Thursday, June 2, 2011
Sightseeing in Paraguay
We need to go to Asunción to visit the Brazilian and U. S Consulates. We want to check Tom’s visa for re-entering Brazil and he needs more pages in his passport. Geraldo has offered to drive us and we eagerly accept since the alternative is driving the RV which is never an enviable task in the larger cities. As we drive, Tom & I take in the sights of local rural towns and the larger, bustling suburb of Asunción, San Lorenzo. We head to the Brazilian Consulate first and are told the passport is good for another visit to Brazil. Since by now it is lunch time and the U. S. Consulate is closed, Geraldo takes us to one of their favorite dining spots in the city. It is a German restaurant and the food was indeed delicious. After lunch it was time to go to our own consulate. We were warmly greeted although we noticed that security at the U.S. embassy was significantly more than any other. We were told that adding pages was no problem and to wait about 20 minutes. As we were waiting, David came out and chatted with us about our trip to date. He is the secretary and consul for the embassy in Paraguay and has also travelled extensively in South America. We exchanges stories of our experiences and in no time we received the passport complete with another 24 pages. Geraldo offered to take us sightseeing but we had already left Winston for quite a while and wanted to get back to the RV so sightseeing would have to wait for another day. When we returned we did not receive our usual exuberant beagle greeting and noticed that Winston’s hind legs were bothering him again. After visiting the vet in Panama we have been following her instructions to the letter with periodic usage of Doxicycline but it appears it may be recurring. We will watch him for the next few days and see what transpires. The next few days we donate to checking out the area around San Bernardino. In the hills, the small town of Luque (Loo-keh) is famous for its silver filigree work. Hand-made by artisans following a tradition brought by the Spanish, the jewellery and trinkets are truly exquisite. We marvel at the intrinsical work and of course had to purchase some. The other town that interested us was Itagua, located about 7 mile east of Asunción. Famous for its hand crafted production of nanduti or spider web lace which is woven into handkerchiefs, tablecloths, hammocks and clothing. The delicate handmade lace is beautiful with gorgeous colors and again we are drawn to the craftsmanship and care which goes into each unique piece. Our credit card is getting a lot of use! But Winston is getting worse. He now needs help climbing into the RV and we discuss our problem with Silvia and Geraldo. They have three dogs, one of which has recently undergone cancer treatment so they recommend the University of Asunción Veterinary School and Hospital which is located in San Lorenzo. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday found us going back and forth between San Bernardino and the hospital as Winston underwent a series of blood tests, sonograms and x-rays. It wasn’t his old problem but a new one. An x-ray is showing some deterioration of his hip joint and there is a start of mild hip dysplasia. They recommend trying a change in diet and start using the Royal Canin for mobility strength and aspirin and to stick with this for about six weeks. They advise surgery should be a last resort. Well, at least it isn’t some rare, tropical disease. Oh, and the three days of tests and consultations cost us…about $35.00, amazing. Since there is no quick cure, we decide it is time to head back to Brazil. Before going to Peruibe and our rented home, we want to visit Bonito in the Pantanol region. It will take us a couple of days driving north in Paraguay to get to the border so we bid farewell to Silvia and Geraldo and San Bernardino and start the journey.