Dos semanas y quarto mil kilometers
Juni 29, 2011
That’s right 4.375 kilometers in two weeks. It was an intense but beautiful trip with a lot of different facets. I started of with a 14 hours bus trip to Iguazu. These are waterfalls at the border area of Brasil and Argentina. Just check out the pictures, I think they speak for themselves. Here is the link to see my itinerary: http://tinyurl.com/64xrox4
After two nice days in Iguazu I left for Asunción, the capital of Paraguay. Since I was working until the last days before leaving for my trip I was not really prepared. Traveling in countries where you do not speak the language that good should go with preparation. That was one of the lessons I have learned. It is totally doable without knowledge but its more difficult and unpreparedness can get you in messy situations. Like living as a illegal immigrant for five days in Paraguay. But to increase the excitement I want to write some lines about Asunción. The city at itself is very interesting and totally different from Argentina. Much more crowded polluted and the gap between rich and poor are direct next to each other. I have seen villas (slums) in Argentina but not two minutes away from huge governmental buildings. Ironic somehow, but very understandable in face of the fact that Paraguay has the most corrupt politicians in Latin America. I had a very good time because of the friendliness of the people, the food, the huge market districts which reminded me of Turkey and Syria and of course my couchsurfing hosts. I have stayed with two Paraguayans (Anai and Victor) and one Cyril (France). All of them were my couchsurfing hosts, but I was not the only guest. In their house stayed another French guy, a British guy, me and Gabriele from Italy. It was incredible: Everybody was hanging out with each other, went on different trips, cooking dinner together, cleaned the whole house, went out etc. This was an awesome experience and this was the reason why I stayed quite long in Asunción. This and the problem I had with my passport. It was weighing heavy on my conscious. My bus went into Ciudad del Este, which is a famous city for being smuggled goods. Unfortunately I had no time because I wanted to get as fast as possible to Asunción. Unfortunately, I was not aware of the fact that they do not stop at the Paraguayan border at Ciudad del Este. I got only an exit stamp in Argentina but not an entry stamp in Paraguay for whatever reasons. Since nobody got it I was not that concerned about it, but then I spoke to the people in Asunción and I realized the problem after some research. I was even more concerned and was pretty tense because of this. After some days with free Ballet, hippie markets (where I met German Paraguayans who were selling Currywurst), and a visit in a museum about torture during the Stroessner dictatorship I finally left with Gabriele. That was pretty good because he is able to speak Spanish fluently. I made up a plan and gave him all my pesos and Guaranis. I only hold around 100.000 which is approximately 20 Euros. I was quite sure that they will ask for money at the boarder. So it was the guy was quite happy when he noticed that I do not have an entry stamp. He asked for circa 200.000. I explained him my situation and told him that the busdriver said that I do not need a stamp, looked very sad, said a lot “disculpe” and “lo siento”. He asked my friend for additional money as well, but he told him that he does not know me and only met me on the bus. Finally I only paid the 100.000 guarani and left Paraguay and of course got all my money back from my friend. It was very exciting but I think such lessons have to be learned. After two bus trips of a total of 18 hours I arrived in Salta.
One step out of the bus and I found a very competitive hostel market there. Guys with fylers, photos and lot of information waited for me. Approximately 18 Euros for three nights with free-wifi breakfast, good service was a very good deal. They even paid my taxi to the hostel. Anyway, I was not quite sure what to do so I was just strolling around to check out some tourist offers. I could not find the company I was looking for so I called them. I just wanted to ask some questions about bungee jumping, because I was really not sure about all this. They paid my cab and I decided to do it. Ten minutes later I sat in a private car which drove me to the bridge where I was going to jump down from. For around 30 Euros it was totally worth it. Talked to the friendly lady who was driving me for two hours and practiced my Spanish. The jump itself was quite short but intense. People on the other side of the bridge where cheering and that helped me to let myself fall.
The next day I only stayed in and worked on a lot of organizational work. At the next day I climbed a mountain checked out the city and met with a French girl. We had a mutual friend from Rosario and it was a very good idea to met her, because we went to a very traditional place out of town. All the time some new guitar players and singers came in and started singing. Food was delicious and the atmosphere excellent. No tourists very authentic.
My last day in Salta started very early because I booked a tour. We drove the whole day, had a good English and Spanish speaking tour guide and we saw amazing places:
After Salta I spent two days in Cordoba and couchsurfed there. It was a very short visit but it was fun. I have been in Che Guevara museum in a little town nearby Cordoba. Was interesting but of course as you might know I am not a huge fan of him (in general not of people who are willing to kill innocent people for their believes). Then I visited for the last day Diegos family in a very small village. We had a good time visiting some farms around there and playing gold in his garden. Was very nice because I got some rest, excellent food and some nice chats with him and his wife. At the night I left for Buenos Aires to spend my last two days in Argentina in the capital. I was hanging out with Roland Sennholz the grandchild of the famous Austrian Economist. That was quite fun! After six days or so I will leave London tomorrow to fly to the New York. I will update you soon what happened here in London and what is going on in the USA. Have not had a comment in a while. Can somebody please change that?