Ciudad del Este/Paraguay – Rio de Janeiro/Brazil

Only a small impression we get from Paraguay. After a short ride through a compared to the neighbour visibly poorer country, we are in the border city of Ciudad del Este, a commodity reloading point – electronics and photo items, contraband, counterfeit branded goods. The neighbours from Brazil and Argentina come to shop sedulously. Accordingly it looks. There are countless electronics stores, where is one shop at the other all about with the same meagre offer. The passageways are full of packaging waste. On the side walks the stalls press together. Little space on the roads for transport.
When we leave our hotel at 7.30p.m. to get something to eat, the city looks like extinct. What remains is a garbage dump. In Argentina life starts gradually at this time life.In most restaurants it would be too early to get something to eat. Here it is too late.
One day after our arrival we leave Paraguay and are probably the only foreigners who have bought nothing.
Although we have only seen a dirty city, we are confident that we have not received a representative impression of the country.

Over a bridge we cross the Parana of Ciudad del Este/Paraguay to Foz do Iguacu/Brazil.
After 10.5 months in Spanish-speaking countries, we are confronted with the Portuguese. Weird and always different this language sounds to us – sometimes somehow Slavic, East Asian times, times Scandinavian, times like Dutch or Swiss Spanish. Still the essential communication works as we speak Spanish, our vis-à-vis Portuguese.
In each new country we also look forward to culinary innovations. The Argentinian cuisine but consisted primarily of meat. The Brazilian cuisine, at least here in the south of the giant country, is hardly exotic, but there are also many international restaurants, and there are buffets. A rich selection of dishes is billed according to weight or you pay a flat rate per person. An all-you-can-eat at the best case for €1.40. That should have come to us on our highly active periods on the bike.

Once again, this time from the other side, we visit the Iguacu Falls on the border between Argentina and Brazil. Also during the second visit with new views the „The most beautiful waterfalls in the world“ are impressive. Along a 2.7km long edge the Iguacu falls into the depths and forms approximately 270 individual waterfalls with a height to over 80m.
In terms of fauna, we are impressed by ants (presumably Dinoponera (australis)). From head to rump, it is estimated up to 3cm long. What a huge thing of ant.
And we see Capybaras, the largest rodent in the world – sea pig the size of a domestic pig.

In Foz cycling in South America ends. Denises year off comes to an end. Since the last 10.5 months not necessarily can be described as a relaxing vacation, we want to take something like this, what for mainly the sunny beaches of the country attract us.
In addition among others we visit the city of Blumenau. First, we came in touch when we met a motorcyclist in Chile, whose numberplate was marked with ‚SC – Blumenau‘. Fan of a third-class German football club? Blumenau was founded of German immigrants in the state of Santa Catarina (SC). Several here speak German, there are many German names, you copy half-timbered houses, and the ‚Oktoberfest‘ is the second largest festival in Brazil after the Carnival in Rio.
After we travelled a little through Brazil without the bicycles, we go by bus, the bikes on luggage, to Rio de Janeiro.

Rio de Janeiro, the city with the Sugar Loaf, the Corcovado with the giant statue of Christ, the districts of Copacabana and Ipanema and its famous beaches, a high-contrast mixture of architecture of the colonial era to modern times. There is much to see it in this lively 6-million-metropolis.
Outstanding is the excursion to the Corcovado Mountain. From 700m above the town it offers a spectacular view. Along a winding coastline, the multi-storey buildings tower just behind the beach. Offshore are small islands and peninsulas, in between there are mountains, especially the from this perspective prominent, steep granite cliff Sugarloaf. A sensationally located city, so certainly searching their equal.
And in Rio there is the famous carnival, which is imminent, one of the largest festivals in the world. A negative side effect is the shortage of accommodations, and a rising of prices in some cases up to elevenfold. Unmindfully we scheduled our departure to 2 days before the start of the carnival. But we have the pleasure to see a rehearsal of a samba school in Sambadrom, the venue. The more than 88.000 spectators holding grandstands are filled. Today the admission is free, in a week many of the locals probably can not afford the admission between €70,- and €300,-.

After 6 days in Rio our stay there ends and our common bicycle tour. 11 months ago and 14500km Denise and I started in Costa Rica. Originally the South America Stage should end up in Buenos Aires. Thanks to a good ride, we could get to know something of Uruguay and southern Brazil. A nice addition. 11 months are behind us, in which we have seen and experienced a lot and in which we have overcome some challenges together. Thank you Denise.

While Denise is flying to Berlin, I fly to Lisbon, thence to cycle to the direction of Morocco.


pictures to this article: Ciudad del Este/Paraguay – Rio de Janeiro/Brasilien : Fotos

18. Februar 2009 - Tom | english texts | Kommentare :: comments :: comentarios | Inhalt drucken

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