About a year ago: having attracted a bacterial infection makes walking painful, not a very welcome happening now we, Geo, who became my husband and me, are replacing the hardworking Andreas and Elvira at Iparoma farm. Meanwhile the news reports about a missing Austrian man in Cerro Leon reach us, and Geo and I decide to go another little trip as soon as we are relieved from our tasks. Off to Cerro Leon!
Nearly a year earlier: ending up at a farm in Paraguay I met another traveler, Geo, whom I have married. Very unexpected we decided to move away from the farm, somewhere else in Paraguay. But we kept a promise: to replace the workers at the farm when their mom from Germany would visit them, so they could go on a little holiday.
My husband and me leave the lushness of the cordillera behind, zipping through Brazil, meeting unreal real-estate agents on a motorbike and meeting with more Paraguayans in an unchanged rural setting.
More than a year ago: I had lessons in cheese making in mind, where I would portray the newly made foodies with elaborate photographs. The harsh Chaco sunlight filtered by the mosquito screen would make for classy pictures, probably more beautiful than the end result.
More than a year ago: Baking whole grain bread on a camp fire needs a bit more practise. It takes me 20 kilometer to find a supermarket selling rye, barley and spelt and see who I make happy with it! No better face than a happy face! And I get to see more happy faces: I exchange goat Emma for a human person.
This post has bloody images. This post shows photo’s not corresponding with the farm I worked on. The farm I worked on, and the farm where some of the pictures come from are not unnecessarily cruel to their animals as far as I have been a witness (slaughtering went professional).
Previous post: I am at a big farm, 20 kilometers away from Filadelfia, the capital of the Chaco. I met Marilyn previous year in the supermarket where she asked me whether I wanted to stay at her house. I wanted that, and we have kept contact. Now I can work on a Work Away basis for as long as I want.
I am at a big farm, 20 kilometers away from Filadelfia, the capital of the Chaco, a province far from where the action of Paraguay is. In this town I met Marilyn previous year in the supermarket where she asked me whether I wanted to stay at her house. I wanted that, and we have kept contact. Now, when I am tired of cycling, in need for some good rest, I can work on a Work Away basis for as long as I want, on her farm. ‘Let’s start working!’ is every’s Mennonite motto, this means no rest whatsoever. I start working the day after I arrive.
People ask me the obvious: ‘Are you cycling to Bolivia?’, as this is the only border crossing. I reply: ‘No, I cycle to Filadelfia.’ With cycling to Filadelfia I am trapped. Cornered in a part of the world where is only one official way out. I have set the capital of the Chaco as my final destination, but one day I have to move on, and the only two, official, choices I have I both despise: crossing into Bolivia over a horrible road or turning back.
Meet Alex Chacon What you never see in my blog posts you see now on Alex’s YouTube channel.
When raising the word Amish or Mennonites one might be inclined to think: ‘Devout hard working people, women in dark ankle length dresses and men in similar old-fashioned style clothing. They are pious, quiet and live an utmost simple life without pleasures as many of us know them whereby avoiding modernity and social jumble with outsiders.’
The only choice I have -and count on- for safe camping is the border check-post, 7 kilometer before the actual border crossing. Having arrived here after 110 kilometers cycling in a heat of 40 degrees, I surrender to the customs. That means I must first drink the offered tereré, as if I am not tired and hungry but tranquillo is the key to success.