This was for sure the most unusual border I ever passed.

Suriname and French Guyana are separated by the Maroni River; and there is no bridge.

Upon my arrival, half-dozen boaters ran to me, offering me to bring us on the other side, me and my bike.


The asked price dropped rapidly from 40 to 20 Euros. But their boats are not really confidence inspiring, and decline their offer.  Then drive towards the dock, where a ferry is supposed to link both countries. But once there, I learned that the next start will be in afternoon of the next day, only.


The pier is deserted, and so is the customs office, just next to it. Once my passport stamped, I drive back to the shore where I first arrived. Here, everything is in turmoil. At least twenty canoes cross the river continuously, transporting men and goods, mostly from Surinam, where life is less expensive, to French Guyana. There is no control at all; nobody cares of the police or the customs.


Passing merchandises is fine, but what about a motorcycle?

I get assured that this poses no problem, and that they have carried much bigger and larger stuff than a bike. Apparently they even transport cars and bulldozers, just by tying a few boats together.


As I did not want to lose a day here, we discussed a price, agreed, and the loading started. Five burly fellows hoisted my heavy motorcycle in a canoe, secured it as good as possible, and off we went for a five-minute crossing.

Once on the French side, we landed on the beach, quite a bit away from the customs office. These guys and the police are not best friends, I guess. My bike was landed, I payd and they left.


I rode to the French immigration office, to get my passport stamped. There I noticed that my roadmap and a few items of little value have been stolen. Too bad.

The French customs officer, just as bored as his colleague in Suriname, and not racist for a penny, assured me that this does not surprise him, and that all blacks are thieves anyway.


Nice way of introduction from an official representative of France.