The answer is the wonderful, beautiful, Caribbean trade winds. Some islands have mountains to block the wind or lush forrest to raise the humidity. Anguilla is very narrow (maximum width is three miles) and flat, so the sea breezes surround you everywhere. Cooling, relaxing, tropical breezes. Who would want a noisy, drying airconditioner? A well designed accomodation has strategic windows opening to the east to catch this embracing breeze.
Admittedly the wind can sometimes disappear for a week or two in the summer and you immediately notice the 85 degree temperature much more. A fan or two is necessary to get to sleep and airco might not be so bad in August and September, but never in the winter (brrr..).
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 1997 20:16:06 -0500 From: Alex Scolnik (Alex@webfields.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: ritz
Ritz is absolutely wonderful. He and his boat Crackers picked up my kids and myself almost everyday at Shoal bay and took us down to Crocus Bay for waterskiing during our recent 9 day vacation. He is a totally terrific person and was able to get my 12 year-old son up on one ski and my 8 year old daughter up on 2 rather long skis. I cannot say enough wonderful things about Ritz--and water skiing to the sounds of Bob Marley. This was the second year Ritz took us water skiing and he and Dandy Richardson at Cove Bay and Nat at Palm Grove and Koal Keel restaurant and Rollins and the Chocolat are among the reasons why we keep returning to Anguilla.
Date: Mon, 03 Mar 1997 From: Randy Hannan (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Waterskiing!
I've been out waterskiing with Ritz before. George Eyster (who owns the Round House near Cove Bay), his son Mark and I all went last year at Sandy Ground. We had a blast (see picture). Ritz has a nice boat and good skiing equipment, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him to anyone who likes to ski. Ocean skiing is a bit different, though. The inland lakes I'm used to don't have a rolling swell.
PS - I recently put up a new website about Anguilla and several other islands. Check it out if you get a chance It's at www.sojourn.com/~rsh/istyle.html There's not a lot of content yet, but I'm working on it! I have quite a few pix from Anguilla to digitize and put up.
April 3-6, Ruthwill Auditorium across from Anguilla Drug Store. 7:30 PM each nite. Teams of 6 will come from St Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, Anguilla, and Antiqua. Because of the turbulent and unsettling conditions on Montserrat under the shadow of the volcano, their team and supporters will be accepted in any quantity and accomodations will be found in local homes.
Our team is Keesha Webster, Captain; Tara Carter, Chantal Lewis, Joash Proctor, Marlon Lake, Kishma Bryan. Cable and Wireless is putting up US$11,000 to sponsor the debates.
The resort is nestled between the beach and the cliff, a cliff that is covered in lush growth including hundreds of new Papaya (paw-paw) trees. The story goes that a freighter in the harbour during the hurricane had a bag of papaya seeds on deck and they were all blown over the island in an ever-widening swatch that starts at Mariners.
Mariners is composed of one story cottages near the sea and two story cottages against the cliff. Rates range from $140 to $600 per night, depending upon the season and size of accomodations. Their cottages can handle an entire family, with kitchen. We stayed there on our first visit to Anguilla in 1993 because we wanted to be on the beach and near some action (you can walk to many restaurants and to nightspots and watch the small inter-island freighters unload down the beach). 264-497-4079.
email@example.com. The email link on their web page is currently forwarded to a non-existent email account.
My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Anguilla on March 7-14. We were wondering a couple of things. Are there any places to rent bikes on the island? Or should we rent a car? (We are both fairly athletic people.) Also any particular "must sees" or places that most tourists miss?You can rent bicycles at Multiscenic, George Hill, US$10/day. 264-497-5810, fax: 264-497-5811. If you are staying at a resort, some have bikes for visitors. Ask them.
If you aren't in a hurry, bikes can be fine. It is a little dangerous because of the state of the roads and the speed of some drivers, but you can judge that when you get here.
Car rental is easy, $35-50/day, lots of agencies. It is a good idea to rent a car for one or two days of exploring, since Anguilla is actually pretty big.
A fun place to explore is the eastern tip of the island, criss crossed with sandy roads, no houses, few people, lots of hidden beaches, etc. Quite a large area is undeveloped. Except for a few popular beaches, most of the island is empty of tourists, even in March. Just pick a road and explore.
