Conquering South America
In my plans to conquer every country in South America, I didn’t really include Paraguay. But being in Foz do Iguacu and close to the Paraguayan border, I just couldn’t resist to not cross over. It was difficult for me to convince the two german monkeys to join me across the river to the other side. After nagging for two days, I finally made it with some help by one of the guys working at the hostel we lived in. He recommended a nice Chinese restaurant in the city within walking distance from the border.
Leaving Foz do Iguacu
We took a taxi from our hostel getting to the border on the Brazilian side. The taxi driver was a girl, but she didn’t have her passport with her so we had to walk over the bridge which was fine for me. I read at some places that it was a dangerous cross to make and that Ciudad del Este had nothing to offer.
Ciudad del Este
After crossing the bridge on foot, we immediately noticed how people were different. Street sellers tried to sell things, and didn’t really want to give up. Followed us, repeated themselves more than five times. It was pretty annoying. Garbage was lying everywhere and it felt like a very dirty city. We stopped for a drink before continuing our search for the Chinese restaurant.
Big socioeconomical differences
After finishing our drinks, we went on the path we’d been instructed to follow. Every corner of this city was dirty and all the people we saw looked like their life was pretty harsh. On the Brazilian side, we saw big advertisements for a place called Mona Lisa. This place was further down the same road that goes over to Brazil. Being curious, we had to step inside. It was a huge mall with six floors, selling all kinds of electronics, designer clothes, branded sunglasses and much more. Prices were high, higher than in Sweden. But for some reason it’s still cheaper than to buy all this stuff in Brazil. The mall was patrolled by more guards than costumers. Comparing it to what we saw on the outside was not even possible. How can a big place like this with so many guards earn anything when there are no customers? Even the food at the restaurant was extremely expensive with prices starting at $20 for something simple. After sitting down for 15 minutes, we got out again. Saw a Porsche Cayenne driving by. Street vendors started following us, trying to sell things but after ignoring them long enough, they gave up.
Found the Chinese restaurant and ordered some good food. Only sad thing was that you got a full plate of rice and 5-6 medium shrimps to go with this. The ratio between protein and carbo hydrates wasn’t really the best. Had a Paraguayan beer with the food, adding it to my list of beer I’ve drank locally in the producing country.
Heading back to Foz do Iguacu
We didn’t want to stay for too long in Paraguay. It was only an hour or so left until the sun would go down. Trying to hurry ourselves back towards the border, we went on a parallel road to the main one trying to avoid all the street vendors. This also gave us some more opportunities for pictures of the not so clean city.