Arriving back in Paraguay a couple of weeks ago my first stop was a hotel. There I could relax and unwind after my long journey before heading off to my country home.
For a last bit of luxury to end my trip I booked into the modern Ibis Hotel. In addition to being clean and comfortable it was easily accessible from the airport. It location in front of one of the smart Asuncion shopping malls was also advantageous.
I had planned to spend two nights in Asuncion but with the arrival of one last winter cold spell I extended my stay for a further night. There seemed no point in heading out to a cold house when I could stay just a little longer in a warm hotel.
Once I had rested and checked that everything in my suitcase had survived the journey I headed out into Asuncion.
Not wanting to go far I simply crossed the road to Shopping del Sol, the shopping mall in front of the hotel and went to find lunch. As with all Asuncion shopping malls it had a large food court with plenty of options available. So I was able to have a good meal for the first time since I had left England.
Then for the rest of the afternoon I just aimlessly wandered around looking in shop windows before returning to my hotel. Once back there I did little more than investigate what was on television and which channels I could make play in English.
The next morning refreshed after a good sleep it was breakfast in the hotel. And a large a varied buffet there was. Enough such that I was able to spend an hour having dishes of this and that and numerous cups of coffee and glasses of fruit juiced.
Ready to see Paraguay once more and needing some exercise after sitting down for so long I walked from the hotel up to the old city center. That was a walk of several kilometres and took an hour. I do enjoy a walk and that was a very pleasant one.
I then spent the day walking the streets of Asuncion old town. Seeing the river and the docks and acting like a tourist as I took photos along the day.
Late afternoon I returned to my hotel. This time by bus as they were plentiful and I had been walking for many hours by then. A trip on an Asuncion city bus is an enjoyable one as all the passengers and street sellers jump on and off.
The next day, my unplanned extra day in Asuncion, I stayed much nearer to my hotel. It was a day of touring the shopping centers to make a few small purchases and to find a travel bureau to change my remaining British money into Paraguayan.
As had been forecast it was then a cold night. The temperature dipping to just a few degrees above freezing. It was also Friday. So I was able to meet up with some friends from Asuncion to tour the local bars until the early hours. A very enjoyable way to finish off my holiday.
Next morning with the weather forecast to get a little warmer I repacked my bags after breakfast for the journey home to Piribebuy.
Firstly after checking out I got a taxi to the bus terminal. There I found the bus for Piribebuy. There was no space as such on the bus for bags so I boarded as quickly as I could at the back to occupy two seats at the rear of the bus. One for me and one for my various bags.
From Asuncion the bus slowly made its was towards Piribebuy. Filling up with passengers as it went. Additionally a constant stream of sellers got on and off the bus with all manner of goods. Anything that could be carried in one hand.
Fortunately I was in no rush. The bus took 3 hours to travel the 90 km to Piribebuy. A bus ride in Paraguay is never a thing to be rushed.
In Piribebuy I dragged my collection of bags off the bus. Then turned the street corner to find a taxi. I put my bags inside and had the driver take me first to the supermarket and then wait outside while I dashed around inside picking up a few basic items I knew I would be needing.
Then finally for the last leg of the journey the taxi pulled out of Piribebuy and into the countryside and my home.
The paved road soon gave way to a dirt one and I was back in the familiar surroundings of my home.
I unloaded my bags at my neighbours house. There after a chat about my trip and the handing out of gifts I collected my door key, for they had been watching over my house for me.
For that final leg from their house up my driveway to my front door I was fortunate to have helpers to assist with the carrying of bags. It is quite a climb up from the street to my house.
My house I found as I knew I would do to be just as it should be. It was actually far cleaner than I had left it having received a thorough scrubbing.
The only very small issue was that while the house was being cleaned a few things ended up tidied away in unusual places. It took it little while to get everything back where it should have been. I could hardly complain though as the house was spotless.
The next day I headed with my bike back to Piribebuy. As food in the house would have gone off I had told my neighbours to make use of everything. So the cupboards were quite empty.
Being on a bike and having just a little backpack there is a limit to what I can bring back from town. So the following day I was back to Piribebuy again to do the rest of the shopping.
Later in the week I also took a trip down to Paraguari. I did not really need anything from there but it was nice weather for a trip out and I had not been there for a while.
As well as a chance to get acquainted once more with the supermarket staff I have had ample chance to meet up with my local friends. All have many questions about England and I talked through my collection of photos with them.
After a few days everything was settled back as it should be. Then I was able to get on with the jobs I had left unfinished when I went to England.
The most important of them was the pruning of my eucalyptus trees. Every year I cut off the several metres of new growth. That stops them getting to high and keeps me supplied with firewood.
I had only been able to prune half of them before I went away so trimming the remainder has been my priority.
Then no doubt there will be countless other little jobs around the house and garden that need attending to.
I had a very good few weeks in England but as everyone knows it is always good to be back home again.