Incidentally, Zara's at the Allamanda Beach Club is an excellent choice for gourmet dining on Anguilla. And I am not the only one who thinks so. Read this report by a recent visitor. Reservations are suggested at most restaurants during February. Telephone: 264-497-3229. Here is the new dinner menu at Zara's for this season (other restaurant menus):
We purchased our sham from the man selling home-grown vegetables by the side of the road just east of the new hospital. He also sells local egg plant, green peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and squash. You know he is "open" when his wheelbarrow w/scale is parked by the side of the road. Just park, honk and wait. He'll come out of his fields to serve you.
The club has a web page with many pictures of the course. People who were able to attend all four days and graduated include:
The Computer Club is back in action after the Christmas Break, still meeting in the backroom of the National Trust building. Classes for adults are Mondays at 4:00 PM and children at 3:30 PM on Thursdays. Visitors welcome. This week the members were experimenting with a digital camera and you can see the results.
Ashley's is a place worth visiting for your grocery shopping. They have a wide variety of items, including the best value in coffee (Santo Domingo brand at EC$12.40), and many specialty sauces not available elsewhere in Anguilla. To find them turn north on Coronation Blvd at the traffic light and left again at the basketball court.
The drawing will be held on Valentine's Day (Feb 14th). If you would like to buy a ticket, enquire at Scotiabank, Mr. Cool, Caribbean Commercial Bank, KPMG, or National Bank of Anguilla.
Our Tower Air flight arrived too late in San Juan for our American Eagle flight to Anguilla. After a flight to St. Martin the next day we connected via Tyden Air and took a taxi to Budget, where we had reserved a car. When we checked in at Shoal Bay Villas they didn't charge us for the night we missed: "We don't charge you if you don't sleep here," said Caddis (the only Caddis on the island).
The facilities at Shoal Bay Villas were freshly renovated after being hit hard by Luis. Our second floor patio overlooked the beach which did not disappoint us. Our first meal was at Le Beach which was deserted at that time of day since we were the only patrons. The menu was limited, the service slow but we were grateful to be there. How could we have been unhappy? That Sunday an excellent saxophone player was working with taped accompaniment. As musicians we appreciated Leo's talent. We soon met Junior and his glass bottom boat which we recognized instantly from the photo on his web page.
Restaurants We Sampled:
We visited Mr. Jeremiah Gumbs at Rendezvous Bay after having spoken with his family stateside in New Jersey. He alone is worth a visit! Later we saw his picture on the cover of the Anguillia Life magazine. We liked walking along Island Harbor beach, the salty sea air and I considered applying for a teaching job at the primary school right on the beach. The gal at Budget Rent-a-car was very accomodating, and drove us to Blowing Point Ferry upon our departure. We had hoped for more road signs on your island. We got lost countless times! Ordinarily, getting lost is an adventure, but at night coming back from Sandy Ground. we took a wrong turn at the roundabout and found (many minutes later) that we were almost at Shoal Bay WEST!!! It was a bit disconcerting. General Impressions: Lovely people, lovely island, low-key, no gambling, best Internet access of any island, and we will return.
- Chatterton's at Cap Juluca - We had an excellent lunch here, where the service was superb. The Eclipse was not open for lunch, but others have told us they had excellent dinners here. The restaurant, right on the beach, provided big umbrellas for shade. Freshly squeezed orange juice was to die for!
- Hibernia in Island Harbor had an interesting menu, with Asian influences. Mary Pat, obviously an Irish lass, operates the restaurant with Raoul Rodriguez. They travel to the Far East and he has studied at Hong Kong cooking schools. A beautifully situated restaurant, high above the harbor and overlooking Gorgeous Scilly Cay. Highly recommended!
- Ripples at Sandy Ground - They were having a Christmas party for their staff and families. Santa Claus made an appearance and distributed gifts to the neighborhood children and posed for photos. Very family oriented, reasonably priced and comfortable.
- Palm Grove - This place is located at Junk's Hole Beach and is well worth the drive. We had lobster for lunch and they truly had a special taste. You can swim here but there is not much shade. The sea is calm.
- Hill Street - Local food, ambience and local prices. Right near the IGA in the Valley.
Sometimes there is a day-trip boat from St. Martin with people playing on the sand, but it is a big beach. Cove Bay is a popular place for local picnics. Accomodations nearby include the Round House villa and Paradise Cove resort.
Can I Bring My Pet? You can bring your dog or cats with you when you visit Anguilla. There is no quarantine, but you should bring a report from your vet showing that the animal has had the appropriate shots and innoculations.
