23 July 2018
The Île aux Lépreux is perhaps best known in the popular imaginary of the bagne as a place that Papillon stops off at on one of his escapes from Saint Laurent du Maroni. It is actually a lot smaller and a lot closer to Saint Laurent than the book and film might lead you to believe. A little further down the Maroni is Île de la Quarantine which is larger but inaccessible.
Today the site functions as a picnic and camping area contains a few basic carbets where you can hang a hammock. A few guys work on the island, charging a few euros to clear away the rubbish left by visitors. Littering still seems to be a problem. SF