Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Prospecting the Bordello

All land in Paraguay is privately owned, right up to the road margin. The first 80 kilometres out from Ciudad del Este proves this point, soya beans are sown right up the very edge of the tarmac. So our last refuge for wild camping is going to be in short supply. The petrol stations still have showers and clean toilets, so if push comes to shove we can ask for a space. To date we’ve never been refused.
However this run through southern Paraguay is heavily populated, towns come at nice regular intervals. Likewise motels and hotels.
We’ve covered a satisfactory distance for one day and so we decide to start prospecting for suitable accommodation. There’s a building coming up in front, it claims a motel status. We decide to give it a try. I ask the proprietor, who’s sorting and washing the white linen, if he’s open and how much for a double bedded room.  The answer is somewhat confusing: yes they were open and the rate was the equivalent of $3.  He is somewhat reticent but we put this down to loss in translation. The Navigator is invited to view the room; she comes out and her face say it all.The beds were round and the rates were probably for the hour!  I’d noted but not clocked the very private and individual parking lots, the total lack of any windows and the painted “heart” on the wall.   Could the term “motel” have a different meaning here?
A few more kilometers down the road and another Anglicized Germanically named establishment hoves into view. The Navigator makes a surreptitious inspection before ringing the bell.  This will be our third night in an hotel named Austria. As of early evening it looks reasonably legitimate, that and the beds are rectangular.