Wake up at 6am and start to what could be my final destination before returning to the capital to take pictures there.
The taxi arrives at 7am and I do bring to the bus terminal side Argentina. In these three days I had most of the input and output visas that in 3 years travel. I take the ticket to San Ignacio and wait the bus. The route is atrocious, all stops are in towns where the asphalt does not know how it is done, so all full of holes, stones and mud (yes, because in the meantime starts the tropical rain). I nearly let the stomach somewhere but as usual my breakfast nothing … just water and so … no problem.
Finally, after five hours of traveling I get to my accommodation in a hostel very quiet and not very far from the bus terminal.
As usual, as soon as I settle I start work at once, unfortunately it’s raining and not stop doing so today over half a day burned so I dedicate to the organization of the following days.
I inform and I immediately find an agency that is close to the terminal (which luck … I have to walk back just when it rains) and I find Miguel that helps me and we make immediately a plan:
if tomorrow will find other three people we can make a trip to the mission in Paraguay, conversely during the day we make the Jesuit missions in Argentina and we will try the next day for Paraguay.
Back in the hostel and prepare the various pictures of the previous days and I write something that I’m going to publish towards the end of my journey, a unique experience for those who will leave a beautiful memory in your heart and mind.
At about 9 pm, while I’m having dinner, the good news comes at the reception “tomorrow you can go to Paraguay … they have found the group for you.” In the morning we start early at 8 am and we pick the group consisting of father, mother and daughter from Brussels they are doing a tour in Argentina since her daughter currently teaches French in this country.
Our driver instead is an Australian named Jimmy (who find out later to be the husband of the woman who is at the reception), very nice and especially educated and prepared (which never hurts).
Immediately takes us in the boat, which although not exactly the shortest route is for sure the most beautiful to look at and even touristic, unfortunate that even here the road is nothing short of disgusting and so again the stomach in the hostel and the body there with them.
Other exit visas and the usual questions of ritual with control on the computer to see my path … you get on and off we go.
On the other side, the situation is very different … while double checking of documents (one to be boarded and one for the immigration office) and then upon receiving the visa, we are registered and reported in a notebook with our data (they told him that there are computers?), oh well never mind has not even their fault, yet another timbre and we’re leaving … but at this point I wonder, “but we are really in Paraguay? Here I see a rod at the border but I do not see the flag … the answer of the chief immigration (since I see secretly pocketing money almost as having paid a lace) that tells me “it’s raining and we did not want get wet.”
But since it is not raining now, and with my insistence, he puts the flag and here are the pictures of the magical and solemn moment.
We are moving towards the missions and here we see the beautiful ruins but with a tremendous history behind.
In 1549, five members of the Order, under the guidance of Father Manuel da Nobrega, crossed the Atlantic Ocean, taking the direction of Brazil, former colony of Portugal, in order to realize the dream evangelizer. Once in San Salvador de Bahia founded a college and give life to the Brazilian Province of the Company of Jesus. When the Marquis of Pombal in 1760 expelled them from the country 670 religious Jesuits are scattered from north to south of Brazil.
In America Hispanic Jesuit Mission begins later: in 1586, when Francisco Borja sends a group in Peru. In 1606 Philip III ordered the governor of Rio de la Plata, Árias Fernando de Saavedra, not to subdue the natives by force of arms but through catechesis held by the Jesuits.
In 1607 born the Province of Paraguay, whose territory included the current Paraguay, eastern Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay and southwestern Brazil, then it ruled by the Spanish. Invited by the Bishop of Tucumán the missionaries moved within the continent, together with other religious and founded a college in 1609 to Assumption. In the following years they began their work specifically missionary, with the founding of Mission San Ignacio Guazú, Paraguay, which was followed by about 60 more in the territories of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil, of which only 30 have had a significant development. Their work grew so huge, so start to annoy the power Portuguese and Spanish.
I also discover that it was made a film in 1986 starring Robert De Niro “Mission” where apparently the final scene is very reminiscent of what happened in reality (which I reveal, Go and see is a good movie). On the way back we stop at a restaurant in town and I’m going to make a withdrawal at the bank and surprise: here we can also take American dollars.
Let me explain why it is a nice surprise, if you were to make withdrawals outside of the euro will have to pay fees, but withdrawing dollars in Paraguay and paying $ 5 commission per withdrawal, will cover the expense immediately changing them in Argentina in the so-called “blue exchange rate “.
The blue exchange rate is not official but not illegal, in practice they have a change parallel to the bank, so in summary if you will go to the bank will change the euro to 10 pesos, at a blue exchange rate you will find out of 15 pesos that there are many if you make two rapid calculations. Same thing goes for the American dollar.
Well now you understand why I was happy to see that I could take in US $. In this restaurant is not exactly eat little, because all the food is the same price, and it paid by weight … unfortunately I had forgotten that the way in Paraguay to the port is not exactly good … almost I lose my stomach, spleen, liver and all the rest.
We return to the hotel and here I prepare right now the pictures and I organize for the next day.
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