Woke up this Friday morning to the tinkle of a morning shower on our roof, a sound so uncommon to us urban dwellers, music to my ears. By the time I put the coffee on it had passed. Its Dungeon day, I go out on our balcony to enjoy the morning light whilst DH runs thru his gamut of preparations. There she is, one of the beautiful big starfish I had seen in the ocean just a few days ago had washed up to shore. The wind had picked up on Rendevouz Thursday, we had a couple of waves, those smooth rollers, look more like a hump coming toward you than a real curling wave. Nothing remotely close to the huge waves I had witnessed on Meads the past 2 days, didn't keep me out of the water but it had dropped this creature right on my doorstep. At breakfast I found the groundskeeper and asked him how to get our water friend back home, he said he would put it back and I was good with that.
From there I drop DH off and decide to explore some of the the little side roads running to the northern shore. I had the car radio tuned to 92.9 for the local coverage of the Hon. James Ronald Webster's State Funeral, this is my way of paying my respects. First turn was a small road that had a beautiful ocean vista I could see from the moment I made the turn. It looked promising, I quickly reached the end to find myself at a little 3 store shopping plaza, home of Roma Fashions. I realized I was about 200 feet from Le View so pulled up there to check out the always stunning view of Sandy Ground from there. For the first time ever and to my amazement I saw surf down there! Yes it was very small by Meads comparison, and the color of the water was a dense green, not clear like usual, proof that the ocean floor was plenty churned up even in Sandy Ground. I looked West from there and realized I was looking at Bella Vista. I was so excited to have found it! I quickly headed there in the hopes of finding someone about who might show me one of the rooms but the gate was locked, my tour would have to wait for another day. Doubled back to the little road I had taken and went back up to the main road. There before I made the turn west I noticed a familiar sign on a tree right across the main road. It is a red sign, "Harry's Bus Stop" have always wondered about it. Years ago I was told there was a little route bus that would stop there, mostly used by local residents trying to get about the island. I wondered if bus route was still in existence and decided to pull out my camera and take a few shots of the sign, right from my driver's seat. As I was doing this, a car pulled up on the main road and a very nice gentleman waved to me to get my attention, he warned me to be careful as I was on a one way street, oh my gosh.... I cracked up and thanked him profusely, of course you know I was pointed in the wrong direction!
Onwards down the main drag I get to the Romney's sign and decide to turn, to see if it was open as I haven't read much recently about it and also to see it in the daytime, I had always been there in the dead of night, I was curious to figure out what bay it sits on. We had eaten here over the years when it was Luna Rosa and then renamed AXA Seafood. Both of these owned and/or operated by the same owners of Dolce Vita I believe. Matter of fact I remember a grilled octopus appetizer that was to die for at AXA a few years back, like sensory memory the promise of a possible repeat of this great meal reeled me in. Romney's seemed closed for business. With no sign for hours on the door, I left a little sad but happy I had finally seen the location in the daylight and how pretty it is there.
Back up the dirt road I decide to keep heading to my right exploring further and I found the most beautiful new development called Skiffles Homes, oh my, oh my! These homes look beautiful even from the back! I was a little skittish pushing my luck as I did have to go past a gate on a graveled drive but I did find a guy getting out of a truck, he said he didn't think it was a hotel, that they were private homes and he was there to work on or build a pool. I pointed to my map to ask him which bay do the homes overlook and he said they were cliffs, pointing to Bucks Bay on the map. Boy oh boy would I have liked a tour of that! I think I may have been on Isac's Cliff Road but your guess is as good as mine on that!
Back up on the main road I have about 40 more minutes to kill and decide to head down to Caribella on Barnes Bay. To see if this year I'd get lucky and find someone to show me one of the rooms there. But mostly I wanted to continue to listen to the radio broadcast of the state funeral. They would announce dignitaries coming over from St. Martin, the Anguilla Police band and others as they arrived, I was absorbing it all in, feeling as one with those paying their respects in person. Today was the day I'd finally see Caribella! A very nice woman who has been working there 30 years showed me the ground floor room in the middle building. You can see the hotel was built in the 80's but this is not a deal breaker for us. It has everything needed in a 1 bedroom apartment, neat and clean with AC in bedroom, a fully equipped kitchen, rattan furniture with what looks like new cushion coverings. Couple of dings on the bathroom tiles, the only thing I would change is the mirror in the bathroom. For the little bit of money that would cost it would much improve the impression one gets. The TV is located in the living room not flat screen but for the little bit we watch it, who cares! Beachfront on Barnes Bay it remains on my possible list for future visits. At some point in my explorations this visit I'm also going to try to find its sister property Masara on Katouche Bay. The appeal of hanging out on a nearly deserted beach is immensely appealing to me, if I ever see it I will report back!
