Taking the road BR 277 from Foz to Ciudad del Este is a quite particular "adventure"... Close to the Friendship Bridge you will find the "real" Foz, not the tourist one. Big wholesalers and replacement parts shops go along the road, and all kind of peddlers weave among the cars, buses and trucks trying to sell everything... Closer to the bridge, the characters become more and more "peculiar"... then you begin to find the smugglers crossing the bridge.
The picture shows some of the peddlers having a rest under a shady tree.
Tomar la ruta BR 277 desde Foz hacia Ciudad del Este es una "aventura" bastante particular... Cerca del Puente de la Amistad encontrarán el Foz "real", no el turístico. Grandes almacenes mayoristas y casas de venta de repuestos bordean la ruta, y todo tipo de vendedores ambulantes zigzaguean entre los autos, buses y camiones tratando de vender de todo... Más cerca del puente, los personajes se tornan más "peculiares"... entonces comienzan a toparse con los contrabandistas que cruzan el puente.
La foto muestra a varios de los vendedores ambulantes descansando a la sombra de un árbol.
For most of the buses around here (not the international buses), you'll enter from the back and pay the cashier, then go through the turnstiles and exit from the front.
So, when you're standing at the bus stop waiting, don't be surprised when the driver seems to drive by you. He's going to stop so that the back door is in front of you. But, be sure to stick your hand out to let him know you want him to stop.
The largest mosque in Brazil (according to a cabbie) is located here in Foz do Iguacu. I saw it from a distance and the gold dome is pretty impressive. You'll also see signs for a Buddhist Temple on your way out to the Itaipu Dam. And, of course, this is Brazil, a Catholic country, so you'll see a few churches in the area.
All of these religions seem to exist rather peacefully, but the area does have a reputation for housing some troublemakers.
You might also notice that the population here is more bilingual than in most parts of Brazil because of the location being so close to two Spanish speaking countries. Still, most people don't speak English, but if you can get by in Spanish you'll find communicating is easier here than in places like Rio.
One of my favorite beverages while I was in Foz was the local drink Guarana. Although there are multiple different brands of this beverage, the consensus of my research pointed to Antarctica as the preferred brand. Similar to the Coke vs. Pepsi controversy, sometimes in Brazil you are not able to get exactly what you want, because certain restaurants only carry one or the other, it seemed fairly consistent in Foz to have the Antarctica brand available.
Guarana is actually a plant, which has small coffee bean sized berries which can be used to create the beverage, although there is not much actual juice in the flavored soft drink.
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