On March 7 we took an overnight bus ride to Corrientes. The ride started at about 9 p.m. and ended at about 6 a.m. After getting off the bus we stopped at a cafe in the station for some coffee. Then we looked around at some hostels and got a room for the day. We went out for lunch but other than that, because it was so hot and we were tired, we stayed inside all day, napping and working. At 5 p.m. we took a taxi to the airport to catch our flight to Asuncion, Paraguay. This is when things got interesting!
When we arrived at the airport, hardly anyone was there. We went up to the check-in counter, and some women behind the counter informed us that our flight had been cancelled. The airport in Corrientes is really small; some flights to and from Asuncion have only a few people on them. It turns out that not enough people wanted to come here from Asuncion, so our flight was cancelled because we had no plane to take.
Luckily, the women were super helpful. They were busy calling all around trying to help us get to Paraguay on another flight or a bus. The next flight didn’t leave for another five days—much too late for us. There was a bus that night, but first we would have to get visas.
Hours later we left the airport and went to the Paraguayan consulate to try to get the visas. Turns out it was closed for the night.
Since the consulate was closed, we had to stay the night in Corrientes. We took our bags out of the taxi and started walking to find a hotel. We didn’t get very far before the taxi was back; one of the women from the airport had called him. The airline had picked a hotel that they would pay for. We climbed back into the taxi and drove to the hotel; Hotel Victoria. At the hotel we actually ran into the women from the airport. Once the bags were in the room, we went out for dinner.
After dinner we basically went straight to bed; tomorrow would be an early morning. We wanted to get to the consulate as soon as it opened (at 7 a.m). In the morning we walked over to the consulate, got our visitor passes and went up to the third floor. Turns out we weren’t able to get visas there at all. We could travel to a nearby city, but we would have to wait 72 hours for them to be processed.
Taking the bus was now out of the picture. The man who worked at the consulate was actually very helpful. He used his Spanish to talk to the people from the airport and advocate for us. He told them they should pay to send us to Buenos Aires, and from there we could catch a flight to Asuncion.
With nothing left to do but wait, we went out for breakfast and then chilled/worked in the hotel, hoping the airline would call with a flight we could take. Finally they did, not long after lunch.
Once we got that call from the airport saying there was a flight for us, we called the cabbie from the previous day to get us to the airport. When we arrived, there were way more people than last time—a good sign. There was some time before check in, so we ordered drinks at the cafe.
When we finished checking our bags, we went through security. It was the easiest security ever; we didn’t have to take computers out of our bags. When we were through, we had a small wait before boarding.
Mom and Dad got seats in business class, which gave them food. Lucas and I, who were in regular class, only got drinks. The flight was short, just over an hour. I watched Gaturro, a Spanish cartoon character, for the first bit of the flight. Our last house in Buenos Aires had the first comic, which I read, but I didn’t know there was a show.
We landed back in Buenos Aires. After grabbing our bags and getting them checked, we went through immigration. On the other side we had a little bit of time to wait before the plane actually took off. I went and bought us some drinks.
When it was boarding time, we scanned our passes and walked down a long hallway. At the end of the hall was a door that led outside to a bus. This bus was going to take us to the plane, but we had to wait on it for about twenty minutes. Finally on a flight to Asuncion, we touched down after an hour and half in the air.
In Paraguay, the first thing we did was exchange money. We wanted to get some guaranís and we needed U.S. dollars to pay for the visas. It seemed to take a long time for us to get the money, so long that our bags were the only ones left on the conveyor belt, and we got asked to take them off so they could put on bags for a new flight.
Finally with the money we went and got our visas. We were the only ones left in the whole airport, except for workers. Next we got our passports checked. We didn’t have to do bag security. Everyone just waved us through; they were probably tired and wanting to go home since it was really late at night.
Through the airport, we got a taxi to take us to our apartment. The lobby has a really nice fish tank. We took the elevator up to our place on the 13th floor. In a few minutes we were all going to bed, ready to explore Asuncion in the morning.