Customs and Immigration in Anguilla permits you to check out up to 24 hours prior to departure, so our first order of the day was a visit to the charming ladies in the office to complete our paperwork. This would avoid us having to launch the dinghy and make the trip in on Saturday morning before heading off to St. Martin.
Prior to actually leaving though we have the rest of an island to explore and the wheels with which to do it. Having been a little disappointed the day before by limited access to the beaches we set our final destination as Shoal Bay on the north east end of the island. On the way however, we headed up to The Valley where the St. Gregory RC church is quite an eyeful. I guess having outgrown the first church the parish decided they had at least a conversation piece going for them so they copied the facade for the new church.
We were diverted in The Valley at the round-about due to a road-race but this fortuitous redirection gave us a fabulous view of the north coast of Anguilla – the colours were absolutely stunning.
After taking this photo of Henry and the rental car, we were amused that it looks a little like we came to a skidding halt and wrapped the front end round the phone pole. Rest assured there were no 'additional' scratches, dents or dings added by the end of the day.
Carrying on along the north shore we came across a number of gorgeous little bays with the surf crashing on the coral shoreline and then once we'd had our fill of the rugged beauty we headed inland across the rolling landscape. We criss-crossed the island and now feel that we can recognize most junctions by the landscaping of the various round-abouts; and, they're proper English ones that rotate in a clock-wise direction! However, some roads were debatable on how public they really were...
We visited a very interesting little museum on the history of Anguilla all lovingly put together by a local scholar and author. The museum was established in his mother's house where he had grown up and he had some wonderful artifacts on display. On inside information from Ted and Louise we stopped at a Lolo in the middle of nowhere for some delicious wings and ribs. We took them to go and found a parking spot at Scilly Bay overlooking the local fishing fleet.
We wrapped up with a visit to Shoal Bay and a walk along the beach – finally a beach with a nice blend of tourism and nature, lots of open, accessible space, a few beach bars but not invasive and plenty of incredible beauty.
Back on Mowzer for the evening and we are preparing to head off to Marigot in the morning.