Published: August 15th 2007June 1st 2007
Today was our last day in the Guianas, but our flight wasn't until 7:40PM so we still had a whole day to explore. We first went to the Cayenne market nearby, which was probably one of the most organized markets I've ever seen. However it was either too early, or not the busiest day (Friday), there were lots of fruit/vegetable vendors but not many handicrafts. We then started driving towards Cacao, a town of Hmong refugees from Laos settled there back in the 1970s. Sunday is the best time to visit, when there is a local market. We decided to go anyway to check it out, it was maybe an 60-70 minute drive from Cayenne, quite a distance away out in the jungle. We hardly passed any traffic or signs of civilization other than a few logging trucks. Some of the bridges across rivers were one-lane only. The road was in excellent condition and goes through all the way to the Brazil border. This has become a route of illegal immigration from Brazil. We reached the turnoff to Cacao, the road from here was in much worse shape. We finally reached Cacao, which had Laotian-style houses, but all modern. We first
drove up to the church, which looked more Asian-style, only for the rain to start pouring down again. The town itself doesn't have too much to offer, Sundays are probably much busier. The few restaurants open were relatively expensive, so after grabbing some snacks at the cleanest convenience store I've ever seen, we decided to drive back towards Cayenne. We reached the turnoff for Roura, having noticed a waterfall on the map. It was alot further than we thought, but still had lots of time before our flight. The center of Roura is quite pretty with an old church, just watch out for the machineal (poison) tree in front of it! We walked under it while it was drizzling and I got stung pretty badly just from water dripping on me! We reached the turnoff to the waterfall, but it was a dirt/mud road, we didn't think we could make it in the poor Twingo! So we decided to head back towards the airport; still having about 4 hrs before our flight.
The Cayenne airport was much larger than we were expecting, but not a lot in the way of amenities, there was only a cafe there (that wasn't
serving food), and an ice cream stand. Our flight tonight was to Point a Pitre, Guadeloupe via Martinique. Air France has a peculiar route via its (ex-)Caribbean colonies, the route is MIA-PAP (Haiti)-PTP (Guadeloupe)-FDF (Martinique)-CAY-FDF-PTP, then reverse, every other day. We had specifically booked our award tickets to take advantage of the 1-night (18 hr) stopover in Guadeloupe. On checkin, the agent asked us if we wanted to take the direct flight to Miami tomorrow, of course we said no! The gate area at the airport had no amenities at all, other than a small Air France lounge which was semi-closed. The agent was in there so I peeked in and looked around, but alas with my simple Skymiles Silver status I did not have access. The flight itself was uneventful, on an Airbus 320, stopping over in Martinique for a few minutes, but I did not get off the plane here. We finally arrived in Guadeloupe around 10PM, then caught the hotel shuttle bus to the hotel in Le Gosier. My wife had arrived from St. Lucia a few hrs earlier, we hadn't seen each other in almost two weeks!
There are more photos below