06 July 2007

Going to Posadas

I'm getting my things in order because I'm going on winter vacations. It'll be only a few days, but not a long weekend escapade. I'm leaving this Sunday afternoon, to arrive Monday morning (Independence Day, incidentally) in Posadas, Misiones.

Posadas is a city of a quarter million people with no famous tourist attractions. The area, however, is full of ruins of 17th and 18th century Jesuit missions (think The Mission, though the movie's setting was actually elsewhere). It's about 1,000 km north of Rosario, upstream on the opposite shores of the Paraná, and logically much warmer at this time of the year. Now that a polar cold front (another one) is headed for us, I think my timing has been perfect... only the weather forecast for Posadas says either "cloudy" or "showers" for every day next week. I'd have some nice rain rather than just an overcast gray sky. It's better for pictures, too (except it's a bother to handle an umbrella without hands while you hold the camera still).

I'm told Posadas is very nice, even though it has no big monuments or the sophistication of bigger cities. I'm staying there at least three days, possibly more, but I also want to check out Encarnación, which is across the river, in Paraguay. Rumour has it you can smuggle anything at a very good price, from MP3 players to plasma TVs, from Paraguay. We'll see...


  1. If you go to Encarnación, be on the lookout for any monuments to the city’s (in)famous son – Alfredo Strössner.

    How much of a bribe to the customs officers need to turn a blind eye to smuggled goods? It’s still probably much cheaper to have a tourist bring those gadgets from the US.

    Happy Holidays. Take lots of photos.


  2. I'm not really going to smuggle anything from Paraguay, John. :)

    (Not on the record, at least.) From what I'm told, you can cross the bridge just like that, though; it's not like they're going to search your bags.

    I have it from a good source that nuns from a congregation based in Clorinda, Formosa, go shopping to Asunción every now and then, and the customs officers just wave at them even if the sisters are carrying TV sets...

  3. I would have thought that Argentine customs would be even more thorough at this crossing. I know that the tri-border area further north is under intense scrutiny because of international money laundering (to fund terrorism). The three nations and the US have a joint task force with offices in Foz do Iguacu.

    Well those nuns – what can I say. Perhaps they have a special dispensation from God. Or maybe they need something to talk about at confession. Of course it could all be in the fine print of the Concordat.

    Besides, you need to wait on the plasma TV for your new apartment – prices will be much less next year, only not in Argentina.

    Lately, customs at Ezeiza has be very thorough in searching the bags of returning Argentines (many passengers seem to have excess luggage … ). I give my best “deer caught in the headlights” look, even though I always have receipts for any new things that I am carrying. I just don’t want the hassle of having my bags taken apart. Only once did they make the mistake of soliciting a bribe.

    Just give me a holla when you need a new laptop, camera, ipod or whatever ;-)



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