Back in 2009 my husband and I took a trip to South America, visiting 3 countries: Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. To sum up the trip, there were 7 things that impressed me the most:
1) Filligrano – handmade silver jewelry. Paraguay is famous for its handmade goods, starting from hand-woven tablecloth and ending with silver filligrano jewelry. I took a couple of photos of things I bought for myself and some family members while there. As far as I know, the silver does not get melted in the process, but somehow gets burned by hand. Not exactly sure how it happens, but the results are impressive. I do not think the pictures do it justice:
2) Hotels in Argentina nad Paraguay called “Telos”. I do not mean regular hotels used by tourists, I am talking about the hotels rented out to locals for a few hours at a time for personal use… It does not cost much and is often utilized by married couples who desire some variety and unmarried couples who do not have a private meeting place to enjoy the company of a loved one. The telos are absolutely gorgeous and are very luxurious. There is jacuzzi, beautiful bathrooms, huge flat screen TVs, mirrors on the ceiling, variety of good wines, champagne and many more. Every one of them guarantees absolute privacy to the point that it is absolutely impossible to see your neighbors or to be seen by neighbors or even hotel’s staff. You enter through a garage and once you are in the room, you cannot come out and if you do, the host gets notified immediately and will find you before you get a chance to do anything outside of your room. As my friend explained to me, this is done if a jealous husband is trying to track down a cheating wife (or vice versa) and checks into the telo with a goal to get out and search the rooms for his spouse.
We found out this interesting fact when checked in to one of those with another couple and wanted to stop by their room for a second.
Usually rooms are rented for 2-3 hours at a time, but if you check in after 11 pm, you can stay till the morning for the same price. That’s what my husband and I usually did since we always stayed with friends or relatives and had no way of getting any privacy.
Breakfast is served right into the room in such a way that there is no need to see the maid. there is a drawer with a revolving shelf where your breakfast tray gets inserted from the outside of the room and which you can grab at your convenience.
The hotel staff never sees you because there is no interaction since they only come in once, after you check out, in order to clean the room for the next guest
The picture below each can interpret their own way:) I thought it was a device for giving massage…
3) Smugglers – right on the bridge, in the middle of the day, at the border between Paraguay and Brazil, I saw a group of men lowering down into the water some boxes tied with a rope. Below was a boat waiting to collect those boxes. While passing by in a cab I managed to take some photos.
4) The quantity of Paraguayans consuming terere – local drink made from yerba mate, cold water, ice, and a couple of slices of lemon or lime. It’s a cold equivalent of Argentinian mate. All this gets poured into a special thermos and them consumed out of a guanpa via bombilla – a special metal straw-like device. The guanpa – a cup for terere or mate gets passed around in a circle. Very refreshing and essential for hot South American weather.
When driving down one of the streets of Asuncion, I wanted to take a photo of this one guy sitting on the side of the road, sipping his terere but we were going too fast. i got a little upset, but then I noticed that almost every other person on any street was drinking terere, including a coupl of cops patrolling the street. That was especially entertaining for me:)
5) Brasilian women – absolutely charming, dark-skinned, with curly blond hair and blue eyes, very sporty, small-chested but with a very ample round bottoms. Very sexy and exotic.
6) Igiasu waterfall – Humongous quantity of water, myriades of splashes, tropical plants, millions of butterflies of breathtaking beauty, incredibly bright-colored flowers. That’s exactly how I pictured paradise…
7) San Telmo in Argentina – it is like entering a fairy tale. Or a book or a movie about tango….
Narrow streets filled with colorful Argentinian men, sounds of Cumparsita, dancing couples. It’s a place you do not want to leave. Ever.