First impressions? Encouraging.
For yachtsmen on route to the Caribbean from Brazil, Kourou provides a welcome oasis of European living in a convenient if rather unexpected location, (i.e.the Amazon). As I am a man of simple tastes, (I’m told it compliments my simple mind), European living means access to delicacies (of the culinary kind), I’ve craved since setting sail from the Canary Islands.
So, I think with my stomach…. what’s wrong with that?
Not that I’ve disliked the staple Brazilian diet of black beans with lumps of suspicious looking meat served on a bed of overcooked rice. It’s just that I do so enjoy a varied diet.
All this is possible in La Guyane, thanks largely to its primary industry….
Which contrary to what you see, isn’t in fact, children!
Though they seem to be very handy here at making those… Perhaps it comes a close second, given that French Guiana has the largest population growth in France. It certainly is not uncommon for the locals to have half a dozen children, or more…
No, the big industry here isn’t babies, it happens to be satellites, sent to orbit via the Ariane spaceport.
Not that much of this high tech is visible to the visiting yachtsman. Quite the opposite if the fisherman’s jetty is anything to go by….
or you happen to find yourself wandering in some of the older parts of town.
Speaking of old, who can remember the last time they saw an authentic “snowball” or “granita” vendor? I thought they were extinct.
Visiting Kourou is just like time travel….
Look a little more closely however and you realize “La Guyane” is really just like any other part of France. The modern suburban real estate may look a little odd,
and what passes for house pets might also surprise,
but the life-style is certainly very European (minus the miserable northern winters).
I felt much healthier emotionally (ahh, no more PBBS), once I spent a day or two at the beach…
and my regular doses of fabulous ice cream (plus a “planteur” or two) from this establishment did wonders for raising my previously somber spirits. Can you imagine why?
Well, I can now understand why some sailors have taken drastic measures in order to stay….
Though some crews might have exaggerated a little.
While Kourou isn’t quite party central (that was Brazil),
if you are looking for a place to unwind, Kourou, with its unusual mix of low…
and high tech…
is definitely worth an extended visit.