Flight 26

Georgetown – Macapá

I begin the South America stage of my journey by starting from Georgetown, the capital of Guyana.

I continue over the coast of Suriname, which is the smallest sovereign state in South America, long part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. During World War II, the mainland Netherlands was occupied by German troops, and in Suriname the Axis invasion was not without consequences; the Dutch government almost immediately deported all Germans operating in the area to Camp Copieweg. The same procedure was applied in the Dutch countries in Asia, where thousands of people of various origins, including Czechoslovakian, were detained. Of all those detained, the Dutch accused less than two hundred of collaboration with the Nazis and they were transported across the Pacific to a Surinamese internment camp. After the United States entered the war, Dutch diplomats, fearing a German invasion of overseas countries, demanded that the American army occupy them. This happened in February 1942, when the Americans guarded the bauxite mines there until the end of the war. There was dissent among a handful of residents about the American presence, which the Dutch dealt with by imprisoning them and bringing them before a military court. Once the war was over, the American army withdrew and the Dutch authorities regained power. In 1954, Suriname was granted the status of overseas autonomy, and on 25 November 1975, independence was declared under the name of the Republic of Suriname.

I also visit French Guiana – a French overseas department, an overseas region and also an overseas territory of the European Union in South America. It is the largest department (for the record, France has the longest common border with Brazil), has a population of approximately 294,000, and is home to a spaceport from which European rockets and satellites are launched.

From the coast, I turn inland over endless rainforests, which are only occasionally disturbed by logging operations. I cross the border into Brazil and land in the town of Macapá, at the mouth of the Amazon into the Atlantic Ocean. The equator also passes through the town, and the local football stadium is known as Zerão, precisely because the equator passes through its centre line.

  • Distance: 1274 km
  • Total distance: 20 197 km
  • Flight time: 4 hours 18 minutes
  • Total flight time: 71 hours 04 minutes

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