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Paraguay: Tapir, Sprinter diesel loss & Empadradas

July 2023

porcine tapir


A pig-like animal, weighing up to 300kg, with a strong physique and trunk-like nose. It lives in tropical forests and is herbivorous. A good swimmer, it can live up to 30 years.
The shy tapir can be very dangerous if it panics. Runs everything over when fleeing forward and with his pointed teeth he can then bite hard.

Mercedes Sprinter loss of fuel

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter surprise

We had a major service carried out on our Mercedes Benz Sprinter at an official Mercedes workshop. Sprinters are also manufactured in Argentina.
The next day we wanted to leave Argentina in the direction of Paraguay and drove the eight kilometers to the border. Passports stamped out in Argentina and TIP vehicle paper handed in. Before the bridge over the Rio Paraná to Paraguay, in no man's land, we had to wait a few minutes because of traffic jam. Then a driver of a motorcycle pointed out to us that we would lose fuel. Yes, the diesel ran out in streams = shock 1.
We were able to explain to a border official that we wanted to turn around immediately and return to his country. Half an hour after checking out from Argentina, we had re-entered. Immigration and TIP vehicle paper received again. Thanks to the diesel loss, the entry procedure was very fast and uncomplicated.
Barely a kilometer on the highway in the direction of Mercedes representation smoke was coming from the engine compartment. Hazard warning lights on, stopping on the emergency lanes, passports and documents brought to safety and been ready with a fire extinguisher in front of the hood = shock 2.
Call at Mercedes representation. Help was there in 30 minutes. Line of the diesel filter had apparently not been installed professionally. The mechanic worked on the diesel line and after a test run at a standstill, we followed the mechanic. Less than 2 KM of driving, heavy smoke development again = when we stopped again, the mechanic showed us to immediately distance ourselves from the vehicle, Edy was ready for action again with the fire extinguisher = shock 3
The mechanic then fetched a cable clamp from the workshop to fix the hose. In convoy, we then drove to the workshop - the diesel remaining in the engine compartment only slightly smoking.
According to the statements made by the workshop manager, the diesel filter was now professionally reassembled. We accepted various excuses from the very nice staff, the engine was specially cleaned and after a very strenuous day we drove again for one night to our overnight placewhich we had left in the morning.
Well, as it seems, we've been lucky again!!!

tow truck and sprinter

Addendum: Next day we drove as planned to Hohenau, Paraguay. After two days and about a hundred kilometers on the road, smoke came out of the engine compartment again. We didn't to risk anything and called a Mercedes agency in Paraguay 30 km away. They did not send a mechanic as we requested, but a tow truck to load our Sprinter.
The load platform of the truck was already very high, which, with the loaded Sprinter, resulted in a total height that made it completely impossible to drive to the workshop under the power lines that were everywhere.

Sprinter diagnostics

So immediately unloaded the Sprinter and drove three kilometers to our campsite. The next day, a Mercedes service mechanic came to us and changed the fuel filter because the connection point had been damaged during the previous service work.
We drove short distances for a few days. With every kilometer driven, the hope grows that an official Mercedes agency will be able to change a diesel filter without damaging it.

Paraguay Empadrada

Stone road, so called Empadrada

In addition to asphalt and dirt roads, there are also many bumpy stone roads to be found in towns in Paraguay - ha, not suitable for women wearing high heels.
The construction materials used for these stone roads are strictly regulated. The manufacturer is liable for damages that can be proven to be due to the use of unsuitable material. To ensure a good load-bearing capacity of the stones, the subsoil must be carefully prepared. The stones to be used must be at least 15 cm and must be laid by hand interlocking as much as possible, striking them horizontally to minimize the thickness of the joints. The stones should also be placed on a thick cushion of loose red soil. Compaction must be done with a vibratory roller. The joints are then rubbed with sand and helped to fill completely with steel brooms. These pavements are suitable for parking lots, pedestrian zones, and are also used for traffic routes in residential areas where there is not a high volume of traffic and the speed is less than 50 km/h.
However, these old-fashioned cobblestones are often a bit troublesome to drive on.

Marina with cake express

Mobile cake sale

A traveler friend brought to our attention that at certain times Marina delivers her delicious homemade baked goods to customers with her station wagon. Sure enough, we agreed with her on delivery times.
The offer is varied and very well made. Difficult not to buy too much of each!

Embutidos Don Otto Bella Vista

Embutidos "Don Otto "in Bella Vista

Sausage products such as meat loaf, Bratwurst, Weißwurst, knuckle of pork... A big hit are also the fantastic blue cheese, Gruyère and Emmentaler.
Three times a week, fresh bread in many varieties from different European bakers is also delivered and sold. A special butchery!

Ahumados Don Frieden Hohenau

Ahumados "Don Frieden" in Hohenau

Smoked and cured and without preservatives: Salami, Spanish chorizo, raw ham, bandiola, smoked fish... simply delicious.