A very non-touristy thing to do is go to church. The singing can be incredible and you meet a lot of people. There are also sports matches (cricket, basketball, baseball, etc.) that are a lot of fun to watch. Just ask around or listen to Radio Anguilla AM 1505. If you want to take part in a pickup basketball game under the lights some night, try Road School on the way to Blowing Point, Island Harbour Village, The Valley court next to Ashleys, or East End Village.
This picture was taken recently, somewhere on Anguilla. Our challenge is to identify the location of the structure and, part two, determine its original purpose.
Clues: it has a tree growing through it, so it must be old. It is stone, with some concrete as well. It has two arched openings less than 2 feet high, near ground level, opposite the doorway.
Anyone who knows anything about this structure or is just curious to see what others say, should visit the challenge page. What is this? Where is it and how do you find it? When was it built and what was it for? Who built it? Who does it belong to? What does it mean? If you know anything, add your ideas. We know where it is, but nothing else.
Now the adventure starts. It isn't difficult, but you do drive on the left. There is really only one main road, but there are no street names, street signs or house numbers. You must get a $6 drivers license at any rental company or at the Treasury in The Valley - just show your drivers license from home.
Sleeping policemen. Anguilla has speed bumps to discourage speeding at intersections and in villages, but all the warning signs blew down in Hurricane Luis. This is hazardous for new visitors. Coming from the hotels in the West, watch out at the South Hill Plaza on the main road, where there are two bumps. Another is near the hospital on the road to Shoal Bay. The rest are on secondary roads.
Getting Lost. If you get lost, find a paved road. Then spot the mountains or lights of St. Martin -- that direction is South. Anguilla runs East-West so either turn left or right. Most paved roads either run to The Valley or deadend at the beach. You can stop and ask directions, but that does not always help (remember that "above" means East and "below" means west). Unfortunately, most of Anguilla looks the same: flat, no distinctive large trees or buildings, and houses spread out evenly over the entire country.
If you think I am exagerating, consider this:
The brochure for Hibernia Restaurant is 3/4 dedicated to a map and directions for getting from your hotel in the West to them in the East (travel time is 30 minutes). You actually would have a hard time getting from the West End to Hibernia in Island Harbour without these directions.
Take the main road east [my additions are in italics], then:
Speed. The official speed limit varies from 25 MPH to 35 MPH, but drive as slowly as you need to feel comfortable. Anguillans with new cars often drive extremely slowly. In this way you can avoid scaring the goats and pedestrians and you can see more of the island. Drive defensively and wear your seat belts-- some people on Anguilla drive much too fast and pass on blind corners.
Waving. You will notice that many people wave to you. It is considered polite to wave to people as you drive past them. Give it a try-- you don't want to be considered hoity-toity.
Honking. You will hear a lot of short-snappy honking. This is not directed at your driving. It is just people saying hello to their friends and relatives. No one honks because of a driving problem or situation. Honking is only for greeting purposes.
Hitchhiking. It is okay to pick up hitchhikers, but is certainly not required or expected. Anguillans do not stick up their thumbs to hitchhike. Instead they will gently wave their wrist, or even just sit under a tree and whisper their desired destination quietly in your window as your drive past. Be sure you are not in a hurry when you pick someone up. Besides doing a good deed, you may see parts of Anguilla you never suspected existed. Don't be surprised if your passenger expects you to go out of your way to their destination, then asks you to wait while they get the baby, and continues on to their home with you. Many visitors find this a great way to meet people, have fun conversations, and see some interesting back roads.
Roundabouts. Go slow and yield to the right.
Driving at night. There are no shoulders and fewer sidewalks, so there are often people walking on the road, especially on Saturday night. Landmarks at night are the few traffic lights, the lights of St. Martin to the South, and the Caribbean Beacon Radio Tower in the East. The most difficult spot is in the West End where everything looks alike in the dark -- memorize a few landmarks when you go out for dinner.
