To Fr. Guiana and Philip & Shunee
Since we exchged more than absolutely necessary, we figure we can afford the minivan to the border. No one seems to know what time the ferry crosses to Fr. Guiana (LP says 3:30), so rather than take a chance on missing one we go in a fast (2 hr) minivan - 40sd ea ($12 US) and only 2 hrs vs bus at 8.50sd ($2.50 US) and miss the ferry - cheap way to Fr Guiana. We arr at 10:30 and walk/fight our way away from touts trying to get us in their boats to Fr. Guiana. Six blocks away we walk back to police station where a very nice fellow cks us out of Suriname, finds out that yes, indeed, next ferry is at 3:30 arr w/ boat guy to exchg our s.d. for euros (5:1) and for 15sd ea we ride across the river in less than 1/2 hr. All our worries solved by a bunch of extra $$$ spent, ha!
We get ckd into Fr. Guiana and the police fellow (now off duty after chkg us into F.G. and speaks English) offers to take us around town. Philip, policeman, is a travel addict as well and after a brief tour of town he offers us ON at his home free! We discuss and conclude that, yes, we'd like that! He points out that taxi/buses don't leave 'til full and also there aren't many at the station anyway. Chances are we'll leave in 2 hrs arriving in Cheyenne about 6 and not get out today anyway! Plus free ON beats an expensive room in Cayenne. His girl friend, Shunee, even drives us back into town to shop for groceries. Phillip has to be at work at 6am so will take us to bus station early.
Phillip bought his house in 2009 when owner needed 50,000 cash. He is 50 now, has been employed by French govt as policeman since he was 18 and will get 1800plus euros/mo. when he retires. Speaks good English so we discussed politics and economy. He is seeing the world as changing rapidly but also thinks India & China will begin to experience difficulties as well w/ rich vs poor...highter expectations w/in next 5 or so years.
Fr. Guiana a first for being invited by border police to his home free...super, very friendly, both he and his partner, Shunee.