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.
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).