Headlights. Does it seem like everyone is driving with their high beams on? Not true, but since 99% of cars in Anguilla are US-style and US headlights aim slightly to the right to avoid blinding drivers coming the other way, driving them on the left side means your headlights shine directly into oncoming traffic.
I lived on Anguilla for 2 years before the explanation came to me in a flash. I was sitting on the beach at Sandy Ground, visualizing Anguilla before cars. Sailing ships brought food and supplies to the shore in Road Bay and people walked down to buy what they needed. Down? All of a sudden I realized that Sandy Ground is in a mile long valley with 200' cliffs on either side. If you had to carry a bag of rice home from Sandy Ground, those would soon look like real hills to you. There they are--a long cliff to the north of me and another longer cliff to the south of me--North Hill and South Hill. Perfectly named, from the Sandy Ground point of view!
Anguilla--Tranquil Isle of the Caribbean
This impressive book is 138 pages long with many color pictures. It covers everything from Beaches and History to Culture and Wildlife. The book is a tourist book, but much more--a thorough introduction to Anguilla.
One of the best sections is the description of Anguilla's national sport, boat racing. I learned that the traditional Anguillian sailboat with no decking and about 25 feet long, also has "no external ballast on the hull--instead large smooth rocks, iron, lead or bags of sand are used...Sometimes ballast has to be thrown overboard during a race and even one of the crew may receive this treatment." In the section on Anguilla's unusual revolution to avoid becoming independent as part of St Kitts there is a picture of a Royal airforce plane transporting part of the British invasion force. The book is packed with these little details.
There is no mystery about why Anguilla, Tranquil Isle of the Caribbean is so detailed. It was written by two Anguillans: Brenda Carty, who also writes excellent Anguilla news coverage for the St Martin Daily Herald, and historian Colville Petty who wrote the historical, political and constitutional portions of the book.
Anguilla, Tranquil Isle of the Caribbean is published by Macmillan Education Ltd., London, 1997. ISBN 0-333-65966-X. The UK price is 10.95 pounds. The book is for sale in Anguilla at US$20. This book is so new that the book launch party was held last night at Sonesta. I couldn't find a copy at Amazon.Com, so it probably isn't available yet in the USA. But you can order a copy from the Anguilla Drug Store by calling 264-497-2738 and Olive Hodge will mail it to you (her son Kennedy is the wholesaler for the book in Anguilla and was MC of the book launch cocktail party). Mail service from Anguilla to the USA is quite good, about 7 to 14 days. Mail service from the USA to Anguilla is completely unpredictable, since many letters are misdirected to Antigua, Angola, Guyana and the Phillipines.
This book is the newest in Macmillan Caribbean's incredible series. There are books on each island, on flowers, trees, sea life, butterflies and so on.
[Update: you can now order this book on the Net.
The pictures are excellent and very realistic. The information is generally accurate, if a little over-enthusiastic (no place is perfect). The author describes the low vegetation that covers most of Anguilla, "The brush was impenetrable on both sides of the narrowing road, now little more than an uneven slad of exposed coral rock. No side trails led anywhere. It was a landscape that might have pleased Brer Rabbit-- thickety, thorny, scrubby brush, carpeting a terrain that rose and fell hardly at all", but then he waxes eloquently "I saw the damnedest thing: a perfect white blossom eight feet up on a gnarled, leafless shrub that otherwise showed absolutely no sign of life."
From: Josy Ingersol (ingersol@UDel.Edu)My husband and I got back from a week in Anguilla recently, and wanted to be sure and thank you for all the wonderful tips and news we brought with us thanks to your very informative and readable newsletter. We stayed at the Seahorse, ate at many wonderful restaurants, the favorites being Hibernia, the Riviera in Sandy Ground, Palm Grove, Uncle Ernie's, Roys, Smitty's ... well, actually we liked them all. Visited the computer center at the library, went snorkeling at the cave near Long Pond Bay (pictured in one of your newsletters) and generally followed your recommendations to the letter. Alison Mussington, who manages the Seahorse, (and who is really nice) said we had definitely "done our homework." We will keep the Computer Club in mind before discarding any old laptops.
Cable and Wireless have updated their web page of people and businesses with email on Anguilla.
