09 July 2009

Anguilla Day 1

View from breakfast table at Straw Hat

Pic of me on balcony at Meads Bay

Despite our best intentions to arise early and walk the beach, we dozed until 8:30 am. Instead of nibbling on the provisions we bought the night before, we opted to walk up to Straw Hat at Frangipani to break our fast. Our first mistake was to walk along the road, which was hot and stifling with very little breeze, punctuated occasionally by the odors of decay and sewage (presumably coming from the saltpond, but I could be wrong). Ugh!
Straw Hat was cool and inviting, though, and we enjoyed our two Continental breakfasts (some of the best croissants I’ve ever eaten), with coffee, juice, and a side order of bacon and fruit. Breakfast came to US $30 and we lingered there until 9:45, just enjoying the view and the quiet of each other’s company.

We walked back to Carimar via the beach and claimed two chairs & umbrellas for the rest of the day. I must say that at first I was a little dismayed to see twenty chairs & umbrellas set up there—I think staff must put out one set for every guest—as we had just come from Grenada where the most crowded beach had half a dozen people on it. Also, it looked like guests here had no problem playing the “grab & go” game, where they put a towel down to claim the best chair locations early in the day, and may or may not return before sunset to actually use them. That’s one reason I really dislike resorts and I didn’t like the way things were beginning to pan out. After all, I had purposely chosen Anguilla as being a place where we could get away from it all, and Carimar as being an unprentious place on quiet Meads Bay (as opposed to Shoal Bay East) where we could live the dream, as least for a week.

Still, it’s hard to argue with the beauty that is Meads Bay—a long swathe of nearly-white sand with some of the most gorgeous turquoise water I’ve ever seen. The water gets surprisingly deep quite quickly and I was just floating about in the gentle surf when a nice sized yacht pulled up to anchor for the day. About a dozen or so preteen girls and a handful of adults came ashore and at first it was fun just to watch them—we imagined that some very lucky girl had had a birthday and was able to invite 11 other very lucky girls to celebrate with her on a yacht in Anguilla. My amused tolerance, however, was tried when the yacht began blasting music from its prodigious speakers so that the folks on shore wouldn’t be bereft of their techno-pop for a few hours. How tragic that would have been for them. I’m not sure if it was a case of just being oblivious (since they were, in fact, preteens) or unspeakably rude. Then things really started getting busy when they started water skiing and tube rides up and down the length of Meads Bay. Honestly, I must not have done enough research because I didn’t think motorized sports were allowed on this beach, or at least that close to shore. If we had been in St. Maarten or Aruba I wouldn’t have batted an eye, but I confess I was a little resentful with all of the hullabaloo. I’m probably coming across as a total grump-ass, and I realized it, too. So I tried to hunker down with my very good book and enjoy the day for what it was—a thing of beauty and relaxation. So what if I was unable to swim more than 10 meters off shore for fear of being run over by a water skier or the boat pulling her?

Around 3:30 we headed back to the room to clean up for an excursion into town to procure those items that we couldn’t get at Christine’s. we stopped at the open air market to buy produce and then went to three other stores to find some natural peanut butter (if it’s for sale anywhere on Anguilla, we sure missed it) and some gin that was neither Gordon’s, Bombay, nor swill. Heading back to Carimar we poked down a sideroad or two to explore a bit and then we settled in once more with our books and a cocktail before dinner.

LaVerne’s eyes lit up when we told her we were considering E’s Oven for dinner that night, and she enthusiastically made reservations for us. What can I say, other than it was fantastic? We had three appetizers, one entrée, and three cocktails. DH ordered the grilled shrimp with mango and then the coconut encrusted grouper, while I started with the vegetable napoleon and finished with the crayfish. The amuse-bouche was a tender morsel of just-seared grouper. We couldn’t have been more pleased with our meals and our server was so charming and funny. It was the perfect way to end our day.

Started and finished J. Maarten Troost’s The Sex Lives of Cannibals, based on the recommendation of a book soulmate over on the Anguilla Trip Advisor forum. It was just wonderful and my only regret is that I didn’t also bring Troost’s second book on the trip. I love reading travelogues when I’m on vacation, and this one was very funny indeed. I liked him almost as much as I like Bill Bryson.

Rainbow over Meads Bay


  1. the rainbow is such good luck...:)

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    Sandro Heckler

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