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jueves, 14 de febrero de 2013

What happens at Carnaval...

This month the staff and interns at Laguna Blanca were given a pretty big treat, four days in Encarnaciόn for Carnival!!! After two weeks of the excitement building after hearing about how awesome Carnival was from Karina and Joe the big day finally arrived and Helen, Mark, Sean and myself began what turned out to be the three day camel hike from Laguna Blanca to Encarnaciόn. Adam, Sam and Dan would follow the following day. We left the house at 5:30am, all more awake than I know I have ever been at that silly hour of the morning thanks to the adrenaline and anticipation for the nonsense ahead!! This wore off slightly as we sat at the bottom of the soy field waiting for the bus. I was still dark and I actually started to feel cold for the first time since leaving Edinburgh!! This feeling would not last long. The bus arrived at 6:30am and we were finally on our way! The first bus trip was two hours, and sometimes nail bitingly terrifying as the incredibly rickety bus edged over pretty terrifying wooden bridges!! Of course, we made it to Santa Rosa safe and sound and even had time to grab some empanadas before jumping on a much fancier bus, with air con(!!), for the five hour trip to Asunciόn. The early start catching up on everybody we all feel asleep pretty much straight away!! When we arrived in Asunciόn bus terminal it was straight to the coffee shop for some much needed caffination. We got our tickets for the final six hour trip and waited. The final bus was hilarious. The fierce Paraguayan sun was now out with a vengeance and much to our horror we got on the bus, sat down and quickly realised that this bus did not have air conditioning!! The next six hours were spent feeling very much like we were being cooked like Christmas turkeys but as we pulled in to Encarnaciόn and the excitement started to build the misery of the bus trip was quickly forgotten. One quick taxi ride to our lovely guest house to drop off our stuff and then we quickly made our way to the beach and the bars!! Friday was spent in a blur of beach bars and beers until Adam, Sam and Dan finally joined us about 9:30pm. The night flew by with far too many Cuba Libres and pretty dreadful Paraguayan music. Everybody got a good laugh as I was dragged in front of the whole bar for being the only blonde girl there and made to spin “The Wheel of Fortune”. Extremely embarrassing, especially as my Spanish is….questionable and I had had enough alcohol to attempt to answer the questions I thought he was asking me, not what he was actually asking me!! Worth it though as I won us all free drinks! Saturday came round with a haze of headaches and hangovers but that didn’t matter. It was finally Carnival day!!! For those whose hangovers would allow the night began with tequila shots before we even went out! Hyper and with pockets and bags full of fake snow we headed to the parade. It was absolutely fantastic! Six hours of girls in bikinis, glitter and feathers and guys doing backflips alongside elaborate sparkly floats with latin music loud enough to make your ears bleed. Combine that with fake snow fights breaking out every few minutes, first between the PLT crew and soon spreading to full blown, good humoured gang warfare with the Paraguayans, and it’s a guaranteed recipe for an incredible, once in a lifetime experience. So even though Carnival is over, next year can’t come quickly enough!! Becca

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