Paraguay and Bolivia are the two poorest countries in South America and the only two that are landlocked. Coincidence?

I had to escape from Asunción yesterday due to what happened to me at 4:15am Thursday morning. No, it didn’t involve a transsexual, or any other person for that matter. Story coming.

I’m starting to seriously consider my travel luck.

For more on Bolivia, check out my Bolivia travel guide.

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  • Anonymous

    Ha ha. I actually had a strong suspicion that it had to do with a transexual… even more intrigued now that such hypothesis does no longer hold.

  • Sudamericana

    I keep forgetting to sign my comments! That was me.

  • Sudamericana

    Was it a rat or some creepy animal???????

  • Genevieve

    i haven’t been following your blog much but i’ve been following you through flickr and it still seems like you’re having a good time! your pictures are amazing!

    Genevieve’s last blog post: ?It?s amazing how you can always work anal intercourse into the conversation.?.

  • miik

    Was it a transexual rat?

  • moi

    I doubt that you necessarily have any worse travel luck than any other American that backpacks through South America for an extended period of time. Who knows what happened to you, but you likely stick out like a sore thumb there so you are a target for people looking to take advantage of an American who does not know the culture or the area, and who has limited command of the language.

  • craig |

    “On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero. ” – fight club

    This can extend to travel as well. The long you travel, the greater chance an instance of something (negative?) will happen to you traveling.

    craig |’s last blog post: Travelvice Realignment: Snapshots Gallery.

  • terps

    since it didn’t involve a person… maybe he got a snake bite or got mauled by a boar?

  • Gannon

    Man, I told you to watch your step in Paraguay. Bolivia is poor, but relatively peaceful. Paraguay is fucking dangerous.

  • Anonymous

    my guess it has something to do with your gastrointestinal system. since it seems this whole trip revolves around your digestive problems.

  • shadi

    oops the above anon was me.

  • cuchulainn

    The white and japanese parts of Bolivia are quite prosperous, which is why they are attempting to seceed. Location can be important, but other things are far more so.

  • yeders

    It makes much sense that landlocked countries are poorer. the advantage of having trade via the sea greatly affects a countries economy.
    looking forward to this story.. as always

  • Rajia

    As a semi-related topic, if you look at the way that Africa is divided up, you’ll notice a lot of strangely divided countries in Western Africa – really narrow that go fairly deep inland. This was a result of European colonization, and since different countries colonized different parts, they all wanted sea ports. It’s one of the reasons that Africa has been so plagued by civil wars. Countries were not divided based on tribal boundaries or any commonality among the people. I havent done a lot of research on S America, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s for similar reasons.

  • dpdawson


    Can you give an estimate as to how much this trip has cost in total? Money, not stomach lining.

    I am planning a similar trip in the near future and would like to get a rough idea of what I should expect.

  • dchero

    Definitely sounds like an animal, like you woke up and discovered an uninvited bed partner.

    dchero’s last blog post: Growing My Hair Out: A Scientific Study.

  • Joe T.

    A friend who’s an expert in South American history told me that Bolivia and Chile have a longstanding border dispute, where Bolivia used to claim part of Chile’s northern coastline. Supposedly the two countries were in negotiations during the 80′s, discussing a deal whereby Chile would have granted a small strip of coastline to Bolivia, in return for getting some mineral-rich lands from Bolivia. I don’t know what ever happened to that deal.

  • Boo-you

    OMG, this thing was so painful to read!
    How does a person like you even adventures himself in his head to take a trip anywhere but in the tour bus through Wa DC?!.. this kind of ‘adventure diary’ are what fuels the show “An idiot abroad” on the Science Channel. So damn sad!.. AND THE WORST THING the comments of oOOooOOh!. First of all to experience a culture and a country to have to know something about it, research.. if it touches your pansy side..don’t go.

    Lizard: That ‘light lizard’ its found even on the Sheraton Hotel in PRY, ARG or BRZ if they don’t spray venom (which is way toxic than a bug eating lizard), poor houses, mansions.. even supermarkets.. WELCOME TO TROPICAL CLIMATE!!! the poor thing is not bigger than your thumb and your finger.. eats bugs (that’s why it hangs out near lights and and bugs areas)DOES NOT have teeth, DOES NOT have poisonous stings… and I HIGHLY DOUBT IT YELLS AT YOU GODZILLA LIKE.

    Bat: Asuncion’s Downtown is a very Old/new architecture display full of rich past and history. The streets are NOT ROUGHER than the nights of any other US city (small or big), if anything.. at least you can see it coming. The old building/houses in downtown Asuncion have almost intact construction, from the brick to the wood on the ceilings, bats are Asuncion’s night night bug vigilantes. Some live in mango trees that you can see all over town, some try to warm up and hide from inclemency sneaking through old buildings roofs. That is the case your heart attack BAT. Not a Rat, Not a weasel (I’m currently in L.A. having some friend fun, yesterday walking through West L.A. a WEASEL BIGGER THAN MY BAG walked through my Patisserie table to make to the other side of the street) not even a huge roach or skunk.. a Bat..

    Hotel: Why do you complain so much?, is not bad.. have you told this people how much are you paying or payed for the hotel? … the Miami hotel in PRY is the CHEAPEST thing you can find not to open your tent in the Plaza Uruguaya 2 blocks from it. AND still has running water, service all night, a bed.. and I can BET money that the sheets were clean.. if you are so delicate (which is the NO NO number UNO to NOT BECOME AN ADVENTUROUS BACKPACKER) why didn’t you at least pay $70 a Night to stay in a HOTEL?.

    Shots? for a dead bat? freaking out? cause you saw an inoffensive lizard?… Staying up? what the ghost of the bat was gonna give you vampirism from hell?.. So Lame!!!

    Absorbing cultural richness comes with a price, requires to getting from our comfort zone, be informed, be receptive, and to learn that in other cultures it can be possible to live respecting nature environment and live in harmony.. without dying, fear of rabies and cancer just cause a cow looks at you. Learn that you not as perishable as you think.. and if you think you are.. playing the MIGHTY ADVENTUROUS TRAVELER might not be your thing.

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but Paraguay is so culturally rich and beautiful, that I think this is offensive to whomever knows how to travel abroad and makes the most out of an experience.. not writes a whole book about a dead bat, and fabulates to enrich the drama. You should either travel on a tour bus, or pay the money you have to have it all 5 stars without autochthonous interaction (specially from wild life).. I had to say this, cause this thing I read it’s just Lame.