Thursday, 17 January 2013


Day trip to Paraguay today. Land locked country about the size of California bordering Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia. If I am honest I only really visited to get the stamp in the passport and say that I have been to Paraguay.

The boarder town we went to Ciudad del Este is an interesting place and has been described as the largest shopping mall in South America. Paraguay does not have a huge amount going for it, so to encourage visitors and trade they have created a huge duty free zone around the town. Think airport duty free shopping, but with an interesting mix of authentic and fake goods. You can visit the very fancy department store and buy a nice new Rolex, or you can visit the shack round the corned and buy a fake one for about $10. My favourite was the guy wandering around selling tazers and Viagra?

This being South America, everything was priced in USD. Probably because to quote from the guidebook ‘Get rid of all your Guaranies (local currency) before leaving Paraguay, there is no market for them elsewhere.’ Another stable South American economy then! I did not actually make any purchases myself, but it was interesting window shopping for the day.

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