Before leaving San Ignacio, we finally had the ceremonial burning of the pants. Jason has been threatening to torch his greasy oily work pants for a while, and they finally got so disgusting that there was no other choice. They were gone in seconds. Then, we headed up to the capitol of Asuncion.
As usual, Red Beard has opened up some doors for us here in Paraguay. Two years ago we were invited to visit Jeremy in Asuncion. Two take-aways on this: 1) that’s 2 years ago…we don’t forget an invitation! and 2) Jeremy didn’t really know who we were… the invitation was from his brother.
Luckily, Jeremy didn’t seem to mind. We met him, his wife, Bel, and 7 year old son, Pablo at their house and instantly hit it off. The boys spent the evening making Lego creations and playing and we learned all about Paraguay.
Jeremy had a combi just like ours back in the States and had been thinking of getting another some day. We were able to show him that it just fit inside his gate (where we camped) and he got to reminisce about the good ole’ days in his old VW. He’s now shopping for a bus.
The next day, we headed out to the lakeside town of Aregua. Jeremy and Bel have some friends building a cob house out here, so we checked out the progress they’ve made and hiked around their property looking for monkeys (no luck this time). Then Bel introduced us to tereré– which is an iced yerba mate drink. It’s a Paraguayan obsession. Like mate in Argentina, everyone here carries around a huge thermos of iced water, and pours it into a a cow horn cup filled with mate leaves and other herbs. It’s alot more refreshing in the heat that a hot mate. Bel thought it needed something, so she plucked a few leaves of a bush next to us and threw them in too. She was right, it did improve! We’re learning that the Paraguayans know the uses of all the local plants and put them to good use.
We also visited the park at Lake Ypacaraí where the kids took advantage of the playground. And, we all took advantage of the water feature on the welcome sign to cool off.