Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Alphabetical Tourist: Antigua and Barbuda

Hawk's Bill Rock Formation by Calyponte
The last stop on my virtual world tour was Anguilla about a fortnight ago and I normally post weekly.  There must be something about the Carribean air that induces chillin' !  Anyway I've left the island and just taken a short hop to another in the Leeward group,  Antigua, or Waladi as it's also known.  This alternative name was coined by the ancient Amerindian inhabitants and means 'our own'.

There's proof here that the pink granite coast off Perros Guirec in Brittany doesn't have a monopoly on incorrectly named rock formations. This 'hawk's bill' looks more like a sperm whale to me.  Oh okay, now I can see how it came to be known as a beak, albeit one with a nasty growth on it!

Of course the rich and famous flock to island paradises and here is no exception.  Richard Branson, Peter Stringfellow, Timothy Dalton and Eric Clapton, to name a few, all have homes here. So does Silvio Berlusconi and something tells me he might now have a little more time on his hands to enjoy his holiday getaway if he isn't imprisoned first.  And there's normal folks trying to make a living here too.  The lady, Jill Fuller, who created this amazing collage is also a psychotherapist, author and ceramicist as well as being an artist.  She reminds me of all those folk in the film  'Local Hero' who had many different jobs in the small Scottish community that was the backdrop to the main story.

Antigua and its little sibling Barbuda seem to have all  the usual stuff that we associate with the Carribean;  idyllic beaches, a history of settlement involving slavery, cricket, reggae, carnival.  Indeed it could be another place that I'm loathe to leave.  One tourist attraction here has really grabbed my attention and would force me to release those spondidoddles from my clutches.  At 'Stingray City', which looks as if its really a secluded bay there's the wonderful experience  to be had of swimming and playing with creatures who are described as gentle and curious - and hopefully not at all sting-y!

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