What About Phone Call Surcharges? Long distance telephone calls in Anguilla are expensive (about US$2.50 per minute to the USA), but local calls are cheap (EC $0.25 per call, no limit on time). And the phone company supplies the hotel PBX systems. So they tell the hotels what they can charge for long distance. And small hotels can't afford a PBX, so they sometimes don't have phones in the rooms.
In the past, hotels with a PBX could add 20% to each call, but this was not enough to cover the cost of the PBX. Now they have more flexibility. Some have raised the surcharge (Sonesta is now 40%), while others have kept it the same. Hotel guests are now free to use ATT calling cards, which reduce the charges substantially (local residents are not allowed to use these cards). Check with your hotel when you check in.
P.S. Cellular phones will work in Anguilla, but cellular coverage is very limited outside The Valley (i.e., at West End or Shoal Bay where a tourist is likely to be). Cable and Wireless is putting up a new cellular tower and switch in the West End right now and hope to have it functional by the end of February. You can always get a connection to the St. Martin cellular system because their transmitter is on a mountain. They will sign you up if you give them a credit card number, but the rates are even more expensive than in Anguilla.
Fly or Ferry from St Martin? The first ferry each morning is 7:30 AM from Anguilla to St. Martin, 8 AM return. Ferry's run every 1/2 hour until dark. The last ferry is currently at 7:30 PM from St. Martin to Anguilla. The fare is still $10 per person. It takes 15-30 minutes by taxi to get from the airport to the ferry dock. They can handle your luggage without any problem.
Franklin Conner's Link ferry goes to St. Martin three times a day and can drop off at the airport on any trip if it is arranged in advance. Departure times from Blowing Point can vary by about 30 minutes so phone Sylvanie on the day you leave to confirm time and your desire to be dropped at the airport. (Phone/fax 264-497-3290) If your flight arrival time syncs with one of their layovers, they can meet you with a placard at the St. Martin airport for a $15 surcharge. Just fax them your date, flight number, and arrival time and they will fax back whether they can meet you. For late arrivals you can charter them to pick you up for $250. The Link is scheduled to meet the Monday night KLM flight late (11pm) - contact La Sirena Hotel for details.
You can fly from St. Martin to Anguilla Tyden Air (1-800-842-0261) for $70 roundtrip (daylight fare). If your flight is delayed and you miss the last ferry, you probably have to stay in St Martin overnight. Or pay the air charter fare to Anguilla (about $300 PP).
Sleepy and the Allstars are a popular band at local restaurants and parties. Many Anguillans will only come out to dance for the Allstars. The band performs acoustic string music of a traditional Caribbean style. They can often be heard at the Hard Broke on Shoal Bay on Sunday evenings, at the Red Dragon disco on some Over-30 nights, and are available to entertain your party.
Members of the band:
Subject: Dreamin' of Anguilla
We visited Anguilla for the first time in September of 1996 and just loved it. Please pass on a cheery hello to Jerry Gumbs and Mrs. Gumbs at the Rendevous Bay Hotel [ed: telephone number is 264-497-6549], and give the dogs a pat on the head for us. Also say hi to Big Jim. We have tried to duplicate his barbeque chicken here at home but it just is not the same!!!
We managed to spend much time trekking around the Island, seeking out its natural beauty and the interesting and friendly people that made it all come alive. Some of our most enjoyable experiences were had by picking up hitch hikers that were local to Anguilla and talking to them about life on the Island.
We loved your island and hope to return some day soon. We have been telling our good friends all about Anguilla and wish you a happy and prosperous New Year.
Kind Regards, Brent Harrow and Barabara Borchardt
An entire room is dedicated to the Anguillian revolution, with photographs of all the particpants and the major events, plus one of the actual rifles taken from the St. Kitts police when they were expelled from the island (the action that is considered the start of the revolution). Other exhibits include Amerindian pottery and tools, household items from 19th century life in Anguilla, and a tribute to the salt industry.
Open Mon - Sat 10 am to 5 pm.
Phone: (264) 497-4440
Fax: (264) 497-4067
Adults: $5 US. Children under 12: $2 US
The web site has a section devoted to their adventures in Anguilla, including a a photo record of a day spent exploring Anguilla's caves. The pictures show part of an enormous and tricky cave complex behind Old Ta and the Kavanaugh Cave. Kavanaugh Cave was the site of phosphate mining in the last century and is large and safe to explore. You reach it by taking the trail up from Katouche Bay (directions). The other cave complex is more dangerous, requiring you to crawl on your belly through a 15 foot passage and with many branching chambers. It should only be attempted with a qualified local guide.
