I just come back from high altitude. It is time to cycle between hot weather and many mosquitoes to vote Korean President in Asuncion. I hope I can arrive on time for Election.
There is no ATM and exchange shop. But fortunately, I can change money in gas station. I have 60$ in dollar for emergency so that I can change that money to local money. I have also some Bolivian money so that now I have total 70$ as Guarany, Praguay money. I hope I can go to Asuncion with 70$ (301,000 Guarany). I was bitten by mosquitoes over 200 times yesterday. I really hope there are no more mosquitoes. In the morning I see hundreds of bugs on my front bag. Oh manβ¦
It starts too hot weather from the morning. Many butter flies are around the road.
After an hour the worries come on the road that too many mosquitoes bite all my body. I feel so terrible but there is no car for an hour. I itch everywhere with one hand. I am lucky that I find one car and ask them to get a ride.
Thank to them I get better with air conditioner in the car. It is Empanada which is popular in Colombia, too. It seems that empanada is more popular in Paraguay. I eat those with them who gave me a ride.
I can’t ride a bike because of too many mosquitoes so that I hitchhike to Mariscal which has immigration. It is my first time that I couldn’t get a stamp in the border. I hope it is no problem at other country that one day is empty on my passport.
The time is changed that one hour is faster than Bolivia. It is too late to go to the next city. I set up my tent at Immigration. They feed me. It is Lamp which I eat at the first time. I love it. Mabye because I am too hungry or Lamp is always taste? I drink also beer. I see Paraguay people love beer. I guess because it is too hot.
I can hear sound of frog loudly, because there are a lot of bugs. People recommends me to sleep in the office that I can sleep with air conditioner. But I have to wake up at 3 am because one bus will come at that time and get the stamp. So I decide to sleep at outside because I don’t want to wake up in the midnight.
But it is my mistake that I can’t sleep at outside. IT IS TOO HOT.
I find the repair shop, but I can’t find the owner. I have to ride a bike with a broken spoke.
I see some German on the road. They say there is the town, which is called Filadelfia where many German live. They stop their car and ask me I am okay. Actually there are not only German cars which ask me that I am okay, but also many cars of Paraguay ask me I don’t have any problem. They think it is too hot to ride a bike so that they worry about me.
There is no shade where I can take the rest.
I feel like my feet will be burn when I take the rest on the road, because asphalt is too hot ever.
There is nothing on the road between Mariscal to the next town. I feel so lucky that I buy 5L of water in the Mariscal where I started from today.
I need a big tree!!! Not grass!!
The Chaco is a large geographic area that there are a lot of different animals. I see Armadillo on the road. It is illegal to hunt Iguana and Armadillo. But some people kill them to eat.
I can take the rest well when cloud covers the sun. It is like playing with the sun. When I see the shade at front, I cycle my best. Then shade is gone. So later I give up running to shade.
Riding after 83 km (51 mi), I find the town. In entrance of the town, there is large yard so that I go into there. It is military. They let me sleep inside because it is too much bugs to sleep at outside. My face becomes hot. One of army tries to help to find repair shop and pharmacy, but we fail. Pharmacy is closed and no time to fix bike.
Snake which they got from the forest is sleeping with him. What a scared!
Terere is an infusion of yerba mate, similar to mate but prepared with cold water rather than with hot, and in a slightly larger vessel. It is originally from Paraguay, and is found also in northeastern Argentina and southern and western Brazil. I see Terere so many times that all most everybody loves to drink Terere in Paraguay.
In the night we eat pizza with cold drink. When I met them, I was too hot. But now I get better. David who is the right on the picture tells me many story about Paraguay. I am so interested to hear. I am really interested to hear life style, culture and their history.
When I take shower, there are tons of bugs in the bath room. But I do thank that I could clean my body. I can sleep without sweating in the night because of pan on the ceiling.
It is military where I slept. Army friends give me 10 L of water so that I don’t need worry about water today.
The morning in the chaco
I see a really big grasshopper in the Ecuador museum. Now I can see that big size on the road.
I find the shade on the back road. It is really cooler than asphalt.
Today is also too hot. I think it is around 45 c (113 f) at noon.
It is cute tree.
There are many ranches in the Chaco. Especially many cows!
Today is better than yesterday that I can see some grocery on the road.
It is too hot like Central America, but Paraguayan buys Ice more than Central America. I think it is because of Terere.
It is quite interesting to see backpacker in small village.
Around 6 pm, too many mosquitoes bite me that I cannot ride a bike anymore. But there is no car so that I keep going. After half an hour I see some car and ask to help me. They give me a ride to the next town. Also they say I can get help for the night at army.
Today it is bigger army. A military wants to see my passport. I wait almost 30 minutes. They come to me and tell that here is too dangerous. It gets almost dark so that I feel so scared to go to other place. They try to show me which place is safe. I think I have to go other place. But they doesn’t mean what I expect. They mean the yard is dangerous to sleep so that I have to sleep on the top of the army’s building. I think the chaco is the real wild to the people.
It is good to sleep on the top because of no bugs. The problem is the floor is too hot, because it is burned on the day time.
There is no water for me in the army but they tell me that I can take the shower at a gas station which is in front of Army. After shower, I drink a beer and it makes my body cooler.
The big military is not like small military which was friendlier. The next day I see dead snake. In the Chaco there are lots of different animals, but I only see the dead animals which were killed by car.
I am so happy that cloud block the sun!! Yeah!!!!
I see the sign of Puma so that I think I might see puma on the road. But that sign means gas station which is named Puma. (I talk with other cyclist that he sees Puma at the road in Chaco.) There is cat which looks like Puma. Haha. The owner of Gas station gives me an advice that here are many mosquitoes. He even gives me Mosquito Repellent Cream for free. (Actually I already have it, but it doesn’t help much. )
Every life takes the rest at the noon. It is crazy hot.
