Excited to see baobabs we reached Ifaty Spiny Forest, north of Tulear. It was an area where plants adapted to prolonged periods of drought. The Ifaty area, with many small fishing villages, seems to be a quite isolated part of the island.
Malagasy live there in a very harsh environment and rely mostly on fish as their main source of food. The local population is more similar to the black Africans as opposed to the inhabitants of the east part of the island who look similar to people of Indonesia. The west coast populace builds simple grass huts in the same way their ancestors did centuries ago. Almost everyone walks around barefoot here. Women often cover their faces with mud in order to protect their skin against sunburn.