Posadas, Argentina… What a welcome I got!

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I was bitten. I had traveled all night from Londrina to Iguazu. I crossed the border, then the bridge by foot and got into the Paraguayan immigration office. It was very hot, I had my hat on and I was wet of sweat. “Are you hot with that hat?” asked me the man officer from beside the long desk. I realized that I should take my hat off and I did.

My passport had that full page large stamp from the Brazilian immigration office about the fine that I paid due to an  overstay of over 100 days beyond my visa. The lady who took my passport called another office and  they both looked at it for a moment. “Where are you going?” “I am going to Reincarnation and go to Posadas today.” I answered. They stamped my passport and I was on my way. I met an English traveler while waiting for the bus to the Terminal. He was going to Ascencion, then Santa Cruz, Bolivia. I mentioned my own trip the other way.

I found my bus as I entered the Terminal. I was leaving Iguazu 30 minutes later. The bus was old and bitten. The trip lasted 6 hours or more. I can’t remember. I checked my mail and none of my local friends had answered. I was on my way to Posadas. I didn’t stay more than an hour in Encarnation. I passed custom – no questions asked – and got down at the Bus Terminal. I was planning to get a cheap room for the night around there and leave next day. I was tired and  my back was not liking the treatment.

The first hotel was a bit too expensive. They recommended me to a hostel 3 or 4 blocks down the road. The night was almost falling and I found them after a good walk. The rooms were small and packed with beds. I was told that I would be alone in the room. The price was acceptable. I took the room… I was at the Hostal Koeyu, Posadas, Argentina.

I was tired, a bit stressed and hot. I left my bag and went out checking the local stores. I found a few shops and I bought a few beers and cigarettes. On my way I was stopped by an eccentric shop owner that insisted in chatting with me. “Who are you? A Magician?” he asked me after a few minutes. I was blown away! “Yes, That is exactly who I am. How did you know?” He did not explain. He was happy, bubbly, funny. Then someone called him and I was back to my hostal.

“No Smoking inside the patio, the parking…” I sat outside the hostal with my beers and cigarettes. The night was down. I had full view on the busy street. Great!

I was told a few days later that the owner arrived, saw me and told his employee: “Who is this tramp drinking beer in front of the hostal? I don’t like that!” “He is our client.” The owner calmed down instantly! What a first impression!! I was the new tramp in town!!

I met him as I returned inside the hostal. “Excuse me for being outside, but I wanted to drink a cold one with a cig. Long journey, you know?” I told him. He welcomed me nicely. We chatted about a few things, his desire to get a small land and grow his food and settled in building in the next 2 or 3 days an Herb Spiral behind his house, next door. “You are my guest. This is your private room. You can stay as long you want.” he said, and took me across the street next morning to buy fruits and vegetables.

My back did not liked the moving of the rocks while building the spiral and I ended the day with pain. I decided to rest and I took almost a full week to recover. My first visit north of Uruguay to the Instituto Organico de Tacuarambo got cancelled. It all was just perfect, after all.

Christian, my host, introduced me to a few of his young employees. I liked all of them right away. New friends. I hope to see them again one day. If my path takes me back to Posadas, I’ll stay a month or two “wwoofing” at the Bakery.

Thanks Christian for that fantastic welcome!

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