26 April 2009

Time flies when you're having rum!

Lawd, lawd, I can't believe I've let it go so long between posts.   A little trip planning, a co-worker's vacation, some extra hours at work, and the discovery of some new fanfiction and my, how the time flies!

So in two months' time I will be on my summer vacation after putting in a couple hundred hours of online research.  Our first stop is our beloved Grenada, an island we're returning to for a third visit, then onward to Anguilla for our first visit.  Our first week will be largely filled with exploration, delving even more deeply "into de country" than our last trip.  We'll sample beach bars and rum shacks, tramp through trails to sparkling waterfalls, stopping by the spice market to stock on up nutmeg, mace, cinammon, and other essentials.  We're renting a vehicle with 4 wheel drive and ample ground clearance, so we'll be able to follow any track, well-beaten or otherwise, on a whim.  Grenada's lush mountainous interior is gorgeous and incredibly inviting, the fresh air redolent with spices and the tang of the sea.

Anguilla is entirely different.  Formed of coral, not by a volcano, it is the perfect counterpoint to Grenada's peaked topography, with white sand beaches ringing the entire island.  These wide swaths are blindingly bright, showing off the brilliant turquoise hues of the water.  You'd swear that photographs of Anguilla's beaches have been Photoshopped into perfection, but they really are that stunning.

I've always relied on the kindness of strangers, especially when it comes to travel planning.  Travel forums can soak up hours of my time on my days off.  I've got a large sheaf full of notes to take with me so that we can enjoy each island to its fullest, much of which is information shared with me by strangers.  I even had the lovely experience of striking up a conversation with two customers yesterday at work--one was wearing an Anguilla t-shirt so I introduced myself to him as someone about to experience Anguilla for the first time.  When I revealed that we would be staying at Carimar,  their own favorite place to stay, they pulled me aside for a good 30 minutes to share their travel experiences and wouldn't be satisfied until I assured them I would take all of their advice to heart.  

I have an online acquaintance named HowardC who has also devoted pages of email to ensure I have a fabulous time in Anguilla.  But what's more, he has gone a step further by sending me a care package--a travel video and a local magazine.  When I planned my first trip to Bequia it was HowardC who sent me his personal photo album from the island to whet my appetite for my visit.   I have another online friend named mymoosie who, upon visiting Nevis for the first time, brought home for me in her bag a bottle of Killer Bee, a killer rum punch found only at Sunshine's, a fabulous beach bar on Nevis.  Just because I had posted that I loved that rum punch and that I had tried to recreate it at home with limited success.  
What is about people with shared passions?  Is it possible that we cannot behave as indifferent strangers?  That there's something in us that calls to each other?  I couldn't possibly say, but I know that I feel a thrill whenever a fellow traveler tells me that some tip or other that I passed along was the highlight of her trip.  

NB: Grenada photos courtesy of Grenada Explorer.   Anguilla photo courtesy of Trip Advisor


  1. Emily - I'm so excited for you and your trip! I love your tales of the "kindness of strangers" in your trip planning. I've also found that while *on* trips, the kindness of strangers has gotten me through interesting (and/or potentially dangerous/scary/devastating) experiences with only a great story to tell. Whew! Have fun... can't wait to see the pictures!

  2. I'd love to hear about some of those tales of the kindness of strangers. When do we get to see y'all next?

  3. Emily, you attract what you give...blessings and enjoy that rum..I am completely jealous

  4. A lovely read, thank you. We are the map producers of the same said map that featured 'not to be used for navigational purposes' on the top right hand corner, re-reading the disclaimer i appreciate it's potential ambiguity! However, the statement is there to safeguard our reader from using the map for let's say walking the breadth of the island!

    skyviews.com produces maps for 11 of the Leeward and Windward islands, if you would like to let me know which island you are next planning on visiting i would be more than happy to send you a complimentary map to assist with your travel plans. Keep travelling!


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