One very rarely visited UNESCO site

Trip Start Aug 17, 2013
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Flag of Paraguay  ,
Sunday, June 1, 2014

Arriving at a new city before the sun comes up sucks. You cant see shit, there is nothing open, no one is around except a few mangy taxi drivers who want to give you "el mejor precio" for wherever you want to go before they even know, where you want to go. To be honest this hasn't happened to me much in Argentina, but the north, where the influence becomes far more Paraguayn or Bolivian than anything else, it becomes more pronounced. I arrived in posadas this morning, a town sitting on the southern edge of Rio parana. To the north, my next destination; Encarnarion, Paraguay. Lucky for me, i jumped straight on one of the infrequent Sunday buses that crosses the border. 10 pesos ($1). The bus wound its way through posadas picking up an overflowing amount of people ready to take us to the border to exit.The Argentinian exit border lies on one side of a huge suspension bridge. The proceedings were short and sweet, i didn't even need my immigration card to exit. Things do get dodgier this end of the country. I jumped back on the bus which ferried me across the bridge to Paraguayan immigration. After the one question "why are you here?" I got my stamp. Welcome to ParaguayThe bus had already driven off without me so i had a bit of a wait until then next one passed. It was free though because i still had my ticket from the last bus. The terminal crept up on me and the bus didn't even stop so i got off at the following stop and walked to my hostel.Everything was closed. Everything except my hostel so i checked in, got some money then went to the only attraction nearby, the Jesuit ruins of Trinidad. Attractive not only because of their history, but because they are one of the worlds least visited UNESCO world heritage sites.I got on a "40 minute, direct bus" which stopped very 500m and took an hour and a half until i arrived at Trinidad. I still had about a 2km walk ahead of me. When i got to the ticket office i had to ring a bell to enter. The lady looked surprised to see anyone, and again she asked me why i was in Paraguay. To be honest, I didn't even know. I got my ticket and left the nice lady, who i think was really happy to have some sort of human interaction for the day. The ruins were empty. Like not just not many people, i was the only person there, for 3 hours. Literally. That's not to say the ruins weren't cool, they were awesome, but they are just so off the beaten path. The ruins were really cool, and it was a beautiful day so i just spent some time passing through all of the different sectors of this once pretty amazing city. There was a gigantic church, a house for the priest, a college, more housing, a water reservoir, a crypt, and a whole heap of beautiful open space.They had begun restoration and excavation of some of the stones and uncovered extremely detailed carvings of women and children, Jesus and a lot of other historic figures. I walked into the church and the carvings became more detailed and better preserved and although some of the walls were probably not too far from falling down, they were pretty spectacular.I did my walk back to the bus station and waited for about half an hour then boarded a bus back to Encarnacion. I still had a lot of daylight so i walked down to the Costanera or coastal walkway and stumbled across a really cool old abandoned workshop and what looked like a grain silo. Landmarks of the city. Posadas was easily visible on the other side of the river, after all, it is only about 2km away. Ahh the comfort and safety of Argentina in comparison to this highly undeveloped nation. I walked down to the landmark international bridge and took some photos while passing families having their Sunday asado and police officers fishing in the river while on duty. The place is backwards.Back to the hostel to chill out and hopefully get some food, when I met Dave, an interesting guy who at the end of his services volunteered for 2 years with the U.S. peace corps. He had an interesting story, living in the remote campo of Paraguay, speaking more Guarani than Spanish, teaching the locals how to obtain better yields from their crops, and promote sustainable farming.We went out for dinner and he introduced to me the Paraguayan lomito, basically the kebabs, the lebanese shops in Perth sell to drunk people at 3am. Overall pretty tasty. I tried to work out what i was going to do in the next few days so a lot of research was done before i headed off to bed.
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Comments

DD on

Can't believe that the ruins were completely abandoned! Although I'm sure you weren't complaining.

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