|The little weather station by our apartment
Having turned in early the night before, we both woke early on Tuesday, eager to greet the day. This was the morning that an echoing boom could be heard across the entire Sandy Ground village, and as better writers than I have stated (thank you, RMG), it was the explosion of a catamaran’s lithium battery. Yikes!
We heated up our omelet and johnnycake leftovers from our earlier (and enormous) breakfast from Roy’s in the efficiency kitchen in the studio and dined al fresco for breakfast before taking a walk up the beach.
|Sparkling Sandy Ground
|The listing catamaran.
Before this visit, I had never given much thought of Sandy Ground as a great beach destination, but it’s only in Anguilla that the “afterthought” beach is nicer than what you find on most other islands! I loved feeling like I was staying in the middle of things, like being a part of the local community. Obviously that communal fellow-feeling isn’t found on the big resorts that are intentionally providing an oasis for their guests, but until I experienced it in Sandy Ground, I hadn’t realized that it was something missing from my previous villa stays on the island, too.
We packed up our beach bags and drove all the way out to Shoal Bay East to spend the day at Elodia’s. That location is my favorite spot to park myself on SBE, just a short walk from the point, with steady breezes to keep you comfortable and a constant changing in shades of blue, thanks to the wind, the water, and its myriad interplays of light.
We began our usual cycle of swimming (which honestly is just treading water, not actually any kind of forward locomotion, other than drifting in the current), reading, and gazing at the horizon before I walked up and requested one of my favorite drinks: a passionfruit daiquiri. The one at Elodia’s is excellent and they provide a generous pour, and their prices are still lower than most other spots on the island.
After another dip in the water, we wandered back up to the restaurant for lunch. Michael ordered a mahi mahi sandwich and I had the bbq chicken plate. Both offered solid value and we made quick work of them before heading up the beach for a walk.
The last time we’d been to the island you couldn’t navigate around the point to Upper Shoal Bay, at least not on foot without wading through the waves, but on this visit we could walk all the way up. I have always loved that moment rounding the point, where the wind is suddenly aggressive in your face, whipping your hair around and the waves kick up and all the vegetation is bent to its will.
We walked back and swam again, then read some more, and eventually packed up our bags and settled up, for today was our visit with Pam at Sea Spray. Pam hadn’t been on island on our visit in 2022, I hadn’t seen her since 2019, and Michael hadn’t seen her since his first visit in 2016, so we all had some catching up to do! We sat and chatted while sipping our smoothies and watching the world drive by until eventually we bid her goodbye and hied ourselves down the hill to Sandy Ground.
|Sunset from Roy's
|Veya's signature urchin candle holders
Tonight was special, for tonight was dinner at Veya, which has long been one of my favorite restaurants anywhere. We started by sharing the crudo of the day (forgive me, I don’t recall what fish it was), served with plantain chips that was just delicious, followed by the five-spiced duck breast (Michael) and the grilled mahi mahi with miso-sesame glaze and coconut rice (me).
|The absolutely incredible mahi mahi
|The totally delectable duck
As tempted as we were by dessert, we decided to skip it in favor of following Peter’s advice and stopping by Waves on our way back down the hill to have a night cap, but not before popping into Meze for a moment to listen to Sprocka, who waved and greeted us as we gathered ‘round.
While Waves is technically walkable from Roy’s, I am so glad that we drove because walking that dark road through the abandoned Mariners resort to get there would have been creepy AF. It was creepy enough driving! But eventually the road gave way to a brightly lit spot on the water and we could breathe a sigh of relief.
We happened upon them at a quiet moment – they told us that 7-9 is pretty quiet until the after dinner crowd hits them – so it was fun feeling like we had stumbled across something secretive. We had two rounds of drinks while chatting to the two women working and the occasional person who dropped in for takeout before heading back to Roy’s and turning in for the night.