South America | Paraguay – What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Paraguayan bus travel!!
Hi guys, here’s an update on my travels. Rio was cool except for the rain and cockroaches, so the Flamingos training, Foz do Iguacu was great, waterfall was amazing except for the heat. I won’t bore you with all the details, if you want to know more, read a guidebook. Really interested in venting about my 48 hours from hell, which have left me a shell of my former self..
So here I was leaving Foz do Iguacu, which is on the Brazilian border, with Argentina and Paraguay on the other sides of the river, by the way this story is not short.
So I took the bus across to Ciudad Del Este in Paraguay. This is a 1km trip over the border, which took over 2 hours coz only one direction can cross and they change every half hour. It was also 36 degrees and no air conditioning. You can see why this is one of the 5 most corrupt cities in South America.
Anything you can imagine was being carried across people’s backs over the border, and no one stopped them. If you want anything dirt-cheap this is the place to come. However it did strike me as odd that no one stamped my passport, but I didn’t really care, until I bought my ticket to the capital at the bus station and they told me without a stamp I couldn’t leave Paraguay. Great!!, so I had and hour to get to customs and get back to catch my bus, and I used all my money on the phone. So I got the bus half way there then had to run the rest of the way, and the streets were packed. And it was boiling.
Then I got there and they said I needed to go back to the Brazilian side to get it stamped there. I was about to kill someone when they let me go. Then I couldn’t get a bus back because half the border is closed for half and hour and so this time it was the side coming from brazil so now bus, and not enough money for a taxi, so I had to run to citibank, only 25 mins left and the sun is 35 degree then I got the bus to ascension, that was another nightmare, kept stopping, one of those ones that can be flagged down anywhere, so by the time we arrived we were majorly late.
Then I found there was a bus to Santa Cruz leaving in half an hour, but not enough cash again, so had to go through whole taxi bank saga again.. Could not be bothered to stay the night, frankly the place looked like a dump anyway the goddamn bus had no air-conditioning, and the night lights didn’t work, they said they’d feed us on the bus, I didn’t realise this meant that the bus was non stop. 30 hour journey, and to make matters worse they filled the toilet with boxes so you couldn’t use it.
Then we stopped after 3 hours and the drivers went to sleep. Couldn’t believe it. Then 3 hours later another bus pulls up, out apparently our had broken down, I’m at this point wandering outside coz the snoring going on in the bus is absolutely disgusting. Its 4am, they fix the bus after an hour and a new bus turns up asking if we want to swap and hell go back to base with the faulty one, but our bloody driver says no. So off we go. Then after 2 hours we break down again. surprise surprise.
They managed to get it to a gas station where we cool our heels for another hour b4 setting off again. We are running 8 hours late. Then at noon we leave the road and spend the next 9 hours on a dust track. The windows are open coz its embarking, but we’re totally covered in crap, and I’ve got mosquito bites everywhere and they’re killing me and my ankles have swollen, and there are no towns just trees and dust. Aagh!!!!!
Anyway we finally reach the Bolivian border where we hit a decent road, then at midnight we stop, why I ask? Did I forget to mention they haven’t fed us since noon, and i8 had to clean my teeth spitting out the side of a moving bus coz they wouldn’t stop they stopped the bus coz our driver decided to sell us, coz he basically couldn’t be bothered to cart us the rest of the way, so he saw another bus going to santa cruz and paid him to take us.
In our bus I was finally sort of happy coz only 7 of us were left so there was loads of room. This new bus was totally packed, so people were sitting on the stairs. We still had 10 hours to go. Bastard!!!
Anyway finally made it, and all I have to say to anyone who even thinks about that trip, is FLY!!!!
But now I’m in Santa Cruz, Bolivia and am slowly returning to some semblance of calm.