Villa Florida shall stay with me for a long time. Absolutely brilliant. I have been lucky enough to experience some amazing beaches in my time (Barbados, Koh Phangan, Copacabana) but Villa Florida is right up with then. I suppose, its technically not a sea. It is a lot of sand beside a river. I choose to believe that when there is sand beside water, it is a beach. Come at me, Geographers. I would recommend going to Villa Florida but maybe not solo as there are not a lot of people around in the area and much going on.
There are under 4 restaurants and maybe 2 supermarkets. Everything is someones house as well. When you need something in the pharmacy, you have to interrupt them from watching TV on their couch. It was very surreal. I needed water one day and walked into a grocery shop, only to find the family having their sunday dinner in the middle of the shop. It was quite awkward! Having Gringo’s in their town was a huge novelty for them so they were always very helpful with everything.
Our time in Villa Florida was excellent but we made some enemies with the locals. They are not used to Gringos coming into town and I feel we did not do Gringokind many favors. To be fair, it was not our fault but we are cheap. So under any circumstances do not try to rip us off! We made a few enemies.
1) There no ATM in the town and we ran out of money. Amazing planning on our part. A waiter in a local restaurant said they he will put through something on a credit card and give us cash back. Brilliant stuff. Transaction concluded. He wanted a tip, we thanked him and went on our merry way. OK, that does not sound great. We should have tipped but….we ran out of money!
2) We went for a dinner one night in some crap little diner. Low and behold, this diner delivered some of the finest food that I have ever tasted. It was glorious. It was our introduction to Milanesa. It looked and tasted like a fried heart attack but spectacular nonetheless. We finished our meal. Delighted with ourselves. It was time to pay. The girl shortchanged us. Basically, she asked us for 20 euro extra for change purposes (obviously not that amount but this is just an example) and we received back the change that was on the receipt (so minus that 20 euro). We then began to argue. The girl (Mrs. Thief we shall call her) had no english but her boss had a bit. Obviously, Mrs. Thief has a reputation for this kind of nonsense because the boss was extremely sympathetic to us and after LOADS of arguing, we got our money back and left with our heads held high but disliked by the locals. We were given some seriously dirty looks by other people eating their heart attacks as we left.
3) The most spectacular for last. Our hostel was run by a mother daughter combination (obviously a Paraguayan thing). Unlike the lovely combination in Asuncion these two were horrible. They had a combined age of 6,000 years, I believe. Oh god, the mother. Her legs. Oh god. It seemed like her skin was desperately trying to escape via her toes. When she would be en route to the toilet, she would begin rolling up her dress from the moment she left her chair. Closer to the toilet that she would get, the more I would nearly vomit out my insides. Anyway, me being me. I thought I misplaced my bankcards. Absolute disaster. I would need to fed ex them over and just be broke for ages. I would also have to stay in one place long enough to have them fed ex’ed to me. It was worthy of the panic I endured. I went through all of my bags and everyone else’s but alas. It was hopeless. Nowhere to be seen. We asked the old ladies did they see it (incase I dropped it around the hostel). The ladies interrupted this as “YOU OLD CUNTS! STEALING OUR CARDS!”. We asked dthe cleaner but they assumed we were accusing her as well. The grannies explained that the cleaner was very poor so of course she wouldn’t steal. Weird. To this day, I think they asked us to leave the hostel but we are not sure. The grannies went a little crazy and began yelling different things. Some we understood, a lot we didn’t. They started walking in and out of different rooms, just yelling. It was hard to not laugh at the farcical nature of it all. Clara, Clara, the angel found the cards. Turns out they were so well hidden in my bag that we could not find them. I thought I would be very clever and hide them but unfortunately, not for the first time. I was too clever.
#TRAVELTIP – DO NOT BE TOO CLEVER
We told the grannies that we found the cards and spent another awkward night there. We were the only ones in the hostel which was nice but after the incident, more people would have been lovely. Breakfast was extraordinarily awkward but we survived. I love you, Villa Florida. Such beauty and peace. I cannot end a blog post with the sentence “Such Beauty and peace”. It is too sappy.