Thursday, February 20, 2014

Back from Anegada, BVI

Holly and Dave just returned from their first trip to Anegada, an island that is part of The British Virgin Islands. The main reason this is their first visit is the fact that Anegada is a hard to get to. It is the farthest island from Tortola (about 18 miles) in the chain and one of the least populated - between 200-300 residents.

Not to scale

Our trip started by flying from Chicago to St. Thomas USVI, then we took an hour ferry ride to Road Town, Tortola BVI. The next ferry to Anegada was leaving the following morning so we overnighted in Road Town. Our 8am ferry was a 90 minute ride with a fast stop in Virgin Gorda.

Anegada is a coral atoll, whereas the other Virgin Islands are volcanically formed. That means Anegada is flat. You can see the other islands from Anegada, but not the other way around. This is not a lush island.

There were a few things we had to get used to:

  • Free-roaming cows. We've seen goats and chickens in other places, but not cows - and not this many.
  • Free-roaming donkeys.
  • Driving on the left: We had a rental car (big SUV). Dave only screwed up once. Some of the roads were concrete, but we encountered many sand/dirt roads.
  • No St. John cell tower to use for mobile access like we had on Jost Van Dyke other years. This meant wifi only - and when we had wifi it was not so good.
  • There were pine trees. The only palm trees around were planted for impression in the tourist areas.
  • Lobster is a big thing here and the price seems to be fixed at every restaurant.
  • You needed to book dinner by 4pm each day and provide your dining options by that time.
  • You get in cars with strangers - twice. We were to meet Dean at the ferry dock to pickup our rental car. Once there a man looked at us and asked if he could help. We asked if he was Dean and he said yes and took us to our rental car and told him to follow him. About a mile later we ended up at the hotel and basically told us we were the wrong people. Our Dean had called him. The right Dean picked us up and drove us to his home office and had us fill out the paperwork, then sent us back in the same car. When we were done with the car we left it at the airport unlocked with the keys in it.

Anegada has some of the prettiest beaches you can find anywhere - and hardly anyone is on them. We could always find areas away from the few annoying folks surrounding us by moving over a few feet. There are also flamingos and iguanas on the island. We didn't see any iguanas and only saw the flamingos from real far away. Snorkeling was supposed to be good and easy from a few beaches, but we never bothered. Fishing is another populate activity, especially bone fishing.

Most of the tourist activities center around the ferry dock at Setting Point and the north side beaches of Cow Wreck and Loblobby. There are a few (4) small stores at Setting Point, along with a gas station (one pump), 2 bars, a small hotel/restaurant, and a scooter rental place. Walk for five minutes up the beach and you will find 2 more restaurants and one small hotel/restaurant. On the north side beaches you have another small hotel (with a pool and awesome wifi), and 3 other beach bars. Rental cottages line the beach clockwise from Setting Point to Loblobby.

We stayed at Neptune's Treasure on the south side of the island between Pomato Point and Setting Point. Great small hotel with 9 rooms and two cottages. You can get 3 meals a day at the restaurant and this was the place on the island for Happy Hour. The bar was always filled with locals, day trippers, and sailors. Neptune's is also home to a bakery, with some of the best chocolate chip cookies ever.

Our daily schedule was pretty simple: Drive to a beach, enjoy the water, eat lunch, back to the beach, drive to the hotel, enjoy sunset, eat dinner, have a nightcap, bed. We ate 6 of 7 dinners at Neptune's. All the menus around the island were basically the same and Neptune's had a very pretty setup right along the beach's edge.

Those are the basics. In the next post or two we'll have lots of beach photos and some more info about the places we visited.


1 comment:

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