Now you can try "Old Wife" without all the hassle because the Carib Cafe has Trigger Fish on the menu. Caught fresh locally and with all the bones magically removed. Carib Cafe is located in Long Bay village near the Malliouhana Hotel. Dinner only. Closed Mondays. Telephone: 264-497-6700.
Blue Waters Beach Apartments is a small self-catering resort on Shoal Bay West, which is one of the perfect curved beaches at the West End and not the famous Shoal Bay beach at the east end. They share this beach with Cove Castles resort and the Paradise Cove restaurant. Blue Waters has 2 two-bedroom apartments at $285 a night and 7 one-bedroom units at $185, plus 10% service charge and 8% tax. All units open directly onto the beach. Most of February is already booked but they have some openings for the rest of the season. Telephone: 264-497-6292. You can read a customer review posted on the Anguilla Tete-a-Tete bulletin board. Here are a few extracts:
Blue Waters was very beach front: our porch stepped right on to the sand, and the ocean was 15 feet away from there. After we had 4-wheeled on the left side of the road (with circles?!-very interesting) through The Valley, and arrived at the West end of the island, I was already in love with Anguilla. Everyone waved at us, even the goats along the side of the road were smiling. When we arrived at Blue Waters, no one was around--I knocked and opened a few doors, still could not find anyone. There was no office, signs, anything indicating if this place was even open. Finally Tony, Carolynıs son (owner) appeared and told us we were staying at unit 5 and the key was in the door.
We walked in, it was unbelievable. The little picture in the Anguilla tourism brochure did not do justice to this place. When you walk in, if you turn right, its the master suite-with a king size bed, 2 night stands, huge wall mirror with built in table, and ample closets enclosing iron/ironing board, and a safe deposit box, which you donıt need on this crime free island. The bathroom was also simple and elegantly decorated (everything was WHITE/cleanlines/very Calvin Klein), with its own ceiling fan (there is one in every room in this villa). On to the living area, the area is open and spacious. with full-size range, oven, fridge with ice maker. And most important, a coffee maker. The cabinets were fully stocked with all the gadgets and utensils you need to cook and eat in. We find eating out every meal on a vacation can be very stressful. Something about rolling out of bed and on to the kitchen, and to the beach "As Is" is very appealling.
Sounds impossible, but this is the Anguilla International Art Festival, July 27th to August 3rd 1997, and it overlaps with the start of Carnival week. Entries are now being accepted by artists from around the world. Rooms will be available at a range of hotels, with rates as low as $25 to $35 per night. Activites will include parties, barbeque, workshops, tours, all giving a chance to interact with Anguilla's friendly local culture.
The competition is open to artists world-wide who work in two-dimensional media such as painting and drawing. Participants will spend a week on Anguilla producing or planning art with an Anguillian theme. The completed art work can be submitted to the competition between July 27th and December 31st, 1997, with the $10,000 first price and $5,000 second prize to be awarded in January. Works will be offered for sale during the tourist season and all art remains the property of the artist.
For more information, call 264-497-2949 or send email the Anguilla Tourist Board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While in Anguilla a few weeks ago I learned that someone had adopted "Shoeshine" and taken her home with them to the States in December. If you don't know the background, "Shoeshine" was left at Cap Juluca 8 - 10 years ago as a puppy, and has been the mascot ever since. Many guests - like us - looked forward to seeing "Shoeshine" when we visited.
We would be very interested in finding out who has "Shoeshine", only to find out how she's doing in her new home. All we know is that it's someone from Virginia, and they left the first week in December. My wife. Suzan, grew very attached to "Shoeshine" over the past 8 years, and we just want to know that she's OK. Thanks for any help from anyone.
Cheers, Steve Donahue, email@example.com
Ian Goldberg (famous for breaking Netscape) is running the workshop. He was in the news again this last week for breaking 40 bit encryption in 3.5 hours.
Ron Rivest was one of the 3 inventors of the RSA encryption algorithm (best around) and also one of the founders of RSA Inc., the biggest computer security company. The "R" in RSA comes from his name. He will be one of the speakers at FC97 in Anguilla.
The meetings will be held in the Conference Room of the Inter-Island Hotel and attendees can stay there or in neighboring hotels. The Web site has good information on and pictures of:
Other activites include a workshop on medicinal plants, choral speech festival, a play, a concert by the high school teachers, a jollication, children's story time and a poster competion. The festival comes to a climax on Sunday March 2nd with an Anguillian food fair and traditional boat race at Sandy Ground.
The festival is organized by the Anguilla National Trust. For more information, call 264-497-5297 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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