6th February 2014
I left the hotel at about 8:00 am, for the final 500 Km run home to Asuncion. The bike was still as the night before, EXVL error, Fuel Sensor fault, not starting with the keyless starter and the GPS continually announcing that it has lost battery connection and that it was shutting down, only to restart instead. On this run, it introduced a new twist to that last problemita … it occasionally gave me just a black screen on the GPS. – Enough said about that then.
The wind was still coming from the North, so it was now a headwind, which was easier to manage than yesterday. I knocked out the first leg to Resistencia very quickly, the leg from there to Formosa too, leaving me just bit over 100 Kms to Clorinda, which is very close to the Paraguay border and Asuncion. The traffic on this last stretch was heavier than before, but at least I’m out of the Chaco!
The border crossing was painless, as long as you ignore the guys who want to ‘help’ you through the exit Argentina, enter Paraguay, and Paraguay customs process, for a fee, and also the currency dealers …. who can be useful, but you need to keep your wits about you if you are going to be flashing cash around …. common sense usually works.
I paused for a photo under the “Paraguay” sign and I was glad to be back. This was a hell of a trip and a great experience, but the tedious 2-day run through the Argentinian Chaco to get to Salta and the same thing to get back, made the start and finish a little less than attractive. A point to consider for anyone who wants to have a crack at the Andes … flying in to Salta might be a sensible option.
The chaos of the Paraguayan traffic, after my time in Argentina and Chile was great … simply no rules, and you manage a motorized vehicle the same way you manage a crowded sidewalk in any big city, you just don’t hit the guy beside you and you go left, right or straight as required to make that happen. Some find it frightening, I find it somehow natural and enjoyable. So I landed home in great humor, and thankful that I had the means, opportunity and ability to undertake this trip. I came back a more experienced and better informed man than when I left.