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Sainte Marie

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The island of Sainte Marie may seem to have no vovation other than that of tourism because nature has so clearly contributed to its becoming a privileged destination; it is now third in the list of places to visit in Madagascar. Indeed, all the elements have come together to make it a prefferd destination for holiday makers.
Sainte Marie offers a multiplicity of riches which deserve to be known. First of all there are the vestiges of the past, some four or five centuries old, each having a story to tell to the men of today: The cemeterries cemeteries are sinister only by their name because they are now only monuments witnessing the dramatic past of this small island, the gravestones being there merely as decorations in the landscape, the Fort with its preserved prediment remembrance of the old French East India Company is a souvenir of a glorious past.
But the island of Sainte Marie and its sister islets do not just represent the past. The present is embodied too in its fine sand, its beaches and its many creeks where holiday makers, fleeing from the mist and fogs at home, can tan themselves in the sun at will without being disturbed, whilst communicating with an omnipresent nature for these islands surrounded by water are quite simply a natural garden that the creator has gifted to mankind in order to preserve it: The great species of tropical trees, such as coconut, clove, flame trees, jack fruit trees, travellers palms and perfumed plants such as vanilla, rare flowers such as anthuriums, grow in profusion, not only in uninhabitated areas but also around the villages. The wide variety of insects is a source of knowledge for researchers.
But tourism introduces the unfamiliar in every sense of the term and Sainte Marie can offer this at will because the sea is there rich in the products of the ocean costing a small fortune under other skies: Lobsters, crabs, oysters, mussels etc. that the chefs in the island's restaurants artfully serve with a coconut sauce.
But what has given a special cachet to Sainte Marie in recent years is the arrival of the humpback whales which come up from the Antarctic to this area during the mating season and give themselves up to unforgettable and very noisy frolicking. Each year from June to October they can be observed on the west coast of the island.
''Text from "Passport for Madagascar" - July, August 2017 - 101st edition''

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