Saturday, April 05, 2014

Weekend Getaway: Caacupé and Tobati

Our main "mentor teachers" organized a trip out of town for a weekend. The hotels we found online were ridiculously expensive, and since we were a small group we decided to just wing it and see where we ended up. Our group included our mentor teachers, their two daughters, myself, and another teacher and his fiance, who was visiting and will be moving to Paraguay next school year After stopping for lomitos and ice cream (two Paraguayan staples) on the way out of town, we headed to Caacupé. The main attraction here is a church. While that could be said of most small towns in Latin America, this one is especially important. One of the most important Paraguayan holidays is the Day of the Virgin of Caacupé. One million Paraguayans (out of a population of 6 million) go to Caacupé for this holiday every December 8, many walking all or part of the way on foot. The carved virgin statue is inside the church. Below is the church. I always feel super weird even being a tourist inside a church because there are always people worshiping, so I don't generally take pictures inside. You'll have to go there yourself to see the virgin! 
 After we checked out the plaza, some art for sale, and a playground for the littles, we piled back into the car and started driving. I don't remember WHERE we were actually trying to go but here's what happened. We passed through the town of Tobati, passed what we thought was a turnoff, turned on the next street, were driving on random backroads directed by Molly, who seemed to have a psychic connection thing going on, randomly telling Tim to "turn here!" He obliged and all of a sudden we were in front of this beautiful hotel. We immediately agreed as a group that we should see if they had rooms for us for that night-and they did. So that's where we stayed. It was beautiful!
I don't even remember the last time I saw a king size bed! All for me!!
We all immediately checked into our rooms and went down to the pool where we spent the afternoon playing in the water, taking turns ordering beer, practicing our Spanish with Paraguayan visitors, relaxing, playing cards poolside, and finally enjoying a beautiful sunset.

After taking care of business (which involved a nap for the extremely jet-lagged Lisa, and a birthday call to a friend at home for me), we regrouped for a quiet dinner on site at the hotel and retired to our rooms for the night. After breakfast and a trip to the on-site playground the next morning, we went to the very nearby Artisan Market, which is well known in Tobati. They had all SORTS of things. Tim and Molly added to their collection of the 7 Paraguayan "mitos" or myths, and I bought a hammock.

While we were here, we also saw some really cool metalwork made by a local artist. In my next blog post I'll show what we saw when we stopped by his home on our way back to Asuncion. 

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