A different choice to let perennial Formosa landscape astonish you. An excursion that takes you to discover stories, myths and legends surrounded by nature in its purest state.
It was luckily a splendid day with some clouds that did not prevent us from going on the excursion. That is why we contacted Freddy Iznardo - an adventure tourism guide- who organizes this kind of excursions on Paraguay delta. We arranged to meet at midday in "Costa Brava" nautic guard. We would depart from there to navigate and go on a photographic safari.
Located at 51 Rosa Vera Insfran de Molina Street, the guard has two big sheds which have room for more than 300 boats, two freight elevators to move small and big boats, a floating gate with mooring and an electric elevator to put boats onto the water. We quickly realized that we would not have to make any kind of effort.
As we were waiting for Freddy, we decided to have lunch in the canteen located in the same spot. There, Noemí, alias "La Gringa", prepared a grilled fillet of surubí with salad and french fries. Since the moment deserved it, we had some cold beer- obviously of national origin.
A different place
Navigate the Paraguay River
The magnificent crossing
Eating by Paraguay River is a unique sensation. The warm breeze coming from the North, the sound of water striking different yachts in the mooring, the view full of multiple fishing boats spread all over the river, added to the exquisite smell coming from the regional dish we were eating, made us relax before we had expected to.
Time of contemplation
Before the typical digestive drowsiness invaded us, Freddy arrived with all the energy and cordiality that prevailed during the expedition for us to open up to adventure. Javier-"Jopy"-, his cousin, came with him to help during the crossing.
Freddy Iznardo (40), from Formosa and of "pure stock", in love with his proffession has been adventure tourist guide in Paraguay River and its tributaries for ten years. "To me, there is nothing like a crossing in piragua, rowing along brooks, in real contact with nature- the sounds of Mother forest are heard charming us magically"- says in a breath, with that accent which is half Argentinean and half Paraguayian, typical of people who are in contact with those from the neighbor country.
Across the river, Aberdi is located, a city from Paraguay which main economical income is related to the selling of imported products and imitation.
We twisted 360 grades and now, we went Southwards and entered mysterious Paraguay River which is born in Mato Grosso area (Brazil) and flows around 2300 kilometers until its outlet in River Plate. It has excellent places, mainly in its coasts since it has big sand banks. The area is very much visited for fishing practice in its different styles.
The boat we were in was a standard fishing hull that allows Freddy to have great maneuverability. It has a 35 Hp engine, doble decked ( to have more safety), two seats and a watertight compartment in prow. We were also given life vests for us to feel safer.
We went along 25 kilometers , navigating the brook and being our destination the "Isla de Oro" ( Golden Island). Then, we went through 9 de Julio brook, passed by Oca Lagoon where the second provincial biosphere reservation is located. Finally, we would go to Pykysyry brook.
Along the excursion, we paid attention to the intense green of the forest spread along the coasts in galleries. In some tree tops, we could watch howler monkeys or "carayas" and pink herons which, scared at the sound of the boat engine, let us see the splendour of their wings in their frightened flight.
The brilliant green of the forests in galleries
As we left Paraguay river behind, the different brook mouths came one after the other. Almost without noticing it, we passed by the Isla de Oro which owns its name to the fact that people believe that Paraguay Army, during the War of the Triple Alliance, burried a great amount of gold bars as it retired. Myth or reality, what is true is that the place is unforgettable and has deep ravines which are ideal to fish pacú, surubí, manguruyú and corvines.
During the excursion, more than 50 boats passed by us, all their crews fishing and waving, and I mention this because all the people in them kindly waved with both hands and smiled as soon as they saw us.
After going along the coast for some minutes, getting astonished by the different shades of the trees and the sounds of insects and avoiding millions of "camalotes" which were drifting away, we got to Oca Lagoon where you can enjoy all natural resources trying always not to alter the environment. We turned the engine off and got ready to "listen to the silence" which was only interrupted by the sound of "mate tereré" when it became empty.
On the coast of the lagoon, there is a camping site called "Curuzú la novia" which has a camping area, restrooms, kiosks and an area to practice beach sports.
After having a rest, Freddy pointed to the South, towards Pykysyry brook named after two guaraní words: pyky, " small fish" and syry, "quick or fast" since there are little fish which are similar to catfish but smaller and which are really fast in the water.
Opposite the brook, there is a Camping Site, Inn and Estancia called La Florida with services to spend a few days in the region according to the taste of the guest and offers an excellent variety of regional dishes. To get through land, you must ride Nº 11 National Route and turn into the neighbor road going to Colonia Aquino.
At this moment, the last rays of the day gave us an unforgettable good bye as present.
We started our return journey and, in the far distance, the orange sunset reflected on the calm waters of Paraguay River. The satisfaction at what had been learnt about the area, added to the relax left in our bodies after navigating, is , no doubt, the best antidote against possible stress one may bring from the big city.
Grateful to Freddy and Jopy- the last one being silent but hard worker- due to the magnificent crossing and kindness, we arranged a visit to San Francisco de Laishi for the following day where a new adventure would be waiting for us.
Marcelo Sola Marcelo Sola
Contact of the excursion or tour
Paraguay 520 (3600) Formosa, Formosa
Cel: +54 370-4365764
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