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Anguilla beckoned

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Last year’s vacation in Anguilla was so successful that we returned this year. We rented a house on the sea and relatives joined us. This year, the winds were up as they sometimes are, but it was as wonderful as we remembered. More restaurants were serving Asian or Asian inspired food this year. This seems to be a 2017 trend. See a recent New York Times article on obscure Indo-Chinese food in the New York region, Indo-Chinese Food is Hard to Find, Except in New Jersey. In Anguilla, the emphasis was on fresh local fish and there were many more good restaurants than we could visit in one week.

We returned to Madeariman on Shoal Beach and found that it had burnt down since we were there, and worse, was sold by its French owners. To our relief, it has been turned into a seafood joint specializing in local food and it was better than ever. But rather few customers were there. In fact, there seemed to be few people on the island. We speculated that the Zika virus was scaring tourists away.

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We found the most fantastic beach on Savannah Bay, at the remote and unpopulated south-eastern end of the island, which was very long and beautiful. It had a beach shack on it called Nat’s Palm Beach Grove Bar & Grill. Nat and his wife have been there for years and serve, among other things, large grilled sweet crayfish which are harvested from a coral shoal right in front of their restaurant. These are accompanied by rather good rum punches. This location and restaurant have to rank as one of the best places to enjoy a day in the entire Caribbean. A bonus – enjoy watching expert kite surfers on this beach.

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Despite the number of good restaurants, we ate at home most evenings. The island has an excellent French wine store, Grands Vins de France, also in St Martin and St Barths, and a really good grocery store, the west side location of Best Buy. Don’t go to the east side location. In addition, there are some working farms which welcome visitors at set hours to purchase their produce.

For information on Anguilla, the blog anguilla-beaches.com is full of good information. Anguilla, you may not remember, was the British colony which threw their Governor out in 1969 and was then invaded by a British force of 300 commandos. Over time, cooler heads prevailed and the island won independence.