Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mais si, your rooster is tres handsome

After six weeks in Brazil, we finally got another stamp in our passports: French Guiana.  We flew into Cayenne on a Saturday and pretty much everything was closed.  Somehow it is our luck to always land in former French colonies on holidays when nothing is open (ask us sometime about Christmas at McDonalds in New Caledonia).  We meandered listlessly until we found an open Asian grocery (no surprise there) and survived on cheese and crackers until some intrepid Guyanese opened their restaurants for dinner.

The next day we went to the Surinamese embassy to sort out visas and wandered around the city.  Seeing little more than a small metal rooster on an obelisk we wisely decided to hit the road and explore the rest of the country.  After 96 hours on buses in Brazil, it was incredibly exciting to learn that renting a car was a necessity in French Guiana.   We drove southwest in our trusty Panda to the Laotian village, Cacao (1986 Panda Fiats are not equipped to handle Juan’s driving on potholed, jungle roads, by the way).  Right off the main road, our lodge, Quimbe Koe, offered hammock spaces for €12 a pop and served a delicious meal of spring rolls and Asian spiced chicken with rice.  Yum!

We slept in open air hammocks cocooned with mosquito nets and actually found it more pleasant than most of the indoor beds where we ended up bitten much more.  The next morning, we ventured into the French Amazon for a 3-hour hike (there was no way the entire 18km walk was happening with 50 lb. backpacks).  The rainforest was full of brilliant, fist-sized, blue butterflies, neon-colored geckos and enormous bee/horsefly monstrosities that could bite through clothes.  Sadly, we also came across a butterfly hunter seeking once-living trinkets to sell to tourists.  Camera and first-world indignance in hand, we briefly considered turning him into the authorities before we decided it probably isn’t illegal (oh, and he had a machete).

1 comment:

  1. I like the car. The insects sound fascinating. Cool hammocks.