06 August 2014

Monday's Magical Mystery Tour, Part One

  I love the cheerful colors on this cottage in North Hill
We woke up on Monday to a sky that was distinctly overcast, so we congratulated ourselves for having made the plan the night before to spend our day driving around the island and seeking out new spots that we'd never seen before.

We packed a small bag with water, umbrellas, and some sunscreen in case we found a place we wanted to linger, and after another breakfast at Bonjour Cafe, we hit the road for parts unknown.  Or mostly unknown.  Digging out the big Anguilla map that we'd purchased at the drug store a few years ago, we found what looked like a lighthouse icon up on North Hill.  That seemed as good as place as any to start.
Another North Hill home
We didn't find a lighthouse, but we got close to the end of a road that looked over Sandy Ground.  If we'd had a four wheel drive vehicle, we might have pursued the road to its very end, but the road was deeply rutted and we didn't want to bottom out in Ronnie Bryan's vehicle.

From there, we decided to try to find Katouche Bay.  We weren't entirely sure we were headed in the right direction until we saw a sign mentioning Masara Beach Resort.  "Resort" is a gross overstatement, but it IS built on a hill above a very pretty, and very empty, beach. We walked up and down the beach, made some photos, and then grabbed a small sample of sand to take back with us.




The units there are very simple, and they're not exactly easy to access, but the price there is amazing, and the views must be, too.  The units are spacious, self-catering, and have lovely wide balconies that face west(ish) for perfect sunset viewing. If I didn't already have a home away from home on Anguilla, and if I wanted to get away for a month or more at a time, these are exactly the place I would consider booking.


We inadvertently visited two stops on the Anguilla Heritage Trail. The first one was at the top of the Masara property, where it noted that Crocus Bay was Anguilla's first port.  We hadn't known that, but it's a sad day when you don't learn something new. The next stop we found when the main road toward the Valley that ended up at the crest of the hill that leads to Crocus Bay.  There we saw the remains of the old courthouse that was destroyed in a hurricane over fifty years ago.



I hadn't known how we would arrive there, but I knew from the start that I wanted our wanderings to lead us at some point to Savannah Gallery.  We'd admired multiple times that cute cottage not far from Koal Keel, but it somehow always seemed to be our bad luck to be in the neighborhood outside of Savannah's regular opening hours. This was clearly our lucky day!


When it's open, it's really open
We had no sooner crossed the threshold, when a tall gentleman stood up from his desk to greet us by name.  Frank surprised us by immediately inviting us to the back porch to sit down and chat before we browsed, complete with a cold beverage in hand.  This was a most gratifying welcome, and we were happy to follow his lead.  We had been chatting about this & that for nearly half an hour when the skies absolutely opened up and burst forth with a serious rain squall.  With the wind that kicked up, we soon had to duck back inside because the gusts were starting to drench us, even under cover.

This seemed as good a time as any for us to start exploring the gallery, and it's perhaps the only Caribbean gallery I've been in that had multiple items in every room that I really would have liked to take home with me.  No, this art gallery was of a higher order altogether than any place else we've seen regionally, and rain or shine, I cannot recommend a visit there highly enough.  I've included several samples of the types of work Frank has showcased:





Some of my readers might recognize these works
by Jo-Ann Mason, an artist who lives in Anguilla
and has set some picture books there 
Haiti's answer to Botero
We wandered from room to room, but I kept being drawn back to two rooms in particular: the one housing the various bold metal Haitian sculptures and the one housing the intricate wood inlay work of Jean-Pierre Straub. Seeing my interest, Frank kindly brought over a display that shows the many types of wood that Straub uses for his art.




We spent a hour and a half at Savannah and were sorry to go, but the open road was calling us!  So we bid Frank adieu, made our way through the Valley and headed out to other parts unknown.  I'll post another time about our stops to Sandy Hill/Sea Feathers, Mimi's Bay (we think!) and our attempts to find, but not quite locate, Captains Bay, as this post is getting quite long as it is.  

7 comments:

  1. "it's a sad day when you don't learn something new." I love that! And thank you for teaching me a few new things this morning!

    Janet

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  2. Emily - I have wondered about Masara, the beach looks nice and calm - I want to go and check that out next trip as I think that would be good for DH, so thank you.
    You always have such interesting and informative posts, this was really great, loved all the useful info.
    Thank you Emily!

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    1. The water was pretty calm when we were there, but it seemed like a very rocky entry along that beach. But I suppose with water shoes that wouldn't be a hardship...

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  3. Love traveling along with you two and I must agree-"It's a sad day when you don't learn something new." Thanks to you, I DID! Enjoy every second.

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    1. thanks for the comment, Sharon. I hope you've been well!

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  4. Greetings from a fellow western MA/northern CT Anguilla lover and Savannah Gallery devotee -- as well as a fellow book lover (and Food 101 lover, just sayin'). We first visited the gallery on our first trip to Anguilla in 1997 and now we rent Frank's lovely small villa, Windsong, whenever we visit. Rule #1: trust his restaurant recommendations!!

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Please, sir, may I have some more? (Comments, that is!)