A free stay on a beautiful island in the Seychelles? Until a few years ago, it was in Longue and nowhere else... This 800 m long and 300 m wide granite strip of land, anchored in the heart of the Sainte-Anne Marine Park, was not synonymous with languor, as it was still a prison island. Formerly used for smallpox patients, the island was used as a quarantine station at the end of the 19th century. The "clientele" consisted of a few hundred inmates, many of whom had been convicted of drug-related offences. It was a prison, but a pretty cool one nonetheless. During the week, the prisoners worked on the maintenance of the island and its culture. On visiting days, there was even a summer camp atmosphere around the families, while the inmates killed time by fishing in the lagoon at the expense of the administration. In short, this prison island was not Alcatraz. Here, it was the prisoners who were armed (with a large knife for garden work) and not the guards. For New Year's Eve 2002, a dozen prisoners even managed to convince some of them to let them go to Mahé for New Year's Eve. They did so, but the affair eventually got out. The imperfect tense is indeed necessary, as the prisoners of Longue were moved to Mahé, to the new prison located on the heights of Montagne Posée, so that this beautiful island of the marine park could open a new page of its destiny, necessarily touristy.

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