23 June 2012

We're AARF-ward bound!

Beautiful, practically deserted Barnes Bay
Goodness gracious!  As much as I enjoyed my stay at Arawak, particularly the prevalent breeze that kept things comfortable even during the heat of the day, there's something special about waking up in Caribella and seeing the sun glint off the waters of Barnes Bay.  There's a clarity here, a certain slant of light as the Belle of Amherst might say, not found elsewhere.

Then again, that could be my lack of sleep talking.  The a/c was definitely *not* working in the room last night, despite my turning it down to its coldest setting.  At home we keep our summer thermostat set to about 78 during the day, and despite the a/c remote control claiming that it was 16 C (!), it was much warmer in the room than our house is at home.

New interior at Straw Hat
We have a tradition, my husband and I, to break our fast on the first morning on the island at Straw Hat, but we modified it this year to be our first morning in the west end. Totally still counts as keeping tradition.  We were pleased and surprised by the changes in the restaurant since our visits last June: they've transformed the interior part of it into a very pleasant space, indeed, and moved their main bar there; they also have all new tables & chairs outdoors. 

Lovely Meads Bay
Between us, we shared a fruit plate, a continental breakfast, and a bagel with cream cheese.  Coffee and juice brought our total to $32, and we spent a good bit of time at the table, enjoying the view of beautiful Meads Bay.  DH read while I took advantage of their free wifi and did a bit of blogging.

We left after about an hour to run some errands for the day--we intended to purchase sunscreen, earbuds, an ACE bandage, & some provisions as well as to make our way back to AARF.  Along the way, we saw some strange things, including hair mayonnaise:

Call it like you see it.  No need for fancy names here.

We arrived at AARF just in time to meet Joan, one of the volunteers, who was nursing a tiny, three-week-old kitten.  He had been picked up at the side of the road and dropped off at AARF.  He was heartbreakingly small and fragile looking.

We also posed for a picture with Suzy, the head director/volunteer there, whom we had met last year.  She lives down the next road up from Caribella, so we're practically Anguillian neighbors.  Then she showed us around the facilities, which are the nicest Caribbean veterinarian facilities I've seen.  They're lucky to have certified vets from the Philippines working there, with a surgical room, a recovery room, and even a separate x-ray room (when it works.  when it doesn't, the Hughes clinic on the west end helps them out with x-rays). I'm super-happy to report that they had adopted multiple puppies out that week and thus didn't have many dogs or cats on premises.  The few they did have came with sad stories, though: poor socialization and clearly fearful of humans, which makes my heart ache a little at the thought of what might have made them fear us so much. It will take a very special person to foster these creatures to the point where they can be adopted, but I don't want that to overshadow the great good that Suzy, Joan, the vets, and other volunteers at AARF. I wish them all fortitude in the face of the great compassion fatigue they face on a regular basis.

These pups huddled at the back and wouldn't approach us--very fearful.

Ditto for this kitten and his littermate (not pictured). They'd spit & hiss when we approached the kennel.
After purchasing a couple of baseball caps with the AARF logo, we made our back into the Valley to pick up some takeaway from Fat Cat gourmet.  When we inquired where the best place to purchase some earbuds would be, the resounding answer was, "The Tackle Box."  Really?  The Tackle Box?  "Oh yes, they have a little bit of everyt'ing."  Huh.

Seriously: this place has it all

I'm really hoping this t-shirt label is in jest, but who can say?
And it turns out, they did.  Need earbuds, fishing tackle, or baby clothing?  How about a guitar, congo drums, or a Sponge Bob pinata?  Penny candy, flipflops, or a greeting card? Dress shirt, children's toys, or wireless mouse for your computer?  That's right--they've got you covered for all of that and more.  I'm pretty sure this place will be a regular stop for us on all of our future trips!

DH, claiming all of the Fat Cat goodies for himself!
After hearing much praise about Fat Cat Gourmet, and also because we wanted to go easy on our pocketbooks after two very expensive dinners out, we stopped here to pick up dinner for the evening: oxtail stew, vegetable pasta, and some cookies.    NB: I loved the pasta, but I might need further acquaintance with oxtail stew before I pass judgement--I liked the flavor, but it was a lot of effort for only a little meat and a lot of grease.
Unit #6, the upper one, is our home away from home.
 We finally returned home to Caribella after stopping by Geraud's to pick up a roasted pork sandwich to split for lunch and a loaf of bread for dinner that night, plus a couple of bottles of wine from the place next door, Le Gout du Vin.  I can't pretend that I know much about wine, but I love randomly choosing among the affordable French whites to sip on the balcony at Caribella.  We've chosen a dozen or so bottles over various visits, all in the US $15-45 range, and they've all been terrific.  I'm sure it has nothing whatsoever to do with the setting. 

My favorite swimming cove on the island--right at the end of the beach.

Somehow the cove looks larger here than it really is.
Swimming and walking the length of the beach rounded out our day before heading back in to prepare dinner after watching the sunset.  All in all, an excellent day.


  1. My cat was also a three-week old stray that crawled its pathetic way to my lap years ago and my heart aches for the sad little ones who suffered the same fate.

    The beaches there are spectacular.....sorry they're so "crowded"....

  2. Sooo beautiful!! It is so hard to stay positive with the pet overpopulation problem, isn't it? It just seems like a no-win situation until people start taking responsibility for spaying and neutering their pets. A man approached me at the vet not too long ago wanting to breed his GSD with mine...Layla is a beautiful dog, gentle temperament, highly intelligent, etc...great breeding potential, no doubt. But, I had her spayed as soon as she was old enough. We don't need any more homeless pets in this world. Glad to see the wonderful work these folks are doing in Anguilla :) and hope Karma is a b*&ch for those who are responsible for those precious animals' inability to trust humans on sight.

  3. Just lovely Emily - really a pleasure to read and envision each stop.
    Thanks for your time, enjoy your vacation, it goes way too fast.

  4. such an affluent guest clientel..I wish each hotel had an adopt a pet program...so many private jets in and out..if they all could adopt a lovey...my fairy tale dream for the lovely Anguilla pets..

  5. There has to be a special HELL for those who abuse those sweet, helpless creatures.


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