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Ciudad del Este y Asunción

sunny 39 °C
View Latina America on Gitan Jean's travel map.

Ciudad del Este is a noisy, dirty and very busy city on the border with Brazil. Apparently, it is a paradise for buying cheap perfumes, electronica, alcohol etc. I remember I was witing for the bus more than I was exploring the city as people do not seem to be very prepared to help you out on finding the right bus stop, well, maybe they just do not know from where the bus to Argentina goes.

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Anyway, the Itaipú hydroelectric power plant, with the Panama Canal and others one of the seven wonders of the modern world and by far the world's biggest in its sort, is something worth visiting from Ciudad del Este. It was constructed on the Paraná River where Brasil borders with Paraguay. To give a bit of an idea, the amount of iron used in the project is enough to build 380 Eiffel Towers and the volume of concreet used in Itaipú is fifteen times more than the amount used in the Chunnel between France and the U.K.! The plant produces about 90% of all Paraguayan electricity and some 25% of Brasil's. After an introduction movie free bus-tours around and on the dam are offered with a visit to the powerhouse. It is all very impressive, though, in my opinion, a bit short. I could have spent much more time there.

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Asunción was not what I had expected. With its 1.3 million inhabitants it is more or less the same size as Montevideo, but compared to Montevideo it is almost dead. There was very few people in the streets and in bars, restaurants etc., although it was weekend when I was there. There is no hostels in Asunción but very cheap hotels and there is hardly any tourists. Moreover it is too warm. There are a few nice buildings and squares to visit, but that is about it. On Sunday, I walked six kilometres in the baking heat to the Botanical Garden which was quite nice but nothing special. There is a little zoo there as well, with two lions, a hippo and an elephant, not quite like the zoo in Antwerp! After 22 hours of bus, I was happy to arrive in the cool Montevideo! Next time in Paraguay, I will visit its nationals parks but they are very difficult to reach at times and you need a permision to pay them a visit.

Hejda!

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Posted by Gitan Jean 09:18 Archived in Paraguay Tagged backpacking

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Comments

Hola, João!

Foz do Iguaçu e la hidroeletrica del rio Paraná son fantasticas, mismo que no conzca personalmente!
Pero ahora sabes que siempre tenerás mucha cantidad del água y calor cuando venires a Brasil, rs!
Tuve una alumna paraguaya cuando dava clases de ecología en Campo Grande. Ella siempre dijome que hay muchos parques nacionales en Paraguay que son belísimos, mientras que sean muy lejos de la capital. Hace a eso de dos años que hablamos por la net para hacer un paseo por Paraguay en nuestras vacaciones.
La mayoria de los brasileños no les gusta Paraguay, por que la unica imagen que los veen en la mente es la "loca" Assunción o el comercio clandestino del Paraguay. Pero esta mi alumna he hecho aprender sobre las cosas y paseos belos que Paraguay presenta!
Tenemos que hacer un viaje por alla cuando venires a Brasil, sí,mi amigo querido?
Besitos!
Alê

by aspenha

Ok, first of all, Asunción does have more than 1.3 million habs.
Second, To build an opinio about anything, you should first get to know the subjetc. You have not been to 90% of the tourists destination in Paraguay. Among that, I'm sure you have not been in all Asunción, I'm shure you too one of those stinky citytours, most of mediocre tourists take, were tour agencies arange stops in gifts shops and show a small part of the city once tourists bought a few ammount of money to cover the arangement with those giftshops. Asunción has many exiting destinations and activities to do, most of them in the evening, you probably were too tired to go out, otherwise, you opinion would be completely diferent.
Last, but not least... I had dificulties readding your posts, a little bit of grammar would do you very good.
Regards.

by cuotita

Cuotita,
It seems to me that you are a bit angry with me for writing these things about Asunción. Why?
I have never taken any of those stinky citytours by the way.
Anyway, I have never pretended to have seen everything in Paraguay, on the contrary, I wrote that I have only seen a bit of Ciudad del Este and Asunción and that I will pay a visit to the national parks next time in Parguay. They are without any doubt very beautiful. I realise that I am not even near to having seen 'everything' in Paraguay nor even only in Asunción, so the only thing I can do is write down what impression the city left on me and that is what I did.
I can tell you I walked the streets in Asunción's city centre every night and there was hardly anyone. Apart from a few cybercafes, petrol stations and a stall selling sausages and drinks it seemed like there was not a lot to do. And if I explored the wrong areas in Asunción, than that is too bad, I will try my best to explore the city a bit more next time I get there.
So, how many inhabitants does Asuncion have than, according to you? If I google it, I find numbers between 1.2 million and 1.4 million. The Rough Guide states that there are around 1.3 million inhabitants. I think I have done and seen most of the attractions in Asunción suggested by Rough Guide. Maybe you should direct your anger to them for providing wrong information and suggest them they put all the other things there are to see in Asunción in their guidebook, too.
If you had difficulties reading (and not readding) my posts, that might have more to do with you than with my English. I am fully aware it is not perfect, but that is quite logical as I am not a native speaker. Look at your comment, I bet there is almost as many spelling errors in your short message than in the whole of my blog.

Regards

by Gitan Jean

Cuotita,

Conocí Jean en su viaje por Chile y Argentina y sé muy bien que sus descripciones sobre Assunción y sobre todos los sítios que he visitado en América Latina son hechas con corazón abierto! Como brasileña, puedo hablar sobre buenos sítios para conocer y otros que no me gustaria invitar mis amigos o turistas.
Sobretodo, creo que los "ojos" de cada persona son particulares.
Y los sentimentos sobre paisajes, personas, calles, culturas y mesclas raciales son únicas.
Por eso, creo que puedo conecer un país en Europa, por exemplo, y no me encantar con él, aún que todos que he conocido les gustó.
Puedo no me encantar con Paris o Madrid.
O puedo, a penas hacer una descripción en datos de mis "ojos" y de la realidad que sentí, que puede ser demasiado fría o con algúm tipo de error para otros "ojos".

by aspenha

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