Saturday, January 28, 2012

Checking Out the Island of Anguilla

Interesting architecture
The Customs and Immigration officers were not only friendly, but also helpful. When we wanted to take an island tour, they called a cab for us. The Cruising books suggest the Anguilla wants to limit visitors. That is not what we found. They are actually trying to limit major development, but are trying to develop tourism to boost the economy.

We found the people very friendly and enjoyed the lack of crowds. It appears that they have allowed several high end hotels to develop their major beach areas, although all beaches are public. Several of the developments have fallen on hard times or run into issues with the government and have closed or stopped building. That leaves locals without work and with eyesores sitting on their prime property.

Fun paint colors give that island flair!
I noticed that the last name of the cab driver was also the name of the airport. When I inquired, he said the airport name was either his father’s or
grandfather’s name. There were several other establishments with the same name. Like all of these islands, the indigenous population is limited in the number of original families, but continues to grow with each generation.  Dennis asked many questions and the driver seems comfortable sharing the answers.

Beautiful Shoal Bay with sugar sand
We stopped at the beautiful Shoal Bay which the driver said is the number one beach in the world – not sure whose standard. It is truly beautiful. There is a new hotel there that is said to cost $2000 per night. I could not confirm it as we did not check in! Unfortunately, we are not allowed to anchor there so we did not get to enjoy that beach. Like most of the islands, the beaches are public so even though there is a private establishment, you can access the beach and use it.

Woman entrepreneur!
At Shoal Bay, I met the lady selling beads and things. She was disappointed when I told her that I make beaded jewelry and really did not need to buy anything. She did let me take her photo, but didn’t give me the great smile she had. I also had to promise it was not going to be in a magazine!

Old stone church
One of the stops we made was at an old stone church. It is the oldest church on the island and is Catholic. The photo I took of the newer and larger church did not turn out so I don’t have the comparison. Even though the new one is more modern, it still looks like an old large church build of a different type of stone.

Two episodes of the Bachelor with Brad were filmed here Valentines Day 2011, including the Rose Ceremony aired in November. Also the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue was photographed here. The guide book says that has brought a lot of interest to the island which should increase their tourism.

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