My Most Cherished Holidays To Anguilla
I needed to take a time out from the world and from everything around me. Wanting to spoil myself I decided to take myself on a holiday to the little island whose name was originally derived from the word ”eel” –Anguilla, and probably so because its shaped like an Eel . Anguilla is a group of islands in the northern Caribbean , which is also a British territory overseas.
Just looking at the clear waters from the plane window, I already was beginning to feel relaxed. Because of its location Anguilla is super for all kind of fun activities outside .Anguilla is well known for its stretches of white ,pristine ,powdery sand beaches, its awesome laid back attitude ,friendly people and gorgeous weather.Since English is the official language of the island , it was perfect as a holiday destination – even when holidaying alone!
On the first day I decided to hire a bicycle and explore the island. There are plenty of places from where bicycles can be hired. To explore the serenity and beauty of the island there was no better way than on a bicycle!The roads in Anguilla make it perfect for cycling. They are not too hilly and neither are they very flat ,making it wonderful to see and explore the island. Anguilla has a large “Anguilla Cycling Association” that promotes healthy living and thus promotes cycling in a very big way. I discovered the Eastern End of the island ended up being my favourite part, as these areas are quiet and uninhabited and wonderful to explore. The stretch behind Junk’s Hole and Savannah Bay are indeed worth exploring!
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The diving cays and coves are filled with lush plants and a whole abundance of colourful fish .I had heard so much about Junior Fleming and His Glass Bottom Boat, that I just had to meet him in person. More so the idea of not getting wet was very appealing to me. Junior was practically an institution by himself. He was relaxed, warm and friendly. The shore was sparkling from the sea as we passed by it on the boat. The weather was perfect for the trip. As we got out to sea, the sea got darker and Junior slowed the boat down. We all began to peer down through the glass bottom of the boat and Junior pointed out to us various kinds of fish –Sergeant Majors, Parrot Fish, Brain Coral and Blue Tangs. For over an hour we zipped up and down Shoals Bay, peering through the bottom of the boat and getting to see even more colourful fish and vegetation and even managed to see two sea turtles and sting rays as well. The truly magnificient sight was being able to see Spotted Eagle Rays gliding along the side of the boat. Junior offered to take us snorkelling as well and we all gladly accepted.
Anguilla is amazing for snorkelling. It is indeed a snorkelling paradise and its crystal clear waters are home to a wide variety of tropical fish. The most popular snorkelling destinations on the island are Crocus Bay, Shoal Bay East, Junk’s Hole and Sandy Island. Anguilla has protected marine parks and Little Bay is an ideal snorkelling destination as the bay is such that swimming is easy and the conditions are calm. We got to see lovely hidden coral and a beautiful variety of fish.
Sailing being Anguilla’s national sport I decided I had to give it a shot too!! Having learnt to sail when I was young, I decided to brush up my skills and took a few lessons at the Anguilla Youth Sailing Club. Having brushed up my skills ,I decided to set sail. Anguilla’s seas are perfect for sailing .The feel of the wind brushing my cheeks and the pure excitement of being on the water was wonderful.The wind conditions made the day even better and I felt like a pro sailing on the blue waters of Anguilla.
After the days spent snorkelling and sailing ,I needed an adrenalin boost and decided to go deep sea fishing. Deep sea fishing is definitely not for the weak hearted and that I learnt after! I hired Garfield the owner of Gotcha and we ended up catching Barracudas and all other kinds of fish. The thrill of being out at sea and fighting hard to pull the catch up was exciting. Deep sea fishing is an activity worth trying atleast once !
One thing I really was very keen on doing was swimming with the Dolphins. This really got my heart pumping as I have never been in such close proximity to them before. Dolphin Discovery Anguilla is one of the most picturesque and biggest swim with dolphin facilities in the Caribbean. Set against the background of St.Martins in the Caribbean Sea, this was indeed a truly magical experience that I will never forget. Being able to swim and interact with the dolphins along with professional help from the trainers was truly exhilarating and very humbling.
Though Anguilla looks like a pancake there were many rewarding places to hike.The first hike was the Windward Point and it is the very Eastern tip of Anguilla. From here we could see the entire island from on top of the hill near the light house. The volcanic rock is easy to climb and slowly starts inclining.The other hike that was very rewarding was the opposite end of the Windward Point. It was a narrow path along the cliff with nothing but a straight drop right into the sea. But the view of the sea was absolutely breathtaking.
Anguilla is home to many limestone caves that have never been explored a lot by people.They are all around the island weaving in and out of the cliffsides. The only one we dared to explore was Iguana Cave. We first had to trek through a bit of rain forest and then managed to come upon the cave. We couldn’t get far inside as there were far too many bats that stopped us.
The other thing on my to - do –list was horse back riding on the beaches of Anguilla.I was told to contact Tonia of Seaside Stables at Cove Bay.We tottered away at a gentle pace towards Cove Bay. Sunset is specially calm and almost a magical time to go horseback riding along the beaches of Anguilla. The orange glow across the sky, kissing my skin was indeed magical. The water was beautiful and calm and the horses went straight into the water for a refreshing swim. Cove Bay is one of Anguilla’s biggest and calmest beaches. The whole experience of tottering along the bay on a horse at sunset with the lovely expanse of water in front felt indeed timeless and natural.
The last thing I wanted to do before I left Anguilla was to hop onto a Caribbean prop plane and have a skyfall view of the beautiful Caribbean. I got in touch with Anguilla Air Services and happily saw every square inch of Anguilla from the sky that made my heart really flutter. Being able to see turquoise below, with the mountains of St.Martins on one side ,soaring through the clear sky was indeed exhilarating. This was one sure sure way that I would never forget Anguilla and the beautiful eights days I got to spend there ,without an absolute care in the world.
With a smile on my face I boarded my flight back home ,only to keep thinking back to the wonderful holiday I had so enjoyed.