Trekking in Anguilla: Day 6
Day 6 (Thursday)
For five lazy days, we had approached vacation in a completely foreign way – by simply relaxing. Hours of lounging on the beach were only interrupted by the occasional urge to take a quick stroll or to grab a bite to eat. But by Thursday, we could no longer ignore that nagging itch to set forth and explore a new island. We are Soul Trekkers after all! With the aid of our handy road map, we plotted a simple course along the eastward road, figuring we would stop at any site that caught our eyes.
Within fifteen minutes, we arrived at our first place of interest, the Wallblake House. It is one of the few fully intact plantation homes in the Caribbean and a site on the Anguilla Heritage Trail. The house was built in 1757 and shares its grounds with a conference center and a Catholic church with interesting architectural design.
We hopped back into the car and continued our journey along a gently curving road that cut through stretches of green grasses and blessed us with glimpses of the shimmering turquoise ocean in the distance.
Eventually, we reached the Heritage Collection Museum, another site on the Heritage Trail. It turned out to be quite a neat place. There is first an open-air museum on the lawn which displays several large pieces representative of different eras in the island’s history. Then, the collection continues inside with an impressive collection of artifacts, historical documents, memorabilia and photos illustrating island history. Each guest to pass through the entrance is warmly greeted by the museum’s curator, Mr. Perry. With the wisdom and likeability of a favorite college professor or a sage uncle, he provides a quick but informative overview and answers questions. We easily spent an hour following the island’s history from the Arawak Indians, the rise and fall of slavery, post-slavery living and the island’s long struggle for independence. We left well-informed and even more impressed with this glorious island and its people.
We continued our drive until we reached Island Harbor. From there, we planned to take a boat over to Scilly Cay, home of a restaurant known for some of the island’s best grilled lobster. We were disappointed to discover that the restaurant was closed that day (damn!) but in true Soul Trekker spirit, we improvised and enjoyed a few hours at the Pelican Beach Bar where we sipped drinks while enjoying the ocean breeze and the owner’s entertaining stories about his life on the island.
Our trek continued by back-tracking along the main road. Eventually, we stumbled upon a sign for the Palm Grove Bar and Grill. Happy to pursue the promise of food and another beach, we followed the sign down a looooooong, rocky road. Our destination turned out to be a rustic shack nestled among a grove of palms and overlooking Savannah Bay. It smelled delicious! The place must be some kind of best-kept secret because it filled up quickly. We spent the early part of the afternoon sipping rum punch and Carib beer, sharing our favorite memories of the past few days and gazing through the windows onto the ocean. As we did, plate after plate of grilled seafood, chicken and ribs moved past us on the way to hungry patrons (which we were quickly becoming). When we finally received our plate of fish and shrimp with Johnny cakes, we agreed this had been a worthwhile stop.
- For our efforts, we were rewarded with this little oasis in the sand.
Still hoping to make new discoveries, we followed two side roads until they reached the water. We’re not sure which beaches they were, but we sure do love the pics.
As we made our way back, we could not resist a stop at the Anguilla Animal Rescue Foundation. Donations are welcome.
Back on the main road and not far from La Vue, we came across a happy little kiwi-colored food truck. The sign read Jazzy’s Bar and Restaurant. Though we had not read about it in our guide-book, its tropical color and tantalizing aroma convinced us to give it a try. We were glad we did! The owner, Jazzy, greeted us with a warm welcome and chatted with us as though we were old friends. We discovered that she was a former chef at the Malliouhana who had struck out on her own to find success. Despite still being stuffed from our recent meal, the aroma of stewing chicken and the enticing menu chocked with lots of local dishes was too overwhelming for me to resist having just a taste of her island fare. Mango Eddy and I split a delicious jerk chicken wrap and (yet another) rum punch.
After a full day of sightseeing, beach combing and (of course) eating, we were both ready for an afternoon nap back at La Vue. We stopped at the Sandy Ground overlook (another site on the Heritage Trail) for another photo opportunity before retiring to our room.
- Sandy Ground
- A placard describing Sand Ground
We awoke from our nap refreshed and famished. For our second to last night on the island, we wanted something extra special for dinner. Swayed by numerous recommendations from visitors and locals, we chose Veya which was just a short drive away in Sandy Ground. We arrived a little after eight but without reservations (very important travel tip – make reservations to this place!). Fortunately, there was one last table available in the bar area. We settled in to the cozy, high-backed banquet and took in the space. The lights were dimly lit, a keyboard player serenaded us and a young and professional wait staff buzzed around us carrying plate after plate of dishes that made our mouths water. It would be a very special evening for sure!
Our meal began with a basket of warm pumpkin bread, banana bread and Johnny cakes. As a lover of all things bread, I must admit that these were quite scrumptious. Next we (along with every diner in the restaurant) were treated to a complimentary conch fritter. They were light, fluffy and just plain tasty. For our entrees, I ordered the lobster with passion fruit mustard sauce while Mango Eddy ordered the snapper. I am ashamed to admit this, but the lobster was so good, I could only spare a few pieces for Mango before devouring every savory bite. This was by far THE BEST LOBSTER I have ever had. Geeeeeez! The snapper was tasty as well but that lobster really stole the show. Sadly, there was no room left for desert.
As we wound down for the night, we retired to our room, sat on the balcony with a bottle of red wine and gazed at the stars over the bay. Another day, another soul trek!