Papillon Book Cover

Papillon’s Island

Always been a dream to get to this island to see just what the environment was for the prisoners sent here by the French. Made famous by the book by Henri Charriere but more significantly the location where Alfred Dreyfus was imprisoned after being falsely accused of espionage for the Germans – he later was released and served in high office in the French military again. But the Steve McQueen (Papillon), Dustin Hoffman (Daega) movie and the images of Devil’s Island, throwing the coconuts off the cliffs to see how frequent waves that took them away from the shoreline were so Papillon could time his escape – those are the movie images that make this a fun visit to make.

The Iles du Salut (Salvation Islands) are actually 3 islands, all within a stones throw of each other and all of which were the location for the prison camp – the administration & hospital on Isle Royale, the solitary confinement on St Joseph, and the ‘escape proof’  Devil’s Island.

Sadly today the ruins are being let go amidst the onset of jungle and in fat visitors are barred from all the historical areas, being confined to the beachline only. So we had to jump the fences and disappear for a few hours in order to get the best of these shots. Enjoy.

3 Responses to Papillon’s Island

  1. Virginia Dysart November 25, 2010 at 8:22 am #

    What a find – It was one of the best books I read amazing story of his time on the island and escape I will have to read it again and go through all that anquish again !Good on you for exploring it all, too good an opportunity to miss, I guess Jo lead you astray Gareth. Wonderful pics too to record.

    We all feel pretty sad in N.Z with the horror ending of the West Coast Miners pretty darn tragic no-one could get to them with the two explosions and gas inside. Its pretty hot in Taupo grass all disappearing for the cows and
    thousands of bike riders converging on Taupo this week-end for the round the Lake bike ride past our gate too each year they have different weather to ride it in – this year it will be very hot.

    Enjoying your trip reading your comments, also read your thoughts on Maungarautitri Mountain (spelling!!) and the reply to your passionate
    observations was not so appealing.Some-one will have told you about it no doubt. Came out in our Waikato Times 3 days ago.Cheeky maoris jumping in on all the hard work and endeavours of those dedicated folk that made it such a wonderful area I don’t know whats the matter with New Zealanders getting rolled over all the time it happens all the time they just don;t fight for the glaringly obvious status of hard earned entitlement, give in so easily.

    Must go to bed – hope you are both getting some nice places to stay along the way where you are at least comfortable and clean enough to enjoy a rest at the end of your biking days.
    keeps body and soul together to enjoy the diversity you are seeing.

    Virginia Dysart.

  2. Leanora Aughe November 29, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

    I haven’t checked in here for a while because I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are good quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my daily bloglist 🙂

  3. Judy November 30, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

    Hi both of you, WOW the pictures are great and thanks Jo as have read the book and watched the film many times great being able to relate this to what I know. So love your wonderful adventures and never get bored…. take care and ride safe. Judy M

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