The sun was setting over the horizon when I took my first step off the plane and onto the island in Anguilla. The whizzing of the small plane’s engines drowned out the chorus of frogs and crickets chirping in the distance.
I looked about me and took in the blood-red sky.
It had been sad to leave Antigua earlier that day. I had only spent a mere 24 hours on the island and that had been nowhere near long enough to see what it had to offer. Well, I can always return in future.
We had just landed at ‘Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport’, the only airport on the small Caribbean island of Anguilla which was located just outside the island’s capital city known as ‘The Valley’.
Anguilla is one of the most northerly of the Leeward Islands and is totally flat. It’s a very small island, measuring only 16 miles in length by 3 miles in height. The island is composed of coral and limestone and it’s home to approximately 17,400 residents.
It was a mere 15 minute taxi ride from the airport to our accommodation.
We were staying in ‘Frangipani Beach Resort’ perched towards the west of the island’s north coast.
The pastel pink hotel stood behind a wide golden sand beach, a line of deck-chairs lazily watching the gentle ocean lap against the shores.
Above us the sky was darkening. We dropped off our luggage in our rooms before meeting in front of the hotel to plan our next moves.
My mum was having a wobble. She had fallen completely in love with Antigua and was terribly sad to have had to leave it so soon.
We also didn’t have a plan for the evening.
As bickering erupted from our group, a friendly member of staff made his way over to us with an idea.
In no time at all, he encouraged us into the open back of his bright red pick-up truck, promising to take us somewhere nice for food.
The pickup truck bumped down the narrow road flanked by palms and colourful bungalows. I clung on to the metal bar which surrounded the back of the pick-up as the wind blew in my hair. I was immersed in the sounds of the night now, just audible above the roaring of the truck’s ancient engine.
As I looked up, I was impressed to see a clear night’s sky filled with simmering diamonds. The stars were more visible here than anywhere I had been before. It was mesmerising.
A couple of minutes later, we arrived at our destination.
The truck pulled-up outside a colourful yellow and blue building in the centre of the island. A walkway fringed by palms and a wooden barrier dressed in fairy-lights led the way to the restaurant’s entrance.
Upon arrival we were greeted with a vibrant décor and Mexican music. We were at ‘Picante’ restaurant which specialised in Mexican cuisine.
A margarita was promptly ordered. I’d never had one before but we were in a Mexican so it felt like the right thing to do.
We thanked the kind man who had brought us here before indulging in our Mexican evening.
We had 4 nights on Anguilla island in total.
Our experience can best be described as laid-back. I spent majority of my time laying on a sun lounger on the beautiful beach in front of our hotel, reading my book and listening to the therapeutic crashing of waves.
The beach here was unlike any I had ever seen. The expanse of sand was huge and uninterrupted. I was used to thin beaches, curving like new moons around the bay. This was nothing like that.
Anguilla actually has 33 beaches but this beach, known as ‘Mead’s Bay’, located just to the left of the town of ‘Long Bay’, was one of the largest.
After two full days of unwinding in Anguilla, adventure was calling once more. But instead of hopping on a plane, a ferry awaited us in the southern town of ‘Blowing Point’.
For our third day in Anguilla we would be taking the ferry south, across the Anguilla Channel to Saint Martin and then further south to the island of Saint Barthélemy.