I have now been living in Paraguay for over 20 years. Throughout that time my home has been in the countryside.

Before I describe where that is and what it is like I think some background is needed.

When I first came out to Paraguay it was to teach English in a little school that was being set up in the countryside to do just that. It was a voluntary project set up to benefit the local children and not tied to the national education system.

That school was in the rural countryside outside the small town of Piribebuy. Down the dirt track that runs along the Naranjo valley.

The school ran for about 18 months and was a very enjoyable place. Both for those like me who taught there and for the local children who came every day for a couple of hours of English classes.

School is half day here so those with school in the morning came in the afternoon and those with afternoon school in the morning.

Once the project came to it’s natural conclusion I returned to England for a few months. Whilst there I decided to try making a home for myself in Paraguay.

So I returned and for a while lodged with the family whos land the school had been on and looked around for a place for myself.

Knowing the local area and having made many friends while the school had been running I did not want to look elsewhere and set up home where all would be new to me.

As it happened I did soon find some land no more than a kilometre from where the school had been that seemed to be just what I was looking for. Amongst people I knew and with a nice view across the valley.

That then I bought and placed a house upon, but more about that later.

As I mentioned above the town in Paraguay where I live is called Piribebuy.

It is a small country town. Famous for two things, history and tourism. The town has an important place in Paraguayan history. It is tourism though that draws the most visitors.

Piribebuy is in the Cordillera hills which are the nearest upland to the capital. That in itself draws many people as in summer up in the hills it is just that tiny bit cooler.

The area is very picturesque. All around Piribebuy are green fields and tree covered hills that extend right up to edge of town. In amongst those hills run many crystal clear streams that run off the hills starting their journey to the lowlands and the great rivers.

A number of properties with streams running through them have been turned into country parks where visitors can come and bathe for an afternoon or camp on a summer weekend.

Even in Piribebuy the stretch of river running though town has been turned into a park. In summer lock gates are closed and the river backs up to become the town swimming pool.

It is a quiet, peaceful town and the surrounding countryside even more so.

A place to relax, slow down and enjoy all that is best in life.

To reach my home from the town centre it is a 15 km trip past sugarcane plantations and open countryside.

In Paraguay it is just the principal roads that tend to be paved. So my journey from town is 10 km along a paved road and then 5 km along a dirt one.

The Naranjo valley is well known for it’s scenery and draws summer visitors every year. They come to bathe in cool streams, walk in the hills and generally enjoy all that nature has to offer.

Those like me who live here can enjoy such pleasures all year round.

Turning off the paved road onto the dirt there is at first little indication of what lies ahead.

For the first couple of kilometres the track makes it’s way past cattle pastures and the occasional homestead with few views to be seen beyond the endless green of trees and grass.

Then after a few turns the track dives down towards a small river. This these days is crossed by a bridge but when I first came to Paraguay there was just a ford and a steep climb. Almost impossible for something heavy like a bus to make after heavy rains.

Next to the bridge is a small country park waiting for summer visitors to come and barbecue meat and play in the river.

Over the bridge and the road rises up once more. Passing the local school and small family stores selling basic provisions. These little shops are common all across the country and exist to serve the local communities. They do a good trade saving people what in many cases would be a long trip into the nearest town.

Beyond the school the track drops one final time and swings sharply to the left.

Now at last the hills are visible running from horizon to horizon a little way back from the track. These hills are steep, rising straight from the valley bottom. Although mostly coated by a thick layer of trees there are bare rocks to be seen where it is too steep for vegetation to get established.

Amongst the rocks hidden pathways run leading to the summit if the hills. From up there the view is of a land of almost unbroken green as far as the eye can see.

It is these hills I see when I wake every morning from my house on the gently sloping land on the other side of the valley.

The view was what sold the land to me.

When I bought it the ground was covered with sugar cane which needed clearing. I chose a spot raised up high enough to look out upon the hills and not the track and had my house built there.

Choosing the location for the house wisely as I did I am far enough back from the road to hear hardly any of the occasional traffic that passes along it.

All day long it is the sounds of nature not man I hear. The singing of the birds and the chirping of the insects.

Then at night I can sit out on the back porch and look up at a starry sky undisturbed by a single artificial light.

It is truly a fine place to be.

From my YouTube channel I have here a short video that adds a few pictures to the words.