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Tour route on Canary Islands in memory of Sanmao

Sanmao with her husband in El Aaiun, Western Sahara

Canary Islands tourism societies have created a tour route in memory of the late Taiwanese writer Sanmao to attract millions of her Chinese fans, according to the site Focus Taiwan.
Sanmao, a pseudonym, was born as Chen Mao-ping in Chongqing, China in 1943. At the age of 6, her family fled the Communists, moving to Taiwan.

In 1976, she wrote her most famous work, “Sahara Diary”, in which she narrates her daily life from 1974 to 1975. An unprecedented literature in a country like China. She tells it like a friend would tell it. Maybe that’s why many Asians still make pilgrimages to the places he describes.

In Spain, she met José María Quero with whom he lived in the former Spanish colony of Western Sahara. There, they celebrated their wedding and lived until in 1975 Spain left Western Sahara in the hands of Morocco. They went to the Canary Islands, where her husband worked as a diver. In 1979, he drowned. “She told me that if her parents had not been with her when José drowned, she would have thrown herself into the sea”, said her sister-in-law Carmen.

In 1991, after being diagnosed with cancer, Sanmao hanged herself in a hospital of Taipei.

Her husband’s grave always has flowers deposited by Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean, Japanese travelers, who admired Sanmao’s stories.

Citing a member of the city administration committee on Gran Canaria, the Beijing-based Xinhua news agency reported Sunday that millions of Chinese readers know about the Canaries, a group of seven islands lying 100 kilometers west of Morocco at their closest point, through Sanmao’s work.

The city government of Gran Canaria, where Sanmao and José resided from 1976 to 1979, studied Sanmao’s writings carefully to track her life on the island in an effort to draw up a tour route that will allow travelers to savor her lifestyle, Xinhua quoted the official as reporting.

The tour route was unveiled during the 2018 International Tourism Trade Fair, held Jan. 17-21 in the Spanish capital of Madrid, according to the report.

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