Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Degrad des Cannes, Cayenne and Isle du Salut

The time spent in the river at anchor in Degrad was peaceful and relaxing. We took a day trip up the river in rubber ducks to do some exploring. Up a side creek , was hot and humid with overhanging trees. Beautiful birds and butterflies and we saw small black monkeys with large tails. Were told that there are anacondas and tarantulas but did not see any, just as well!
We hired a car from a local yachty and took a day trip to Cayenne. What a disappointment, according to the "lonely planet" Cayenne was the most beautiful city in South America, this is not true it is run down with old buildings falling apart and very unfriendly people. We visited a large supermarket and were astonished to see the high prices for goods. For shopping give me Brazil any day.
The marina in Degrad was one of the best constructed marinas that I have come across. It is small and full, but unfortunately as it is very cheap to stay there, a lot of French people live there on a semi permanent basis. They give the place a rundown look. It looks like a squatter camp and a scrap yard with all the derelict yachts tied to the pontoons.
After a week at anchor in the river it was time to leave. Monday morning we all left, Watussi, Taremaro and Mila for Isle du Salut about 38 miles north. As we had very light winds we had to motor all the way and arrived at 2 the afternoon. We joined Springtime at anchor and said our hello's.
Isle du Salut is beautiful with Isle Royal the main island. Cover with palm trees and lush bushes. Coconuts are in abundance. There are lot's of birds, monkeys and coco rats on land and sea turtles in the waters around the island. Unfortunately the island have a very sad history, and walking amongst the ruins and the old jail cells one is reminded of the misery and the suffering of the unfortunates that had to spend time on the island, sometimes in solitary confinement for years. In this heat and high humidity it must have been unbearable.
Some of the buildings on the island have been converted into a hotel, and one find a lot of tourist visiting. All in all it is a very beautiful place and I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit Isle du Salut. Plans are to leave here on Thursday for Suriname, 180 miles north.
That's all for now

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