There are only about 100 miles to cross to get from Walter’s place to the border with Brazil at Ciudad del Este. Walter gives us some great ideas about places to camp and some sites we should try and get to before we move on. So we plan to go see the world’s second largest dam at Itaipu and then stop to see the falls at Salto Monday.
Itaipu is incredible. This enormous hydroelectric dam on the Parana River between Brazil and Paraguay was the largest energy-producing dam in the world until last year. And it’s the second biggest dam in the world. Free tours are offered on the Paraguay side and we opt in on a Sunday afternoon before crossing into Brazil. As we park and secure the bikes and gear I walk over to submit our passports to the registration office and sign us up. On the way I nearly step on what I think is a bat…but is actually an enormous moth.
The bus carries us up the secured road and past a power plant and onto the west side of the dam.
We stop at an overlook for photos before moving on to drive over the dam itself to the Brazil side and then return to Paraguay over the top of the dam. We get a good view of the reservoir on the other side, which stretches nearly as far as we can see.
When we get back to the bikes we realize the day has gotten away from us – a late start leaving Walter’s, and a bit of extra time finding the tour office for the dam, etc. Might be better if we get across the border before the sun sets somewhere around 5:30. We ride back into central Ciudad del Este and head east toward the Friendship Bridge (Puente de Amistad).
We see money changers on both sides of the avenida and stop to exchange the last of our Guarani for Reais.
We stop in at the Paraguay offices to check ourselves out of the country and Migracion. We don’t see the aduana, so we don’t get the bikes processed out….hope that doesn’t cause any problems down the road.
Over the Puente de Amistad and the River Parana.
And on to the Brazil offices. There are no documents required to process the bike into Brazil. As of one year ago, Brazil opened its borders to foreign bikes and cars making crossing in much simpler and really fast.
We register with the Federal Police and get our passports stamped.
And off we go to the Manga Rosa Hostel….our first sunset in Brazil racing us there.