Lovely Place. Just Lovely. We arrived at the cruise port bright and early. Walked through the port area to meet up with our tour guide for the day. We booked a tour with Lawrence of Antigua, and it was worth every penny! Lawrence and his drivers were stationed pretty far into the port area, so we had to make our way through many others offering us tours of the island. I’m always impressed by the persistence of the vendors in tourist areas. Many tourists are bothered by their pushiness, but I find it impressive and refreshing. This is their livelihood, and they are willing to work for it. I also love a great bargain, so I enjoy haggling! Nothing better than getting a tour or a souvenir for a fraction of the price I would pay elsewhere.
Our first stop was Shirley Heights Lookout. Truly the most beautiful views I have seen in person. It was super windy on the day we were out there, but I had to go right to the edge to get a good look (and a great picture)!
From there we got back on the bus and enjoyed some delicious Caribbean juice as we headed out to the Nelson dockyards. I’m not huge on history (shame on me), so I admit that I wasn’t paying the closest attention to the short overview we received from the tour guide. We did, however, explore the Dockyard. It was pretty small, so it didn’t take us long to walk the whole thing. The bakery had fresh pastries and juices. I tried the ginger juice. It was extremely tart, but tasty. I didn’t try the pastries, but my son said the carrot cake was some of the best that he’s had. My son also made me feel extra ancient. The dockyard had a phone booth. I asked him if he’d ever seen one before, and he replied, “I think I saw one of those in a movie once.” Oh boy…
When we finished up at the dockyard we headed to the beach, stopping along the way to grab some fresh black pineapple. It was SO sweet and delicious! I wish we could have gotten more than a small sample. I took in the scenery as we drove: banana plantations, pineapples, people zip-lining…I loved looking at the houses on the island. They were so bold and colorful!
We got to our final stop at Valley Church beach, and I soaked in the blue water and white sand. My son wanted to go jet skiing, and I didn’t. One of the locals was kind enough to ride with him, as he couldn’t ride by himself. One thing I have always loved about the Caribbean Islanders is that they always embrace us like family. From “Big Mama,” our cab drive in Nassau, Bahamas who gave us a mini tour of the city for no additional cost. To a gentleman in Freeport who stopped us to tell my son that he will go far in life, whatever he chooses.
But back to the beach… We planned to dine at The Nest Beach Bar and Restaurant, but the service was EXTRA slow, so we ended up taking our food to go. We departed from the beach to return to the cruise ship. We were pretty hungry, so we ate on the drive back. Despite the slow service, it was some of the best jerk chicken I’ve had. Spicy, flavorful, everything jerk chicken should be. When we arrived near the terminal, we were about to throw away our chicken bones and a bit of rice we had left over. A man standing near by quickly stopped us and requested them to feed to his dog. Of course we handed them over, and went on our way.
One day is not enough time to experience everything that the island has to offer. I’d like to return to visit Devil’s Bridge and check out some of the other beaches (preferably while eating some jerk chicken and fresh black pineapple).