DEVIL’S IS­LAND, FRENCH GUIANA

Seabourn Club Herald - - VIEWFINDER -

For a cen­tury, this trop­i­cal is­land was re­garded as any­thing but a par­adise. The French pris­on­ers shipped to this in­escapable colony knew it as L’en­fer Vert, “Green Hell” — and most feared of the three is­lands was dubbed Île du Di­able, “Devil’s Is­land,” where Cap­tain Al­fred Drey­fus fa­mously spent five years wrong­fully im­pris­oned for trea­son. The heat and hu­mid­ity, com­bined with the swift cur­rent and re­mote lo­ca­tion, made this a bru­tal pri­son un­til it closed its gates in 1953. To­day, the Îles du Sa­lut, or “Is­lands of Sal­va­tion,” pro­vide a lush en­vi­ron­ment for wildlife and plants, with mon­keys and agoutis scam­per­ing through the ru­ins of the old pri­son fa­cil­i­ties un­der the shade of co­conut palms and rub­ber trees.

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