Paraguay, North of Concepcion

Posted: February 19, 2012 in Paraguay

Once the bike was fixed, thanks to the guys at Metalcar, I headed back up north to check out the chaco in more detail. Of course, just a few km out of the city, I got pulled over by the transit cops. They said that I was going over 40 in the town and that they had a radar set-up. They were pulling over EVERYONE and the radar story was pure BS. While waiting and arguing with them on the side of the road, I noticed that they tried to pull over a Mercedes but the guys just flew past them and they did nothing about it. I only found out later that you can just keep going without stopping as these police are a total corrupt joke and they don’t even have guns. Either way, they took my paperwork and wouldn’t give it back till I would pay a fine. First they wanted around 250$, then I kept laughing at them and kept saying no and that I don’t have that kind of $, so they went down to 150$, then 100$ and finally I paid them 25$ to leave me alone. Either way, like I said in the post before, Paraguay has the nicest people I have met but the crappiest police.

So heading north. Went to Concepcion where I stayed at a nice little hostel on the side of the river and took the bike apart once again, but just the outside as it started choking on the way there. I think it was just bad gas, but I did reroute a couple of tubes, fixed a corroded wire in the wire harness that was hardly touching anymore, and added a missing breather tube to the carburetor. From Concepcion, I went up on the dirt roads shown on the map below. The map isn’t that accurate because in reality point B and C connect through a small dirt road.

Picture of the bike all done and ready to leave.

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On the dirt roads north of Concepcion, I met this guy.

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Sucks for him though, since he was going to be the guest of honor to dinner that night and there was monkey on the menu.

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The roads looked something like this.

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And the bridge… well… seen these in old western movies…

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Super dry Chaco

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You know how I said above that point B and C actually connect? In order to get on that road, you have to ask for a key from a post where they have a guard during the day. You can also camp at the post without any problems. Also, if it rained, don’t even think about taking this road. For me, it had rained just over 24 hours earlier and I waited those 24 hours in a town nearby. I soon realized that 24hours were not really enough as the first 7 km or so on the road were pure mud and puddles. I almost ended up in the ditch a few times trying to go through the puddles and having the bike just go sideways. After the first few km, the road became nice and sandy where I think that the wetter ground was actually in my favor.

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I had to stop for about 10 of these gates, maybe more. Stop, open gate, get on bike ad ride it to the other side, get off the bike, run back and close gate, get back on bike.

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Not too much traffic around here.

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I had almost forgot that before getting through the first gate and this cool dirt road, I had broken off one of my foot-pegs. I was doing about 70-80km/h on a nice wide dirt road when I hit a rock with the skid plate, frame and the peg. The peg got broken off as if the bolts were made of plastic. I stopped the bike and went back looking for my peg. I rode without the right peg for most of the day as noone had a welding machine around to get the broken bolt pieces out. Finally, towards the end of the day, I found this mechanic in a small town. He welded the broken bolt pieces out within minutes.

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He had quite an impressive tool collection, so I took advantage to change the sprocket which had more than half it’s teeth broken off.

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I camped in a close by national park by the guard’s office… but there was no guard. There was this guy though keeping me company.

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I had running water there so cooked up some rice.

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Remember how I said that these roads were impossible in case of rain? This is what they look like still after 48 hours of heat and sun.

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The roads described above took me about 4 days to do including the 24hrs I waited after the rain. Totally worth it!

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Comments
  1. E- says:

    Couldn’t you save the little monkey? This is so unfair! But, on the other hand, what is fair in everything we are doing to this planet and our cohabitants? Good to see though, in your photos, some real nature and people who cares for it!

    • pimptrix says:

      I could have probably bought it off off them but then they would have caught it all over again in a few minutes. Also, they didn’t look like the nicest guys, so I took the pictures, smiled at them like I was agreeing with what they were doing and went on my way.

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