Antigua was a super quick stop–one of ten islands in a week–so I don’t have a ton to say about the island. My plane landed at 3:15PM and departed the next day 7:10AM, so I literally only had time to check in to the hotel, hit the beach, eat, and get a few hours sleep before it was time to go; so sad, because Antigua was a beautiful island, with wonderful people.
Shout out to my hotel: The Catamaran Hotel Marina. The owner (I think it was the owner) checked me in personally and was so warm and welcoming–if only all hotel personnel were like that–she really was super friendly and hospitable. She even mentioned she’d take me to the airport the next morning at 5AM if the taxi driver was a no-show. She was a darling!
The hotel isn’t modern nor luxurious, but rather kind of a cozy, “old school” feel. What really made this place fantastic were the rooms right on the sand. Everything was so incredibly peaceful and serene. So wonderful, in fact, that I had to take a quick video of the view from my porch:
RAMBLIN’ TIP: The country is pronounced, ” Anne-Tee-Guh,” not “Anne-Tee-Gwuah.”
First thing I did was change into my trunks and check out the beach. It was super nice, but the sand under the water was pretty marshy and mushy. A nice place to lay out and relax, but I really wanted to swim, so it was off to Pigeon Beach, a few miles down the road.
It was a little tough to get there. The taxi “situation” on the island isn’t the easiest. It looked like a lot of people just used their personal cars and vans as taxis; think of it as a kind of unregulated Uber. So yeah, it made me kind of nervous getting in a stranger’s virtually unmarked van, but I did it anyway, and it was off to Pigeon Beach.
The driver and his wife(?) actually turned out to be really cool people, who were actually heading to the beach too. We arrived just before sundown and I was able to enjoy about a 45-minute swim in the crystal clear, warm water. It looked like all locals there–families with kids enjoying the water–very low key and relaxed. I tried to enjoy it as much as I could before darkness quickly crept in.
RAMBLIN’ TIP: Having a problem finding a legit cab? Don’t chance it. Antigua worked out for me, but I have put myself in bad situations elsewhere when getting in unauthorized cabs. When in doubt, have your hotel arrange the ride! You may have to wait a few extra minutes, but it may be worth it.
After the swim it was back to the hotel, where I ventured down the very dark street leading out of the property with only my “iPhone flashlight.” Once on the main road, I took a quick right and arrived at a colorful little restaurant shack called Sweet T’s Ice Cream and Snackette, where I had a burger, a beer, and there may or may not have been ice cream involved. Then, off to bed for a 3:30AM wake up call.
Antigua is a beautiful island that deserved much more of my time and attention, and I hope to return one day soon.This entry was posted in Caribbean