Time to pick up DH and we head back to RBH for my late morning constitutional. I hit the water and do my version of underwater running, its so much fun with the gentle rollers coming in! You see the slight hump in the water coming toward you and the next thing you know you rise with it and it slides past you. I feel the gentle pull of the undertow moving me first forwards then backwards. I'm not sure where I read it but he description of the undertow was spot on. It is there but because of the shape of the bays it rarely becomes a problem, sounds confusing I know, don't ask, I don't know how to explain it better lol!
The rest of the day is spent lolling about, getting spit at, as the hubby says. Every once in a while a cloud passes over and there is a spritz, doesn't quite qualify as a sprinkle, nor is it a shower its a spritz, a little spit of water. As the sun is going down, our neighbor 3 rooms down from us comes over and asks how to put a starfish back in the water, our morning starfish had come back! We consulted with another neighbor 2 doors down the other way and together a whopping total of all six of us today on this unbelievably crowded beach decided to pick her up and give her a "lift" back home. I hope we did the right thing, as I sit here typing I wonder is it just the ocean doing what comes naturally or is she maybe a little sick unable to fight the relentless current reeling her back to shore?
We decide tonight to go back to B&D's for barbecue, it had been so, so good the night before! We got there on the stroke of 6pm and they were their first customers last night, and with every intention of hanging out until the wind kicked up! It was cold enough to wear a sweater, even the roosters usually running about at B&D's beat it to find cover, so we took our orders and ate at home. Tonight we returned because DH wanted a full order of ribs with fries and I was gung ho on the chicken! For some reason last year we never quite made it, not sure if its the 2 year absence or what but I absolutely loved it, moist and flavorful and tonight I didn't forget to order the johnny cake, God its so good! All I know is its finger lickin' good and even with the extra order to take home it came to under $30,now that is a deal!! We stopped off at Blanchards Beach Shak on the way back to pick up dessert but the line of young Anguillan's ordering food was too long for us, seems to be quite popular with the young set! So we headed past Best Buy and stopped in at my new favorite Anguilla bodega, Flash Market, they've got everything we're looking for that Best Buy has without the long wait to check out we've encountered frequently even when stopping in for a quick 2 or 3 items. The "express" check out by the toiletries has been mostly unmanned and 2 days ago we got quite the show with a very pissed off latina blasting off about being sent to another register only to have to come back, yadda, yadda....DH just shook his head, feels just like home doesn't it? Hahahahaha!!!! very unlike Anguillans I've experienced, but enough to make me think twice about going in over doing a quick drive by my bodega. Oh and one other find between Flash Market and Limin' Boutique is Coffee O'Clock!! Brand new coffee shop with all choices of coffees including espresso and capuccino, they also had some pastries on display when I stopped in on Wednesday morning with sandwiches listed on their chalkboard and wines by the glass as well! The inside is fairly chic and updated with cheery cushioned seating. The only problem I noted is that their window and front door are covered with an advertisement for the shop. It would do them good to strip it back so people can see inside, it is cute and inviting but you just can't see it! A cool place to grab a coffee and keep it moving, like we would at home, more like to the beach here :)
Working my way backwards not much more to add, its been quiet other than a moment of life interrupted when AAS came for me LOL! I was not then and remain not actually upset, just annoyed at the non-communication. It is what it is, I'm in such vacation mode I can't begin to tell you, its all good. There was though a hilarious super-senior moment on Wednesday night when we decided to go to Sandy Ground to find some whole fried snapper only to realize after we pulled into the parking lot between Johnno's and Dad's that we'd left our hotel room without any funds to speak of, zero money! Schlepp back to RBH, grab money, and back to Dad's right in time for the rain, no sitting with our toes in the sand that night!! A table was pulled up in the covered deck by the bar where the Reggae Band was performing. Now I love me some reggae but this was too close for comfort! It was LOUD up in there, we were right in front of the band. Under normal circumstances loud is what you'd want but not what I want when I'm hungry as all get out and digging my fingers into my fried fish! Unlike us, the non-eating guests were getting their red stripes and reggae dance groove ON!! We were pooped from laying around all day, hehe, and having driven the length of half the island twice to get some grub so we left after dinner but not without a proper booh-ya-ka! Big it up rasta! Lite up de'chalice mon!
Driving back home, the 4 floor monstrosity they are building on Sandy Ground Road hit me hard, how ugly is that thing? How are they even able to build such a high structure on a sliver of land, not much more than sand, between the ocean and the salt pond? On the face of it is seems sheer madness. I sighed as we drove by, and brightened up as we got to the roundabout on top of the hill, to our left there they were, a colony of goats, at least 15 of them, sitting there in that patch of grass, we could clearly make them out in the moonlit night, now that is a sight for sore eyes. The push to build and modernize is not affecting them in the least. To see the goats as we move around the islands its one of the most delightful parts of our visits, but to see them gathered together under the light of the full moon was truly special. I sit here on my balcony at RBH, typing this and I feel blessed that there are still places like this on Anguilla for folks like me, looking for a little taste of heaven for a moment in time. Good night Anguilla, sleep tight!