Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Asuncion, and finally doing some sightseeing again

Having dragged ourselves kicking and screaming from the lovely hotel in Asuncion, we arrived at our hostel and settled in there. It was actually quite a nice hostel, with a lovely courtyard garden and the odd hummingbird visitor.

This time though we did make it out into the city, and with my back feeling quite a lot better, we wandered around the main squares, albeit in search of football again.

Nic wanted to watch the Liverpool -v- Chelsea league match, but the only place that we could find it on was a taxi rank in the street, and we couldn't stand there for the whole match so he had to do without.

Plaza Uruguay is a huge square with the old railway station in it.  Paraguay was the first place in South America to get trains, so the railways here were quite a big deal, but now there are very few in use.

We were a little disappointed that we weren't able to get the tourist train, which apparently is something out of the fifties, with actors doing sketches along the way.

We had read that in Asuncion we would find people keeping their animals in the streets.  We didn't see any evidence of that, and in fact it took us a while to realise it, but there weren't even any stray dogs around, which is a first for South America. But there is certainly a poorer side to Asuncion.  We spotted this before we even reached the square when we saw an obviously homeless woman squat down with her toilet paper at the side of the road.

Plaza Uruguay itself is somewhat down at heel, with some of the poor of the city living on one side of the square.  They do seem to be making some efforts to work on the square itself, but I have no idea whether they will do anything to house the people living there.

But we did spot one really quite simple thing that they could do in Asuncion to make the city seem more cared for and look better - learn to paint within the lines.  As we walked around, we saw the kerbs were painted white, which can look quite nice if done neatly.  But this looked like they had just walked along sloshing the paint out of the tin.  It was a complete mess, with paint splatters across the path, and made the place look slapdash.

A rather more impressive square was the Plaza Los Heroes, with it's very fancy bank building, and mausoleum for some of Paraguay's bigwigs.  The latter is an impressive building, and at night the dome is lit up in changing colours.  Nearby were the many market stalks selling the various souvenirs including the ñanduti, which is their intricate lacework.

I also like the buses, which like some other cities are old style and brightly coloured.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We like to hear from you too, so please leave us a message here. We are also happy to answer any questions if we can help. Comments are moderated so will not appear straight away and there could be some delay in replying if we are travelling.