Stranded in Resistencia   Leave a comment

We have changed our original itinerary; from Asunción we won’t be carrying on through the Paraguayan Chaco to Bolivia via the Mennonite Communities, but go south again to Argentina and on to Salta in the north-west of the country. Literally everyone I’ve talked to about Argentina told me that I must go to Salta. We will miss one of my favourite places in Bolivia, Tarija, as a result as we will only join the original route in Villazón, but thus I will also see something new.

In the morning we still have some time to enjoy the sights and delights of Asunción.

Pantheon of the national heroes

The Treasury

The Lido Bar by day

Then we catch the first bus of the day to Resistencia, the capital of the Chaco region in Argentina. It should arrive in plenty of time to give us the chance to catch a connecting bus to Salta at either 19.00 or 22.00 hrs.

We have not even left the Paraguayan capital when the bus breaks down…

After two and a half hours we can finally carry on. When we arrive at the border there is a huge traffic jam – six double-decker busses (like our own) are in front of us, each taking half an hour for all passengers to get their exit and entry stamps and have their luggage checked – or searched if they are unlucky.

We are allowed to cross the bridge at José Falcón on foot; and although I know that I shouldn’t, I take a few pictures of the chaos around me. And promptly, when I return to the bridge, I am stopped by an officer who politely asks to show him my photos and delete one after the other…

Dusk is falling when we can eventually travel on. To cut a long journey short, when we arrive at Resistencia it is already 23.00 hrs and all the connections are gone – the next bus doesn’t leave until 18.00 hrs the following day. We are stranded. Now in Europe, you would be accommodated in some nice hotel at the bus company’s cost and be paid some compensation on top but we are in South America (count yourselves lucky the next time you’re about to complain).

The most the bus company can do for us is that the friendly agent walks with us 100 metres from the terminal and shows us a hospedaje they normally use in emergencies like ours. The room is cheap and once upstairs we understand immediately why.

The communal bathroom

It’s already after midnight, the town centre is another five kilometres away and we are absolutely knackered from the journey. So we decide to stay and file this night under Experiences.

Posted 13 September 2014 by Pumpy in Argentina, Paraguay, The 2014 Rucksack Trip

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