Penal colonies

The crossing from Salvador has been fast, in less than 13 days we drop the anchor under the “Royale “island, in “Baie des Cocotiers”, “Iles du Salut. Post card scenery in a cursed place, with ignominy as cure for infamy. Now nature reassert itself, the coconut palm, planted by the convicts have changed these rocks into islets of greenery. Nevertheless, these places, full of a past not really brillant are now peacefull, the tourist are plentiful, the policemen frendly, the spider monkeys impertinent, the agoutis run around.
One night at sea and we are sailing up the Maroni river. The tide is pushing us, we hug the mangrove up to Saint Laurent du Maroni, another place of expiation for those France considered as unwanted. Here again all were melted, small delinquents, criminals, political opponents…. Only the courage of great mens, like Albert Londres, will put an end, in 1954, at this excessive treatement.
Once more, time and nature did their work. St Laurent is a crossing, the Suriman is on the other bank of the river Maroni, constantly crossed by wonderfull pirogues. Here one speaks all kind of lenguages and the french presence don’t succeed in diminish this culture melting : amerindians, noirs marrons, brazilians, chineses, surinameses…That Guyana, the amazonian guyana, the one of the great rivers.

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