The days in Foz de Iguaçu flew by. It were some beautiful days with good talks. That is one of the best parts of traveling, the people you meet and the conversations you have. Corinna, thank you for your company these past few days. And this also meant we had to leave Foz again. But deciding where to go this time was not that easy. We know we wanted to take the boat from Buenos Aires to Uruguay and while traveling to Uruguay we want to visit Paraguay but mainly we wanted to experience nature.
The Lonely Planet (LP) gave us two routs southward. Or we could go to Asuncion (the Capital of Paraguay) or we took the road to Posadas. Both routes would get us into Paraguay but both without much nature. Close to Foz there are several nature reserves (founded by the Itaipu dam. Might this be a great place to stay a couple of days in nature? But further research told us these aren’t easily accessible by public transport or you need a 4×4.
We found another reserve which is called Esteros del Ibera. It lies in the north-east of Argentina and it is a huge swamp with a wide variety of plants and animals. It didn’t take long to decide that this was the place we are going to for 3 days. After this the rest of the route followed quickly. From Foz we will take the night bus tot Asuncion. This way we will get a feel of Paraguay so what better place to do this then Paraguay, right?
Afterwards we will take the bus to Resistencia, a city known by its 500 public artworks and statues in the city. This does not sound really exciting but it sounded better then Corrientes. This city lies right next to Resistencia. We will stay here just one day and then we will take the bus to Mercedes where we can take a minibus to Colonia Carlos Pellegrini. The only town in giant Esteros del Ibera. A pretty long travel which we are happy to take.
The night bus took us in 6 hours to Asuncion and it was still dark when we arrived. We are starting to get used to the whole bus traveling thing. But getting a good night of sleep remains hard. Hopefully this will change in the future. Paraguay is very cheap. For example the cabs really cost nothing. So we took one to our hostel El Jardin which lies in the old downtown. The hostel is nice. It has a cosy internal garden and our private room was reasonably clean. And we could get a cup of coffee from the breakfast. Which was much needed to really wake up. Also our room was ready for so we could put our bags there.
Paraguay is one of the cheapest countries of South America. And we notice there are not many investments in the roads and maintenance on buildings hardly occurs. But still the city has something but what we don’t know. The people are very helpful and there a nice vibe. The city has potential which it does not show on the surface. There are a few cool sites to see like the Palacia del Govierno. This is where the government is based. The Casa de la Independencia is a small free museum about the independence of Paraguay. The old train station is beautiful because of its dilapidated appearance. And if you want to see a great street market then Plaza Libertad is the place to be. You can see that the government has invested in the river boulevard but it misses the flow that we would like. The panorama of the city is great from here by the way. Around the city are a few smaller towns worth visiting but we did not do this.
But nature was calling and a day after our arrival we took the bus to Resistencia. The border crossing between Paraguay and Argentina was terrible. First of all we had to wait in the bus for over an hour before we could go to the border control. Also our baggage had to be unloaded and was screened. When we were finally on our way we were pulled over three times for routine control including dogs sniffing us out and routine checks and questioning. Because of this we were in Resistencia with a three hours delay.
So we quickly took a cab to our hotel Diamante. It was slight overpriced for what we got but during our search we did not had a lot of choice in this town. The town does not has a lot to see. As mentioned the town is full of art and statues in all sizes but this isn’t really for us. Maybe the most interesting was the free museum Del Hombre Chaqueño. It is really small but they explain the history of the first inhabitants of the area. From the natives till the first colonists.
So we do some grocery shopping and collect some cash at the ATM because this is impossible in Pellegrini. Even paying you bills with credit card is impossible so we were prepared. That afternoon we took the bus to Mercedes, Corrientes. We already know we are going to experience some brilliant moments there. We just feel it. But more about that next time.