Dam good

Trip Start Jun 15, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Austria Hotel

Flag of Paraguay  ,
Tuesday, November 25, 2008

We had an uneventful bus trip through to Ciudad Del Este on the border of Paraguay and Brazil, but we drove through some beautiful countryside en route. There are only a couple of hotels to choose from, one of which was a bit minging so we went for the slightly more expensive but much nicer one that also included a wicked breakfast. You have to look for these things right?! It also had a Spanish speaking (of course!) parrot that spends his whole day saying "Ola" to no-one in particular!
Our one day here was spent going to visit the Itaipu Dam, which is the second biggest dam in the world. Now we have seen the Hoover dam which is spectacular, but even that didn't prepare us for quite how big this dam is. The volume of water is incredible. It services the whole of Paraguay and the Southern part of Brazil and so has to be pretty big I guess. It is surrounded by beautiful countryside too which makes it even more amazing. We had to take a bus around the dam as cars are not allowed. It was free though so all was good. Not that I'm comp0laining about it being free but what are they thinking? They could get so much money from tourists here, it's a wasted venture. Although it does look like they are trying to focus on tourism as there are some cool looking projects in the making - tourist resorts and environmental stations. There is such potential here.
Next stop was the Flora and Fauna museum and zoo, where the animals that lost their homes when the dam was built have been rehoused. It was a lot of fun and the animals were gorgeous. There was a monkey playing with a water bottle with Ed that was just so cute! He got about 6 inches away from a Cayman to take a photo and the Cayman didn't even stir, but when he got too close to a small ostrich type bird it took issue and chased after him pecking his feet. Funny but a bit scary too! We got up close and personal with puma, jaguars, toucans, capybaras, monkeys, cayman, and emu. It was a really good zoo and most of the animals were very friendly!
Tomorrow we are off to Iguazu Falls but have been told that we may have a problem on the border as we are not stamped out of Brazil and so apparently may get arrested. Nice. Hopefully will be in touch soon from the safety of a hostel and not a prison cell. Alex, be ready to work your magic and bale us out!
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