|Anguilla- British West Indies|
by Jamie Freveletti
I am at the wonderful Bouchercon 2016 writing conference this week, and so this is a reprint of a journal entry from my website in 2011. Back again in two weeks, but for now read about my favorite island!
August is the month of the annual trip to my favorite island: Anguilla. It’s in the British West Indies, a stone’s throw from St. Barth’s but a whole world of difference. There is nothing to do here. If you want shopping or nightlife you’ll need to leave Anguilla and head elsewhere. If you want beautiful, soft sand beaches and peace, here’s your place. Getting here is the usual series of connections. Flight to Charlotte, connect to Philipsburg, St. Martin, boat to Anguilla, cab driving on the wrong side and dodging the occasional rooster, to the hotel. I stay in at the Cuisinart Resort on Rendezvous Bay beach.
The photo I’ve uploaded doesn’t really do it justice, but you get the idea.That beach is 2.miles long and I run it, barefoot every morning. Usually it’s just me and the sea, but sometimes an island dog joins, loping along and swerving off to sniff at something or another before catching up. I don’t know who owns the dog, but she has a collar, so I assume she’s a resident. She breaks off at the far end, where a hotel, now abandoned, sits. It was Rendezvous Villas at one point and the Brits loved it. It was a spartan, but clean hotel no AC in some units and I don’t think television.
In my travels I’ve bumped into Brits and Germans, predominantly. Big travelers, both. The Brits are a tough breed and don’t require a whole lot of luxury to be happy. I remember one woman telling me she’d been coming to Anguilla for over twenty-five years and stayed at a place without indoor plumbing. Outdoor shower and outhouse. She said it with great affection in her voice. Call me a wimp but I don’t think it would be for me. I don’t watch much television and don’t need AC, but I do need screens or mosquito netting. Also sanitation. I’ve been violently ill in the islands: I think it was St. Lucia. The exact island blurs but the memory of the illness is still sharp in my mind.
The other end of the beach has Bankie Banx’s place. He’s Anguillan and loves music. Blues, Caribbean beats, you name it. Sunday night is a party at Bankie’s. In past years there was a surge of activity on the island, but this trip I’ve noticed that most of that has slowed, or disappeared completely. The iffy economy has struck everywhere, I guess. But in this case it feels as though the island has reverted a bit to its true roots. Slow, quiet and peaceful. I like it. Anguilla always greeted expansion with suspicion and perhaps they were smart in that regard. I just write, lounge, run and rest.
My next book, [the fifth in the Emma Caldridge series, launches in 2017], with a tour and signings across the country and for that I’ll need to get back up to mainland speed but for now it’s just me and the dog, running.