Farewell Antigua

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Antigua and Barbuda, and wouldn’t hesitate to stay at the Verandah Resort & Spa again in the future, a nice little hideaway.

I’ll miss the butterflies, and pretty beaches.

Farewell Antigua, until next time….. 😘

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Antigua: Shirley Heights

Shirley Heights is one of the most well known tourist spots on the island of Antigua, within the English Harbour area, visited for its beautiful views of the island from the most southern point.

Live music is played every Sunday evening, drawing a regular crowd for food and dancing.

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It certainly ‘is’ on the steep side, so much so that as we were leaving, our driver had to stop and help another vehicle whose back wheels had gone over the edge whilst reversing.

Be careful up there!

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Turner’s Beach, Antigua

Turner’s beach is quiet a beautiful powdery beach on the west coast of Antigua, perfect for a day of lounging if you don’t require much shade.

The guide books advise you to avoid this beach during the cruise ship/peak season as the beauty of the beach is spoilt with all the crowds and commotion.

Fortunately I was here during the low season, nice and peaceful!

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Beach life

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The volcanic stricken island of Montserrat in the distance

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Montserrat in the distance

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Nelson’s Dockyard, Antigua

Nelson’s Dockyard is a national park, a historic site restored from 1743; it forms part of the English Harbour area of Antigua and is also an operational Georgian naval facility.

British ships used to be repaired, restocked or disposed of here.

Marinas and boats on a backdrop of blue water always make for a lovely sight, a relaxing place to wander and meander.

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Good old London phone box

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Unusual looking cacti

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Finishing touches being made to a secluded house in the hills

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Indoor souvenir market stalls on the left

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Chest Puffing Frigates, Barbuda

It’s a scorching hot day, and a short boat ride from mainland Barbuda takes us out to the Frigate Bird Sanctuary, the second largest of its kind in the world, a protected area where frigate birds choose to mate, nest and raise their young.

It was such a privilege to get up close and observe them in their natural surroundings.

The red chested males try their best to win the heart of a white chested female.

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Inflating his chest for the ladies!
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I don’t think she’s interested…

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We spotted a bird in the water, unmoving; frigate birds can’t swim! Once their wings get soaked they can’t fly.
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Thankfully, our wonderful tour guide got out of the boat, waded over and rescued the bird, making sure to tell him ‘not to fall in again’ lol. Once he dries off he should be ok (the bird that is..)
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Our guide didn’t get stung by one of these in the process, luckily!

We Are Sailing: To Barbuda

Interestingly, Antigua and Barbuda used to be one whole island until floods/rising sea levels ended up separating them.

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Our transport from Antigua St John’s to Barbuda (you can also fly or sail by catamaran and sail boat).

The journey takes approx 90 minutes via Barbuda Express ferries

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Fresh fruit for sale on board
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Refreshing

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Keeping his eye on the ocean…
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Arrival in Barbuda
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Wild donkeys wander freely around the island, including these long narrow roads
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Views of the coast atlantic side of Barbuda’s coast
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Barbuda caves
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Off the beaten track

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From the eye of a cave

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Pink sand

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Time for lunch
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With plenty of ice cold drinks!

Barbuda feels like a deserted Island, very untouched and unspoilt by tourist trade.sam_0684

Barbuda feels like a deserted Island, very untouched and unspoilt by tourist trade.

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Long Bay Beach

Just a few minutes walk from the Verandah Resort & Spa  takes you to Long Bay beach.

The white sand and turquoise water looks far better in real life than it does in the pictures below.

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This manchinneel tree is poisonous to touch and if it drips on you when raining

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Perfect

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Out and About in St John’s, Antigua

A taxi drive down to the western side of the island takes us to Antigua & Barbuda’s capital, St John’s. Lots of people, traffic, shops, colour and day to day hustle and bustle.

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Shop front beaming with colour
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When the cruise ships come in this place will be heaving

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Colourful buildings
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The writing’s on the wall….

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Think twice
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Spotted along the side of a health store ‘The House of Vitamins’
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Both are in short supply (in London anyway)!
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“Maintain good posture and keep your head up”
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How we treat others can affect our own physical healing

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Antigua and Barbuda’s first prime minister, Sir Vere Cornwall

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Peaceful people watching

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Street corner

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Third time lucky?

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Let Me Entertain You! Verandah Resort Antigua

Well you go to some hotels and get virtually no entertainment in the evening, but not at the Verandah!

I was super impressed with the amount of effort the resort staff put into organising a fashion and talent show during my stay – they didn’t just organise the entertainment, they ‘were’ the entertainment.

Hats off to the Verandah Resort & Spa team, this was a brilliant evening!!

Here are a few clips:

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The Verandah Resort and Spa, Antigua

I think Antigua should be renamed ‘Butterfly Island’ because I have never been to a place where butterflies are swarming the air like confetti. I noticed this on the drive to the hotel and initially thought it was some sprinkling from nearby flower petals blowing in the breeze, but no  – it was hundreds of white butterflies. Wow, what a sight, like something out of a fairy tale.

The Verandah is a great place to relax, away from the hustle and bustle of the main town and capital St John.

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The hotel has a few beach areas and you can also access the popular ‘Long Bay Beach’ with a 5 minute walk from the resort entrance

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Hotel rooms are little bungalow type cottages scattered over the resort’s hillside grounds, creating the feeling of a peaceful village setting.

The easiest way to get around the grounds is by catching ‘a golf buggy’ that operates like a bus service – though you can also walk (which is good exercise up the steep hills).

Driving around the Verandah Resort and Spa Grounds, Antigua.

Music: Jonas Blue, Fast Car ft. Dakota

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A complimentary bottle of ‘Dominican’ rum from Virgin Holidays!

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