Trying to fish in Asuncion

25 Sep

Friends from back in Australia, Hazel and Ami are currently here in Asuncion visiting Mandy and I. Ami is a keen fisherman so we decided to go and give it ago. We went down to the Asuncion port and tried to rent a boat. The man lying down in one of the moored boats said he would take us for $AUD12/hr. But we decided to just take the leaking lopsided local ferry to the over side of the river as it was too expensive ($12 may not sound like much, but that can buy a lot of beer over here), and we would try our luck fishing off the riverbank.

15 minutes of listening to the crank start diesel engine battling for its life, we arrived in Chaco’i with the rest of the locals that were returning home. Although we were only on the other side of the river from Asuncion it felt like a world away. We were met my old men chilling out on the grassy banks, wandering cows and donkeys and a silence that was only broken by crowing roosters.

Still wanting to hire a boat we approached a deteriorating concrete house and I poked my head through the open door to a family relaxing in their living room. I asked if they knew anyone that would let us rent their row boat. The lady spat something out in Guarani (the local language) to her eldest son. He hopped up and we followed him down to the shore.

“Which boat do you want?” he said, pointing to the 5 well used row boats that littered the muddy bank. I got the feeling they had never rented out the boats before, who knows they probably weren’t even their boats. And in Paraguayan tourism styles, he hands us an anchor and a bit of scrap wood for an extra seat and says good bye. There’s no signing liability clauses, putting down a deposit, or even giving our names, or even paying. By the way when I asked how much per hour he looks blankly, shrugs his shoulders and says “$AUD4 for the afternoon”.

With our new boat, off we went on a fishing experience that was more about the experience than the fishing, check out the photos.

Ami standing by the boats that litter the shore (Asuncion skyscape in the background).

Looks pretty bloody nice doesn’t it, we even had an otter come and join us, pity the fish didn’t follow.

Who needs a motor when you have oars and arms like these! Drinking terere and looking like a hippy. Seriously, would you rent your boat out to someone looking like this and not get a deposit? You have to love Paraguay. The picture below reminds me of a song, “get a haircut, get a real job”.

Coming back to drop off the boat. Ami battling the oars that have no brackets, they are just tied onto the boat. It required a lot of effort (I have the blisters to show), 3 right hand rows to 1 left.

Back in Asuncion having a well deserved beer with the president. This bar is a snipers dream, right in front of the “government palace”, Asuncion’s version of the white house.

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