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Published: October 8th 2007
Because of the huge lack of public transport we had to hitch hike to Cayenne. Valerie dropped us on the road to Cayenne and I stood with my thumb out for only 5 minutes again before were picked up by a nice, smiley frenchman in a jeep. No english so it was a quiet trip. He dropped us on the edge of town and walked to the hotel, stopping for coffee and croissants on the way. We booked at the Hotel Central, a little pricey at 59 euros a night but a nice room with a balcony and a cool shower which sprayed horizontal jets from 6 nozzles. The guy at the desk couldn't speak english but he had lots of patience and smiled a lot.
We had heard mixed opinions about Cayenne. The girls from Kourou said it was nice but not as great. The Lonely Planet said it was like the French Quarter of New Orleans. We haven't been there but I am sure it is more pleasant than Cayenne. There are some lovely houses, some wooden, some tudor style with black wooden beams showing next to white plastered brick.
We visited two museums. First the National
Museum, 2 euros each, housed in a lovely colonial building. The ground floor was full of stuffed animals. They had a big black caymen. This one looked genuine not like the one in Guyana that was painted black. Lots of fish and other things in bottles. Very pretty with the light shining through the bottles. And they had a little display of how taxidermy works with all the implements and a small collection of glass eyes. Upstairs is a lovely collection of paintings depicting the penal history of the country. Nice because we recognised some of the places that were on the islands. Next we went is search of the Cultural Museum which was not where it was supposed to be according to the Lonely Planet. It was a bit further up the road. Another 2 euros, it was much smaller. Just a few rooms with examples of craft work. Very colourful and interesting. Some people were sitting at a table painting, creating bright designs that we also saw in the souvenir shops. A little bit celtic.
The next day we went for a long walk. We found the botanic gardens with a big old baobab tree and a
butterfly house which the butterflies had abandoned long ago. We visited the cemetery which was colourful with lots plastic flowers decorating mostly family tombs.
We enjoyed our visit to Cayenne but didn't need more than a couple of days.
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