Oyapock, French Guiana
3° 54' N 51° 47' W
May 06, 2004 10:28
Distance 8km

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Text written in: English

St Georges d´Oyapoque (6 May 2004)

Having crossed the Oiapoque river by dugout canoe I arrived in French Guiana, or France I should say. French Guiana is officially part of France and therefore I oficially re-entered the EU. After having disembarked after the 15 minute trip I forgot to pay the boat people. In my enthusiasm I headed towards immigration in order to stamp my passport. The friendly officer told me that I do not have to stamp my passport as I am in the EU now and there are no borders! Just like crossing the border from Belgium to France.

It was still dry and I decided to have a quick lunch before trying to hitchhike to Regina, my planned destination for the day. I could have traveled straight to Cayenne but that would mean having to spend at least four nights there, because I had to go to the Surinam embassy for a visa and they are closed for the weekend of course. The cheapest place to stay in Cayenne is 35 euros in Bar Restaurant Hotel La Bodega. A lot of money.

I should have eaten lunch in Oiapoque in Brazil as it was much cheaper there. That is the disadvantage of being in France, the prices! About the only place that was open had pizzas for 6 euros. Pizza for lunch sounded good but unfortunately they only had pizza for dinner. The small supermarket sold sandwiches for 2 euros, so that was even better. Of course the sandwich was a French baguette. Yummy!

During lunch hell broke loose again and the streets changed into small rivers. When I finished lunch the rain stopped and I tried to get a free lift out of St Georges along the only road that cuts through the jungle to Regina. There are no buses in the country and the only transport is with taxi colectifs, shared taxis, which are actually minibuses. It was shocking 40 euros to Cayenne for the drive that takes just over 2 hours really. To Regina it would be 17 euros, still a lot! Like I said, I tried to hitchhike, which should be so easy, according to the few people I have met and crossed this country. It was not my lucky day. There was very little traffic in the afternoon and the few cars that came past were not going much further than a few kilometers away. Every 15 minutes it started and stopped raining. It was as if the village was built for it because after having walked about 15 minutes along the road in the direction of Regina there was a place to hide for the rain, a roof, a house etc.

Around 15:30 I decided that it was not my lucky day and I decided to take a taxi to Regina for 17 euros. Although it was shared taxi I had it all for myself. The drive was nice. The road was new and was opened just 6 months earlier. Before that time you had to fly from St Georges to Regina over the jungle, a 20 minute flight or so. Between St Georges and Regina there was nothing but jungle. It mush have been a hell of a job to cut a track and build a road through the jungle here. I was happy that they did so I could continue my travel overland and my goal of traveling the whole continent without having to fly was not disturbed.

Photos / videos of "St Georges d´Oyapoque (6 May 2004)":

Crossing the Rio Oiapoque/Fleuve Oiapoque Muddy road in Oiapoque