Ciudad del Este

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.

Signs on the Brazilian side before leaving to Paraguay
Signs on the Brazilian side before leaving to Paraguay

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.

German monkeys on the bridge between Iguazu and Ciudad del Este
German monkeys on the bridge between Iguazu and Ciudad del Este
Brazil and Foz do Iguacu to the left and Ciudad del Este, Paraguay to the right
Brazil and Foz do Iguacu to the left and Ciudad del Este, Paraguay to the right

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.

Border at Ciudad del Este
Border at Ciudad del Este
Border, Ciudad del Este, Paraguay
Border, Ciudad del Este, Paraguay
Our first drinks in Paraguay
Our first drinks in Paraguay

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.

Small street, Ciudad del Este
Small street, Ciudad del Este. Very dirty!
Ciudad del Este, Paraguay
Ciudad del Este, Paraguay

Dinnertime!

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.

Dinner with a Bavaria beer!
Dinner with a Baviera beer!
Tab was a bit frightening, seeing that we had to pay 148.000 guarani
Tab was a bit frightening, seeing that we had to pay 148.000 guarani. My money library here
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.

Me in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay
Me in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay
Took a sneaky shot of the border from a toilet
Took a sneaky shot of the border from a toilet
Heading back over the bridge. Old Scania bringing back some memories
Heading back over the bridge. Old Scania bringing back some memories
Back from Ciudad del Este, Nadin was so happy that she kissed the Brazilian ground
Back from Ciudad del Este, Nadin was so happy that she kissed the Brazilian ground

Check out my posts from Iguazu falls

Argentina

Brazil

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Next Stop: Salvador, Brazil