Back to
South America
South America
-- Paraguay --

Main Page 2008-2009
Around the World

Brazil Paraguay Argentina Chile Bolivia Peru Ecuador Colombia

      What do we know about Paraguay, forgotten little Paraguay? It's a surreal place. I needed no more proof of this when I stumbled across a Thanksgiving celebration(!) four days after Thanksgiving(!) in hectic Ciudad del Este(!) After a skit about the origins of Thanksgiving done by some local kids they went straight into the Bee Gees song and this vigorous dancing. Then came a 50s rock and roll medley, then another somber skit about the Mayflower or who knows what.

      Where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet over the Paraná River is a famously lawless area. Argentina is the only one of the three that actually checks passports. You could come and go into Paraguay and Brazil with impunity, and lots of people do. I did a few times as I had some visa problems. In the car crash photo what is remarkable about this is that it is in the no-man's land between borders. It is only a couple of kilometers. How can a car get going so fast in the first place?

In front of the world's largest dam, looking rather stunning. Amen

      The guy is selling sugar cane juice with mint, surprisingly delicious and refreshing. The girl is selling a sort of yucca bread ring called chipa, very common in Paraguay. One of those classic moments where I regreted not taking a photo was on the bus between Ciudad del Este and Asuncion. The bus stops along the road in the middle of nowhere in front of a shop that makes chipas and a girl gets on to sell them. She is dressed exactly like an American high school cheerleader and she carries a large shallow woven basket with the chipas piled very high. They are covered to stay warm. The bus swerves and jerks as the girl sells the chipas, keeping perfect balance while keeping the basket aloft. It was amazing to witness.

      This table full of herbs is used to mash and make tea. On the right is the Asuncion bus terminal. I was prepared to take the Hell Journey to Bolivia, one of the worst in South America, but the Bolivian embassy made the decision for me by making it impossible to get a visa. First they wouldn't let me enter the embassy in shorts, then over the phone I was asked to give my address since the list of requirements was so long, and then the kicker was that I needed a police report from the national police (which doesn't exist in USA) stating that I have a clean criminal record.

      Monday Falls south of Ciudad del Este. If Iguazu Falls didn't exist, people would travel to see these. As it was, just retarded locals who think it is funny to get a photo like this were there. One slip and they could easily be toast.

back to top

Brazil Paraguay Argentina Chile Bolivia Peru Ecuador Colombia

Follow the foot to