French Guiana
Île Royale

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  • Day9

    Devil's Island, French Guiana

    January 11, 2020 in French Guiana ⋅ ☀️ 79 °F

    The penal colony of Cayenne, commonly known as Devil's Island, was a French penal colony that operated in the 19th and 20th century in the Salvation's Islands of French Guiana. The prison opened in 1852 and closed in 1953 was infamous for its harsh treatment of detainees, with a death rate of 75%. It is located approximately 14 km (9 mi) off the coast of French Guiana.
    Devil's Island was notorious for being used for the exile of French political prisoners, with the most famous being Captain Alfred Dreyfus. He was a French artillery officer of Jewish faith and ancestry whose trial and conviction in 1894 on charges of treason became one of the most controversial and polarizing political dramas in modern French history.

    We arrived at 11:30 AM. It is a tender port. The Crue lowered tender boats on the port side, but the swell was too high and they had to abandon that and reverse the process to the other side of the ship.

    Knowing that there is no reason to rush to see this small island, we proceeded to get tender tickets after 12:00 PM. The sea was pretty rough, so it took a long time to board people on the tender boat. By 1:15 PM we were on tender boat and headed to the island.

    There were some monkeys right when we disembark. Then there was a long rocky road to the small museum and even further up to prison. One can just imagine the horrible condition people were kept in. It is a very sad place.

    On the way back we decided to take a short cut and use stairs. I did not take a picture of Boris navigating this was scary.

    We were hot, sweaty and tired. Back on the tender boat and our ship.
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    Two to Travel

    Devil Island of Papillon fame.

    Sonia Gelman

    Yeah, this movie was on the big screen on the ship yesterday. Too depressing to watch.

  • Day69

    Tiere auf Ile Royale, Teufelsinsel

    March 22, 2017 in French Guiana ⋅ 🌬 25 °C

    Wir sehen größere Affen und die kleineren Klammeraffen mit ihren langen Schwänzen, die ihnen bei schnellem Klettern eine Hilfe sind. Weiterhin können wir die gar nicht menschenscheuen Aguti beobachten, eine Art Nagetier in der Größe von Katzen. Die Geräusche des Urwalds lassen auf Vögel und Insekten schließen, die wir aber nicht ausmachen können. In dem ehemals bewohnten Insel-Inneren sehen wir Pfauen, Katzen, Hühner. Heute wohnt hier wohl nur noch der Betreiber eines kleinen Hotels, das ein ehemaliges Haus eines Kommandanten war.Read more

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  • Day129

    Devil's Island, French Guaina

    April 22, 2015 in French Guiana ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    We finally made landfall at the little island grouping famous for it's incredible violence and mistreatment of prisoners, Devil's Island. Actually we landed on Isl de Salut which is the main island of a three island group that includes Isl de Diablo or Devil's Island where the political prisoners lived for about 100 years of so before human rights outcry brought the prison to it's close in the 1950's. The island was made famous by the movie Papillon but now is just some ruins standing off the coast of French Guiana that has a few caretakers and daily tour groups. It is very pretty but also very hot and humid which since it was not even summer yet did make the horror of being a prisoner here pretty real.
    The island behind Nancy on the picture is Devil's Island. The little bit of water between the island is off limits because of strong currents and sharks. No wonder people didn't escape often.
    No the island is inhabited predominantly by a couple of species of monkeys and a large rodent type animal called the aguta (or something like that). They were actually pretty cute.
    Really it was just good to be on land after 8 days crossing the Atlantic. The passage was pretty good but did get a little rough the last couple days. We were worried that we might not be able to land here but the ship turned itself between the wind and the tender and the waves were not so bad. No one got hurt here. Last time they were here someone had a compound fracture and multiple people got stitches so the crew were pretty excited everyone got back in one piece.
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  • Day69

    Teufelsinseln Ile Royale, Franz. Guayana

    March 22, 2017 in French Guiana ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Die Iles du Salut (Inseln des Heils oder auch Teufelsinseln) sind eine kleine Inselgruppe, 13 km von der Küste von Kourou in Französisch Guayana gelegen. Sie gehören jedoch zu der 45 km entfernten Hauptstadt Cayenne. Die drei Inseln sind vulkanischem Ursprungs, wir besuchen die Ile Royale mit ca. 28 ha Größe und 40 m Höhe. Auf allen Inseln unterhielt Frankreich bis 1951 ein Gefängnis mit bis zu 2000 Strafgefangenen. Die Haftbedingungen waren unmenschlich, wir sehen Isolierzellen von 4 qm Größe ohne Tageslicht, Zellen ohne Dach, wodurch Strafgefangene Regen und Sonne ungeschützt ausgesetzt waren. Prominenter Strafgefangener war der französische Offizier Albert Dreyfus (1859-1935), der unschuldig des Landesverrats verurteilt worden war und 5 Jahre dort verbringen musste.
    Zunächst machen wir eine wunderbare Wanderung an der Küste rund um Insel. Wir genießen die Ruhe und Naturnähe der fast unbewohnten Insel. Dann wenden wir uns der traurigen Vergangenheit dieser Insel zu, es ist immer noch bedrückend, die Überreste der Gefängnisse, der Häuser der Aufseher und anderer Häuser im Inneren der Insel zu sehen. Nach drei Stunden Erkunden der Insel fahren wir per Tenderboot zurück zum Schiff.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Île Royale, Ile Royale