Cayenne Travel Blog› entry 18 of 22 › view all entries
May 31st, 2007 – by: hauteboy
Hotel: Central Hotel; Cayenne, French Guiana; 67 Euro
We were finally able to pick up a rental car this morning, the local Europcar office was at the Mercure hotel nearby and they had a car. We ended up with a Renault Twingo, which although isn't the smallest car I've driven (Smart), it probably was the least featured. It only had a clock and a speedometer. No trip odo, and the A/C only worked sporadically (usually when the windows were down). But we only needed the car for a few days so it would suit our needs. Our first stop was the Centre Spatial Guyanais, the European satellite launch facility just a few km out of town.
We took a detour to the Reserve Animaliere near Montsinery on the way to Cayenne. This was about 10-15km off the main road, the LP book had mentioned it was a neat place to visit. The weather had cleared again but still there were a few menacing clouds about. The entry fee to the reserve was quite expensive at 12Euro, so my friends decided to wait while I walked around inside. It was a pretty impressive place, probably my only chance to see some of the native animals, but still quite depressing with the cages, most had really thin mesh which made getting photos difficult. They did have a wide range of animals; snakes, caimans, sloths, ocelots, jaguars, monkeys, macaws, etc.
We soon hit the Cayenne suburbs, and associated sprawl. The center of Cayenne itself isn't very large, only a few dozen blocks on a side. We drove into the center, which had lots of old colonial style buildings mixed with ramshackle new construction. We found the Central Hotel and got a triple room for 67Euro. Then we all had lunch at the Crepe In across the street,very good sandwiches! We spent most of the afternoon wandering around town, passing the Place des Palmistes, the Hotel de Ville,and up to the fort, which is now off limits to the military. As we were walking down the street to the cathedral, but who should we run into but Diane, the American woman who we had met on the way to Paramaribo.
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