We visit Anguilla and encounter sand so soft, you might think it was baby powder. No kidding, it was so fine and delicate, it ruined an underwater camera. This once unspoiled paradise is on the brink of explosion and I hope it retains its charm and relative rubish-free state.
We saw the earmarks of progress coming. The roads were not terrific. There was no welcoming committee when you exited the boat. Instead, you were greeted by countless folks offering to drive you or rent you a car – and that is just how we like it. Local, genuine and true. However, upon driving deeper into the island, we saw giant hotels with a hundred or more room capacity were on the rise. I hope this wonderful place retains its charm in the face of growth.
Everything you might want is offered to you for the price of $5. Towels? $5. Beach chairs? $5. Drink? $5. Bring lots of $5 if you want the royal treatment.
As an aside – you are not allowed to purchase gasoline if you have no shirt on. No shoes is also frowned upon but overlooked.
Quite easily my favorite temporary vehicle. The Toyota Corolla of Dreams. It was RHD (right-hand drive) and the steering wheel was a good 45 degrees off center. The alignment was straight and true, aside from the obvious steering wheel issue. As a car junkie, I wondered how this managed to be true.
The air conditioning was impeccable.
It drove just like any other ’84 Corolla you have ever driven – running like a top, despite years of neglect or even abuse.
We rented this dream car from a guy in a van. He appeared to own a fleet of cars, all of which were parked in a sandlot. Each had the keys neatly tucked under the driver’s floormat. Who is going to steal a car on an island 3 miles across?
The best part is hard to decide. On the one hand, I got an official Anguilla driver’s license. On the other, every previous renter had tucked the “rental agreement” into the glove box, right behind everyone else. We followed suit, adding ours to what must have been 5 years and a good 70 rental agreements. The country of origin for renters on our car alone was fascinating. I implore someone to find this man, and his rental cars, and make a documentary about all the folks who have visited this remote island.
For what it is worth, upon returning with the car, the business owner was not present. We parked the car, just where we found it and neatly tucked the keys below the driver’s floor mat. Safe and sound.