Monday, March 19, 2012

Stationing in Encarnacion for the visit of Jesuit Guarani Missions - II

With the pretty Bulgarian Tsvetty who was also couchsurfing, we went to San Ignacio Mini, a Jesuit Guarani Mission on Argentine side on the other day. We went to Posadas and took another bus San Ignacio; the whole trip took 2.5 hours and the border crossing was easier than that in Ciudad del Este. The San Ignacio Mini was more established for tourists than the mission site in Paraguay. More establishment also meant high entrance fee, but at least there was English translation of the exhibit description, audio recording of catholic songs modified with Guarani creativity. There were also audio information boxes (with different translations) set up in each important spot of the relic such as church, workshop, plaza etc. With such a good establishment it attracted more tourists and we had a hard time to find solitude.

Then we took a local bus to Loreto another site 10 km away. There were much fewer relics left but trees growing around. Without explanation from a guide, we just saw stones scattered around in a forest. The guide was very patient, first explaining in Spanish and then in English to us. We saw the effort of how the archeologist recovered the site bit by bit from a relics of 3 centuries ago and trees outgrew everything. She also showed us the tree branches used for making hammock. I climbed on it and it was soft but very tough; what an amazing material for the hammock.

Finished the visiting, we just found out that the last bus to Santa Maria, another ruin, passed and we had to wait another hour for the bus back to San Ignacio. While we were in perplex, the group of three who were in the same tour with us offered to take us back to Posadas. I would rather think that a guy in the group was interested in knowing Tsvetty; and he certainly asked for her email address and facebook account. Back to Posadas at 7pm, we called the local CS person who had invited us for meeting but turned out to be far away at that time. We hang around for cheap food and finally took cheap hotdogs. Then we took the bus back to Encarnacion.

Certainly Maria and I were not satisfied with the hotdogs, so we found a nearby parrilla and had a good final dinner in Encarnacion (thanks to the money returned from the immigration with the help of the samurai).

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