It became a British Crown Colony in 1980. Anguilla Day is on May 30th. No attempt was ever made to colonise the islands, probably because they were controlled by a notoriously fierce and warlike tribe of cannibals. I say ‘probably,’ I mean, ‘almost certainly.’ I sure hope there aren’t any left. The average annual temperature is 27 degrees Celsius. There is no public transport here apart from taxis, but, that said, it’s such a small place you could probably walk to most places and not be out of breath. It was discovered and named by the Europeans by Christopher Columbus. Or by René Goulaine de Laudonnière. The French and the Italians do love to argue over things like this. And there are goats everywhere. Literally everywhere. You cannot possibly hope to escape the goats. Seriously. Today, we’re visiting The Culinary Capital of the Caribbean, Anguilla.
Anguilla is a safe and welcoming British overseas territory in the Caribbean Sea, lying directly to the north of the island of Saint Martin and to the east of the British and US Virgin Islands, with other neighbours including Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat, Puerto Rico and Saints Kitts and Nevis. The territory consists of one main island plus a number of smaller islands and cays. It has a population of 13.45 thousand people over an area of just 35 square miles. The motto of the territory is, ‘Unity, Strength and Endurance.’ Lovely.
The flag of the territory is a Blue Ensign with the British flag and the coat of arms of Anguilla, which consists of three dolphins representing friendship, wisdom and strength. Despite the love of dolphins, the territory’s name is an Anglicised form of either the Spanish word anguila, the French anguille, or the Italian anguilla, all meaning ‘eel,’ referring to the shape of the islands. I can confirm Anguilla looks nothing like an eel. If that looks like an eel, I look like the Hulk…
Cultural heritage and its preservation are important here, with writing and poetry strongly encouraged. A colourful land alive with song and dance, with festivities such as the Summer Festival, celebrating the anniversary of emancipation, greatly enjoyed by all. These festivals are animated by native rhythms, music that is a part of the island’s burgeoning musical community. Cuisine is also important, with an eclectic mix of African, English, French, Spanish and indigenous Caribbean cuisine, plus homegrown produce such as callaloo, limes and tomatoes, combining to give this place its world-renowned culinary legacy. Anguillans are also partial to a spot of boat racing, the national sport, with regattas deeply rooted in the history of the islands, contested by locally built and designed boats. Cricket is also popular, as is rugby union and track and field. The cacophonous jumblement of the culture and history of this joyous territory is one that beats to a vibrant and luscious heartbeat.
Anguilla is a flat and low-lying land of limestone, plus spectacular and ecologically important coral reefs and beaches. Many are drawn to these reefs, rich with an abundance of tropical fish and other marine wildlife. Snorkelling and scuba diving are therefore fashionable, joining other adventurous pastimes such as exploring the many caves the territory has. This is your typical exceptional Caribbean paradise, with a lovely surreal turquoise ocean surrounding the islands, gorgeous bays and palm trees, plus some of the best white sandy beaches in the world. A stunning land, one populated by the incredibly friendly and hospitable Anguillans, who live lives without stress and with a warm optimism for the future. A truly beautiful people.
There are sights to see such as the magnolious splendour that is Shoal Bay, and the raimentless beauty that is Sandy Island, a small crop of sand emerging triumphantly from the ocean. 273 yards by 82 in size, tiny yet perfectly formed. An irresistible wonder that one cannot help but love. And then there’s Meads Bay, a flawless gem plucked from the imagination of one dreaming of paradise. This exquisite jewel is breathtaking, commanding yet never dominating. A truly illecebrous and prelapsarian joy to behold.
Then there’s Road Bay, a sweeping and alluring elysian masterpiece, a remarkable wonder of the natural world. The lush and verdant greenery captures one’s heart without effort, combining with the beginningless waters to create a ravishing tapestry. One broken with a fine and arresting beach, delightful little houses blending in seamlessly, and an assortment of odds and ends to create a handsome canvas of angelic origin.
But my favourite sight of Anguilla is the gorgeous and canny Little Bay, adorned with an enchanting beach cocooned by majestic walls of rock. The gentle and bonére clear turquoise waters lap the edge of the secluded and remote beach, yet this bonny marvel is far from isolated. It’s a vista that sings soulful tunes, an effervescent rhythm like a lullaby, lulling one into a heavenly realm like that of a dream from which one would never stray, such is the graceful power of the resplendent Little Bay…
Anguilla. The territory of culture, cuisine and goats, goats everywhere!
Images (Click on Them to Enlarge)
1) The flag of Anguilla
2) Little Bay
3) Road Bay
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