Guyana, Suriname, and France travel blog

Gosler and Paramaribo

As yet unknown animal

Song bird at store

Log truck with "Tropical Hardwoods"

Moi Wanna '86

Our canoe

On the boat - France in the background!

Cells atthe transportation camp at St. Laurent

Sleeping room for new arrivals


Cells for condemed prisoners

Converted prisioner barracks

"Shipwreck Island"

Church of Iracoubo

Welcome to Kourou

Hotel des roches

Dryfus tower



Up early and breakfast then into the van to head off to French Guiana. Nice ride, even though in the back seat, with lots of jungle punctuated by the occasional village or logging camp. We stopped at a coupe places for short breaks – one with some caged animals in the back and a song bird in front.

We also passed the Moi Wanna 86 memorial. In 1986 over 80 people were murdered in the then civil war. Each person killed had a marker. Luckily we live in more calm and settled times, but it wasn’t that long ago.

Then we passed through customs at Albina and boarded out orange and blue canoe for the trip across the river to France (French Guiana). It is an EU territory and a department of France.

We met our guide (Gwen) and she took us on a brief tour of the prison “transportation camp” at St. Laurent. Thousands of French criminals were transported here from 1852 until the 1940s to try to make the area a new Australia. It failed. Most of the sells are still in good shape.

One section was for condemned prisoners, another for “free” prisoners. The barracks where most were kept are being converted into town offices. Whole place was rather depressing. Just outside was another shipwreck from the late 1890s – looked more like an island than a shipwreck.

Then to lunch in a small café with large prices. Lunch with a drink about 20 Euros. Finally on the road to Kourou.

Much jungle and a few settlements. Houses a bit better than in Suriname, but not much. Our one stop was in Iracoubo where there was a church that had been painted inside in intricate designs by a convict that had been put in the care of the priest. Quite a remarkable sight.

Finally on to Kourou and checked into the Hotel des roches – right on the Atlantic. Quite a nice place and it’s where all the space center engineers stay. Kitty and I took a walk around and on the beach and by Dryfus tower – a disused lighthouse. Pretty area.

Then to dinner at the hotel. Bottle of wine and conversation with Robin turned out quite nice but long (three hour dinner) but very nice. Finally back to the room where I had to grade papers and discussions for my course and late to bed.

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