This newest edition gives up-to-date facts on hotels and practical details about getting around as well as the latest news on the conservation front.
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1) The Victoria Market was rebuilt and opened again in June 1999. It is still known as the Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market, named after the last British governor of the Seychelles in the late 1940s. The colorful market has a distinctly oriental look about it with a bright turquoise pagoda-style roof and red supporting columns with splashes of yellow and dark blue. An enormous mango tree shades the central square, while frangipani trees with fragrant white flowers scent the air. On the lower level, the fish market has a wide selection of fresh fish including ton (tuna), makrou dou (mackerel), vyey (groupers), zob (jobfish), karang (trevally) and bourswa (snappers). There are always several cattle egrets, locally known as Madanm Paton, hanging around the fish, hopping on the counters, and doing a good job of cleaning up all the bits and pieces. Stalls with colorful vegetables, tropical fruits, exotic herbs and tantalizing spices are spread out under umbrellas in the central part of the market. Spices are very important in Creole cuisine. Fresh ginger and turmeric (often labeled saffron) are readily available, bottles of hot chillies add a dash of color, and cinnamon quills and vanilla pods complete the exotic mix. If you can find it, the pure vanilla essence distilled on La Digue is a gourmet's delight. Still on the lower level, Rosie's Flower Shop sells sprays of orchids and huge bunches of fragrant roses out of galvanized buckets. Upstairs are some tiny shops selling touristy things like colorful pareos, paintings and coconut lamps with shades made out of coconut fibers. It is an excellent place to collect gifts and souvenirs. 2) ILE ST PIERRE'Miniature paradise' could be another name for this enchanting islet. Gloriously sculpted pink and grey granite arises from the clear, turquoise water and a perfect, tiny beach is exposed at low tide. The fairy-tale islet has a tiara of emerald-green palms. Regular boat trips are made to Ile St Pierre from Anse Volbert on Praslin and arrangements can be made through any of the hotels. Although there are a couple of palms, there is very little shade and no fresh water on the island. It is advisable to take plenty of sunscreen and water as well as snorkeling gear. Landing on the rocks at high tide can be a bit of a wobble, so ensure that all valuables are well protected in a watertight bag. Under water, the dazzling colors of the teeming reef fishes complete the picture of a miniature island paradise.
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