the staff very professional and friendly, which I was blown away with after all of the horror stories you hear from people when seeking out medical and dental care in 'third world / developing' countries. So far we'd always had great treatment in several countries on this adventure, and all for a very minimal / reasonable fee overall.

Some of the Kitty Cats at Residencia Leones de Castilla -
Some of the Kitty Cats at Residencia Leones de Castilla

The next day was a lazy day. In the afternoon we experienced the loudest storm we'd had for a while, with such crazily heavy rain. We went to the little office at the hostel to pay for an extra night when we heard a loud bang and everything went off, so we gave up on that idea and came back later. Our laziness was topped off with dinner at the Spanish restaurant Taberna La Malquerida attached to the hostal, where we were served some scrumptious, fresh paella with cold beer...Yum-diddly-umptious! It was a great finale to our brief stay in Asunción!

Kelvin enjoying his Paella and pint at Taberna La Malquerida, Asuncion -
Kelvin enjoying his Paella and pint at Taberna La Malquerida, Asuncion

Paella and pint at Taberna La Malquerida, Asuncion -
Paella and pint at Taberna La Malquerida, Asuncion

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page