Welcome to Wild Guyane

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This trip is getting stranger and stranger – a bit like falling down Alice’s rabbit hole. Take the familiar French DIY chain Mr Bricolage. Totally ordinary, everyday, suburban. The Gallic version of Homebase. It has transformed itself in my view. First, it was on the front of a giant shed selling barbeques and paintbrushes. Then, it was festooned on the sail of a Martiniquais ‘yole’, or crazy sail boat with no steering other than six or so logs onto which the sailors have to perch, dangling several feet above the water. The boat is sponsored by Mr Bricolage, you see. Now we are in Guyane, South America, what do you know but our friend Mr. Bricolage pops up again – this time within the context of a deep Amazonian forest, with giant butterflies, vultures and mosquitos the size of helicopters.It is hot, and wet here, and anything further from France I cannot imagine – although thanks to the local TV output I know it’s busy on the roads down to Cannes this weekend in the ‘mainland’ (Bastille Day celebrations, you see) – but we don’t feel too estranged since we have friends here – the parents of our researcher Noemie, who welcomed us tonight with a wonderful drinks party around the pool at the home of the Chief of Police in Cayenne.

Everyone is swigging back the 50% proof local rum, or in my case, champagne. As well as the chief of police, there is another policeman at the do, and two gendarmes, one of which is Noemie’s dad. It’s all going brilliantly until Honey (6) ventures into the house for the loo, and surprises a local who appears to have popped round uninvited. Cue huge amounts of teasing about how a six year old from Islington in a Hello Kitty shirt can outwit a local thief while the cream of Cayenne police are chatting by the pool.

Well, they were discussing about how they kill, skin and eat iguana. That’s Tuesday’s supper treat, by the way.

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