The Link ferry has a web page describing their services. This is one of the few boats low enough to go under the bridge into Simpson lagoon and over to the dock at Princess Juliana airport on St Martin. They have email now too firstname.lastname@example.org and can arrange trips to/from the airport and to other islands.
Barrel Stay restaurant on Sandy Ground has a web page.
Vince Cate has put up a fascinating photo essay on "Fishing for Jacks at Junks Hole".
Kathy Smith has posted an enthusiastic report to the Internet on Anguilla's beaches.
Sonesta Resort on Anguilla has a web page and the Forbes magazine web site has an article on the family that runs Sonesta.
While the beach is public, the hotel grounds, beach chairs,
sports equipment, towels, and complimentary iced Perrier water
are private. Please be polite.
Billy's Pastry Shop is a new local restaurant across the street from the post office. It serves fresh pie, breakfast, sandwiches, salads, coffee, cold drinks, "bush tea" and local drinks such as Seamoss (recommended on the honeymoon to keep the groom in shape). But what makes it unusual is that it has outdoor seating, under a fabric canopy. Sort of like a Parisian cafe. Sounds commonplace to you? It isn't here--this is a first cafe in Anguilla near the business area where you can sit, talk, sip coffee and watch people come to town on errands. We hope it does well. 264-497-2844.
The Straw Hat restaurant pictured in our last issue did open that same week at the old Smugglers location. It is decorated with straw hats everywhere and has a menu designed by local artist Michelle Lavalette. Prices a bit lower than normal for gourmet dining in Anguilla, but we haven't tried it yet. Open for dinner only. 264-497-8300.
Hibernia restaurant was written up in Passport newsletter: Sometimes "what's great" gets lost in the flurry of "what's new". A recent visit to Hibernia reminded us that this small, out-of-the-way restaurant continues, year after year, to be one of the Caribbean's finest. The ideas that French chef/owner Raoul Rodriguez garners during off-season trips to the Far East show up as such stellar dishes as spicy lobster souffle with a crispy noodle salad. 264-497-4290.
Dion, the excellent chef at Cyril's Fish House in Island Harbour, will make up entries to go if you wish. We often order a single Garlic Crusted Snapper and eat it at home on our own verandah. 264-497-4488.
Koal Keel in The Valley also has a pastry shop that sells excellent french bread, pastries and deserts. It opens at 7AM and closes when the restaurant closes. At any time of the day you can drop in for a croissant and a cup of expresso. Very nice.
Visitor Constance Fraser sent this recommendation as soon as she got home:
In terms of restaurant reviews, we hung out a great deal at The Ferryboat Inn at Blowing Point, mostly because we enjoy John and Marjorie so much. Their fish and veal dishes are very good; the steak and kidney pie was excellent. [Editor: 264-497-6613]Another recent visitor, Sandy Caravelli reports:
"My husband and I just returned from our first visit to Anguilla. We absolutely loved it. We were amazed at the emptiness of the beaches and also of how many five-star restaurants were there. We ate at Mangos, Eclipse, and Casablanca. We were unable to get into Malliouhana or Blanchards on the nights we wanted to go. For anyone that is a creme brulee fan, Casablanca has one in a pastry shell that was to die for. [Editor: 264-497-6991]
"We stayed at the Frangipani on Meads Bay (click on the picture to the right for a larger view). Valentin Davis and his staff were excellent. Unfortunately their restaurant was not yet open, but it looks like it is going to be a beautiful place. [Editor: 264-497-6442]
"We did take the ferry over to St. Maarten one afternoon, this was not a
pleasant experience for us. I wish they would have driven
a little slower, my husband nearly got seasick and the only thing I could
think of was the theme song from Gilligan's Island!" [Editor: the winds
and seas have been high recently.]
You technical types will appreciate this. The club's Pentium system was rented to the Financial Cryptography conference and came back configured as a UNIX system instead of a Microsoft Windows system. We left it that way so that we could use it to connect several PCs to the Internet through it's modem instead of just one. We quickly scrounged up a 5-port hub and as many spare network cards as we could and got a 3-PC network going. Now our high school enthusiasts are learning UNIX and networking as well as Windows.
