An Unexpected Heatwave

Why is Asuncion, Paraguay hotter than the Australian outback in the middle of summer. Why is this dusty capital, sitting at around 25 degrees south, hotter than the Caribbean islands or Panama or Rio or any place I´ve ever been? Why on earth is it 42 C here? These are very scientific questions that can only be answered correctly by expert meteorologists. Which is why my answer makes no sense: When the currency rate is favorable and people are selling cheap and wonderful products on the street, I must be sweating profusely and suffering form heatstroke in order to keep things balanced.

Asunsion is not pleasant this time of year. There is little scenery to make out through the sweat dripping off my head and the fine government buildings that do grace the city loom mockingly on the edge of an area so poverty stricken and dangerous that Lonely Planet avoids mapping it out all together.

Oddly enough Asunsion has several restaurants that are pleasantly air conditioned and lingering is encouraged (The Pizza Hut of deadly food poisoning is a notable exception).

The exclamation point on our time spent sweating in Paraguay was our bus ride through the Chaco, a vast and barren wasteland of dust and thorn bushes that actually threatened to swallow our junky bus. It´s the kind of journey that you recall with fondness simply because you managed to survive. Which all five of us somehow did.

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