They build the house with the wood. It is different from the Bolivia which build the house with the sand.
I have the lunch at the small restaurant.
I want to eat typical Paraguay food. I didn’t know that what kind of chicken they will bring when I ordered pollo(chicken). But when I get my dish, I see only a fried chicken.
It looks so peaceful, but the true is too hot. It is really hard to breathe after noon as if I am in high altitude. It is not because high altitude which has lack of air, but too hot air.
There are many palm trees.
And also many cows.
I get terror of Mosquitoes when I am in the town before the sunset. The aboriginal people let me set up my tent at their yard. To put up the tent at the sand?is really better than at the building . The ground is not hot like yesterday.
I love Orion constellation because it is easy to find. Do you know where Orion is on the picture?
The center is Orion. The left is rabbit which Orion hunts. The lower is bull which Zeus changes to. And there is the Jupiter.
I hardly know about southern night sky.
The only one I know is Crux. (If you know other constellation on the picture, please let me know.)
The upper right corner on the picture is Canopus.
The next day I am being ready to leave.
Many trucks ship cows.
I think cow is really special, because when I pass them, almost every cow looks at me like the human. Sometimes I feel guilty that I love the meat.
I was wondering why they are standing. But I see why it is. The driver stings them to stand with long stick.
Every time the sign shows up at the entrance of the village. When I see it, I feel like I find Oasis at the desert.
Normally 200 ml of cola is 1,000 gu (25 cents). But the many things is twice price at the north. I pay it for 2,000 gu (50 cents.). Paraguay has the biggest currency that I’ve seen(1$ = 4300 Guarani). The second country is Colombia (1$ =1,700 pesos). The third one is my country, Korea! (1$=1,100 won)
I feel like Paraguay people are the most kind and generous. Also I think they are so smart that they speak two languages which are Spanish and Guarani. It seems like that pronounce of Guarani is like chines.
Some aboriginal house is like it.
Sometime they make the bag and sell it in front of their house.
Photo for congratulation of 11,000 km (6875 mi)
It is left 113 km (70 mi) to get to Asuncion. It means the distance to vote the Korean President is 113 km (70 mi). Absentee voting of Korean President is from 5th to 10th of December. Today is 6th of December. I think I won’t late for voting. (In Korea Election is only one day, 19th of December.)
I get a flat tire again. I think my tires are worn away.
During fixing tube, some Paraguayan stop at me and ask many things which every time I hear. They also fill my water bottle with cold water.
This time other truck driver waits me at the side road. He gives some food and share cold water which he is supposed to use for terere.
This is Terrorist on the road to me. I don’t like to kill anything, but these days there is exception.
Chaco is really beautiful, but the true is too hard for people.
The time is around 7 pm. One car stops at me and wants to give a ride to the next town, because the next town is too far and it get dark in one hour. But I mind when man gives me a favor on the road, which I don’t ask at first. Who knows I can find the house where I can set up my tent. I just keep going and see some big building.
I though it can be Army. But it is the factory of dairy product. The people are so kind that I can find the place for the night. There is no mosquito so that I pitch my tent beside the lake.
They give me cold yogurt.
It is the guys who hand me cold yogurt.
Around the sunset, terrorist, mosquitoes, start attacking me. I run away to my tent and itch all of body. I can’t believe that there are already many mosquitoes at inside of the tent. The people of factory help me to move my tent to in front of the building.
But there is another problem that the floor is too hot to sleep.
Another sun goes up in Chaco.
During cycling, I hear some broken sound. Here is another broken spoke.
It is left to the place where I can vote. 49 km (30 mi)! I want to fix my broken spoke before Asuncion.
It is really hard to find repair shop. There is small shop and I ask he can fix spoke. He says he has tool for broken spoke, so I get rid of every bag from the bike. But he can’t find tools and tries to force putting spoke. I say please I will do it Asuncion, so don’t force! I ask how much it is. He says I don’t need to pay it.
It is long time no see bank. I’ve not seen bank at the north.
They say it is tortilla. The word is used at different way from Mexico. Always there is hot sauce on the table in Paraguay.
It is time to move the place which has lots of water. The north doesn’t have enough water. But the South has a lot of water. All is because of Rio River. Always it is too stressful to cycle between big cities. The bus drivers are too close to me so that I feel so scared. PLEASE! PLEASE! Don’t close to me, please!!! ?It is hard to find the hotel. When I get to center, I find really nice new hostel. It is only for 40,000 Gu (9$), but it is so clean and air conditioners are working for 24 hours at everywhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel like I come to the heaven from the hell.
The next day I wander to find the place where I can vote. Usually it depends on how many Korean people are in the city. If there are too many people but the embassy is too small, they choose other place for voting.
In Paraguay the place is Korean school. I am so happy ever that I make it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It is time to exercise my rights.
Actually it is kind of the first time that people can vote at foreign country. The real true is that it is not first time. The dictator discontinued absentee voting in 1770 to keep his dictatorship. There is so funny thing that a leading candidate is now the dictator’s daughter who has never worked like us, but has lives with tons of money which his father steals from the people who now support her. It is really complicated to explain why she is a leading candidate. But the only thing what I can say at here is You know ‘people don’t think too much’
This is Korean school. What a big! So impressed!
Voting is the most important in democratic country. I DO HOPE PEOPLE DO NOT GIVE UP THEIR RIGHT.
LET’s See on 20th of December. The True! Survey is True or not. Where Korea is going!
Wish me lots of luck!