Anyone coming to Anguilla soon who has a spare network card, please slip it in your suitcase and drop it off at the National Trust building in The Valley. Thanks!
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 97 From: John and Karen Leyburn (email@example.com)We are from Vancouver, Canada and we really enjoy your newsletter. My husband, 3yr old daughter, and I have spent our last two vacations on that charming little island. The first visit lasted almost 3 months and we were privileged to get to know quite a few people and to explore a lot of the island, both above sea level and below it. It holds a special place in our hearts and even though we only recently discovered your website, we are already addicted to it and can't wait for each new update. What you said about picking up hitchhikers was very true. It brought back memories of the time we stopped for a very wonderful old lady, who made us wait at a couple of stops, but paid us back in spades by holding our little girl's hand and singing beautiful gospel songs to her as we drove along. Such dignity and beauty! The loveliness of the beaches can't hold a candle to the loveliness of the people.
We have stayed both times at Island Harbour because of the vibrant, local fishing community, unspoilt and friendly, and hope to come back later this year.
The Amabile Boys Choir gave two public concerts in Anguilla, one at the Bethel Methodist Church and the other at St Mary's Anglican Church. The choir of 43 boys is from Ontario and has performed all over the world. Their appearance in Anguilla was sponsored by the local Christian Council.
Looking out my bedroom window this week I saw a whale jump completely out of the water. I have been staring out that window for 2 years, waiting to see a whale, and it finally happened. He hung around for 10 minutes, surfaced and jumped a couple of times, then disappeared.
Leaders of the Anguilla offshore finance industry and Anguillian regulatory officials have left for Europe to give presentations in London and Geneva.
Earlier this Winter we enjoyed the warmth and frienship of Anguilla for ten all too brief days. Our "home" at Harbour Lights in Island Harbour was wonderful as ever, with the warm breezes, soft waves caressing the shore beneath our window, stunning sunrises and sunsets. Almost every beach was a "keeper" to which we will return again and again for coming years. It's like coming home, since we were also here for Christmas 1994. So much more could be written, but we'll stick with some hints I haven't seen elsewhere and which visitors might find helpful and fun as holiday diversions.
Radio Anguilla (1505 AM) serves up a very informative hour of news every morning from about 7:00 to 8:00. The BBC International and Carribbean reports followed by local news sports and weather (always quite brief) are a must for any one who wants the flavor of what's happening here. The ads also help point us in the right direction for any services and retail on the island. Production values of each radio spot are really memorable and distinctly Anguillian. News is on the air again around noon and in the early evening at 7:15PM. Not to be missed also is Radio Anguilla's talk radio (Wed night at 8PM). Just stay tuned to Radio Anguilla when you have the time, and you'll be both informed and entertained!
If you're relaxing on one of Anguilla's beautiful beaches and dial around the AM band, get a feel for the legacy of the Empire's radio system when you tune in the following: ZIZ - Nevis 550, DBC - Dominica 595, Antiqua 620, St Lucia 660, ZBNI - Tortola 780, ZJB - Montserrat 880, VON - Nevis 895, ZDK - Antiqua 1100. Other helpful stations in the area are PJB - St Martin 1300, and WVWI - St. Thomas 1000.
Finally, we can't leave out the most powerful stations on Anguilla, the Carribbean Beacon, with two programs on 690 and 1610 AM. These are owned by California broadcast preacher Dr. Gene Scott. Occasionally there's a network newscast on one of these two stations, but most of their schedules are devoted to Christian ministry or contemporary Christian music.
Though FM stations are listed for Anguilla, we couldn't find any on the air. The following list is of the FM stations on nearby St. Martin; these stations have programs in French, English, or occasionally drift between both. The style is truly Carribbean, the music and commentary are a real treat. Marigot 88.9, Marigot 91.2, Hot-FM Philipsburg 94.7, Philipsburg 101.5, RCI2 Marigot 102.1, St. Barth's 103.7 (Marigot relay 100.7)(relay 98.7), RFO Marigot 106.1, Marigot 107.9. Happy listening, and if you want more information on radio or on avalable TV stations, or have some updates, e-mail me at
. . . continue virtual vacation (previous month)
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