Then it starts, but for a weekend. The metal work on the car has to be postponed due to the “TransChaco” rally, but we can take the car for a weekend ride in the current condition.
It takes us a long time to leave town because Esteban is late and then we have to go over all the existing features for a long time.
We still have to refuel and adjust the air in the tires. However, everything is done by an employee at the gas station. This is very practical and fast, the tire service is even free of charge.
Then it takes a long time to get through the long Friday afternoon traffic jam. Then it is already late and Leon urgently needs food and sleep.
On internet forums, other overlanders – people who do long-distance cross-country trips around the world – drew my attention to the “iOverlander” app. You can find everything there. From official and unofficial campsites, access to water to places where corrupt officials have had incidents, a large map gives me extensive information about the area.
However, the first test of the app fails. We can’t find the campsite from iOverlander even though it shows up in Google too, but we ask at the house next door. Oddly enough, at the Luna Roga Hacienda, they’ve never heard of this campground next door.
I ask if there is a place where a harmless family with a baby, who have everything in their car and don’t need anything, can set up a safe camp for the night.
They are skeptical, take a photo of my passport, but then we can stand where we want on the premises and use the bathroom.
The couple who own the Luna Roga look at our camper in amazement. Then the lady comes by again, draws our attention to the termites and we are given a large papaya.
We set up our first night’s camp and have to deal with dismantling the child seat and assembling the bed for the first time. It’s annoying, but we also lack the routine.
I struggle with Esteban’s gas cooker, but to no avail. So Leon has to eat cold. In return, I get to know the mosquitoes that happily buzz around me.
Deep panting and roaring comes from the woods during sunset. Howler monkeys seem to live in the trees wishing everyone good night. The ritual is repeated the next morning, but from a different location in the forest. However, I cannot see any of the monkeys, only the branches and treetops shake under the movements of the animals.
Leon wakes us up just before six in the morning, giving us enough time to put down the bed during sunrise and prepare breakfast for the little prince of darkness. Preparing food for your little one and trying to get it into their little body is the most frustrating part of the day.
Two hours later we made it and can finally hit the road. We drive south along the fastest track through villages and along cattle tracks.
In each village you have to stop at the school because you have built very high elevations on the road that you can only climb slowly.
My goal is a few water walls in the area around Ybycuí. On the way there we pass a “hill”. There are a few of them here. The landscape is very flat, but out of nowhere tiny mountains rise into the air, as if a massive mole lives underground here. These hills are called cerro. On the way is Cerro Acahay and according to Google there is a nice viewpoint there.
We drive our Dusty up the Cerro until only cows and motorbikes can drive up the steep, narrow mud track. Maybe Dusty would still make it, but according to Google, there hasn’t been a road for a long time and it’s unpredictable where this track will take us. I wave to a few people who stare at me in surprise as I pass their house. Many tourists certainly don’t come here.
There can be no question of a vantage point. The “Mirador” is offered as an excursion by a few campsites, but you cannot reach it alone. We notice that all attractions are on private property and every landowner wants to be paid to visit a waterfall or viewpoint on their land.
We renounce and turn back. However, Sara gives the alarm that Leon has to have lunch in twenty minutes. And the food has to be warm. Unfortunately, we still haven’t found a way to heat food on our own because we can’t get the gas stove to work.
We’re just passing the row of campsites again and I turn to one. It doesn’t seem to be a season here because it’s “winter”. However, we find the temperatures between 25-30°C optimal and do not want to know how hot the summer is.
We are greeted by an elderly couple who look rather confused about our visit and don’t seem like they live off tourists. I ask for two warm meals, something cool to drink and the opportunity to warm up Leon’s dabbed food. All our wishes will be fulfilled.
The old man tries his best and offers us different places in the shade. He instructs a boy to get chairs and tables for us. Decorated with a tablecloth, they set up a place for us to eat under a lush pomelo tree. Huge fruits hang from the branches and it’s delightfully comfortable in the shade. The man introduces himself as Dioniso – yes, like the god of wine.
He proudly roams through his garden and collects fruit for us: tangerines that taste sour (limons) like lemons and lemons that are sweet like oranges (noranjas).
He picks up two large pomelos from the ground and cuts them open for us. They taste great, however they are not like the pomelos that we know in the store and have a slightly drier consistency, but eat and taste like grapefruits and are called toranjas. Sara is happy because these fruits with almost the same name are also available in Iran.
The man has a thing for Leon and is delighted when we place the toddler in his arms. Leon also has few problems with strangers, but doesn’t put up with other people for too long.
We continue our journey to an area with some impressive waterfalls.