Suriname without a paddle!

Those of you following our progress with a very good map will have realized, that when we reach French Guiana, we either have to find a way of crossing into Brazil at Oiapoque, or we must backtrack for 3035 kilometres to Manaus and then take a thousand kilometre barge trip to Belem!

Although we believe that there are dugout canoes taking passengers from French Guiana to Brazil at Oiapoque, we have not been able to find out if there is a vehicle ferry capable of taking our vans. So for the last month we have been very conscious that each kilometre we drive may have to be retraced, and that each ferry we take may soon have to be taken in the reverse direction.

Today we arrived at the last ferry before French Guiana. Our guide books tell us that this ferry from Albina (in Suriname) to St-Laurent-du-Maroni (in French Guiana) runs four times a day, that the crossing takes 30 minutes, that you must pay in Euros, and that our vehicles will probably cost around 40 Euros each.

What our guide books could not tell us was that when we arrived, we would find one of the two ferries out of commission for routine maintenance and the other one broken down. We are told there will be no ferries until November and there is no other way into French Guiana. We have a problem.

Stephen Stewart.

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