Aside from visiting the Baths, our other goal on this trip was to visit Anegada. I’ve been yearning to visit this idyllic island since our BVI trip last year. And not only did we want to see it, but we were scouting it out as next year’s vacation location.
While the island itself welcomed us with open arms, Mother Nature had different ideas. It rained for much of the day. Bah humbug!
Anegada is the only coral atoll in the British Virgin Islands. At 15 square miles, it is the second largest BVI but also the most sparsely populated (~200 people). It lies ~15 miles north of Virgin Gorda.
Unlike the other mountainous volcanic BVIs, Anegada is a flat atoll that was hard to see on the horizon until we were right up on it. Its highest point is about 30 feet above sea level (not high!) so it comes by its name of Anegada, Spanish for “drowned land,” quite honestly.
Anegada is surrounded by a considerable barrier reef (4th largest in the world and the largest in the Caribbean), which makes it difficult for sailors to navigate. It has caused its fair share of shipwrecks. The reef and wrecks make this area a snorkeling and scuba diving paradise!
Luckily, we had chartered a boat with “Double D” charters, so we didn’t have to worry about navigation. We just enjoyed the ride.
Once on the island, a taxi (think: truck with bench seating in the back) greeted us and took us to the other side of the island to the pentultimate beaches. Along the route, we saw some of the meanderers that Anegada is famous for—wild donkeys and cows—casually lining the roads.
Did you know that I like donkeys? I adore them, actually! I imagine that being a free range donkey in paradise is a pretty good life. They looked happy.
The interior of the island is mainly a salt pool, with a flock of shy flamingos who inhabit part of it. We could only see them from afar, but their presence is a tribute to the unique flora and fauna on this island.
As we were driving around the island it was easy to see that most of it is uninhabited. So to visit Anegada, whether for a day or longer, means to enjoy a trip that is utterly rejuvenating, for there is little to do here aside from relax, drink, and snorkel. The deserted island trifecta!
After a quick drive, we arrived at the Big Bamboo restaurant on Loblolly Bay. It reminded me very much of the Soggy Dollar Bar in Jost van Dyke, which warmed my heart. The unassuming open-air restaurant and its standalone bar screamed “Caribbean” to me.
The bar is famous for having visitors burn their names in driftwood and tack them to the walls. These simple additions provided a really relaxed, casual feel to the place. (As if you could be anything but relaxed and casual in paradise!)
The driftwood is also used as signs to nearby Loblolly Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches on Anegada.
Unfortunately for us, it rained pretty hard for a good part of the time we were there. So we spent some quality time under cover in the Big Bamboo restaurant, making friends with our boatmates and sharing tales of our vacations. Mental note: Bring a deck of cards next time! I can imagine wonderful hours being spent here playing cards and enjoying tasty beverages.
Lunch at the Big Bamboo was the famous Anegada lobster for most of our group. They inhaled them and gushed over how tasty they were. What can I say, I couldn’t help but feel bad for the lobster! They certainly were fresh.
After lunch, we braved the rain to go take pictures of the picturesque Loblolly Bay. We had to imagine how gorgeous it would be during good weather. Ah, stunning.
Even under the overcast skies it was easy to see how far out the reef extended, for that is where the waves were breaking. They say that the best view of Anegada is from a plane where you can really see how far the reef extends and how intricate it is. Hopefully we’ll get to someday!
And finally, about 30 minutes before we had to head back to the taxi to boat home, the sun graced us with its presence. Ah, Murphy’s bloody law was alive and well that day!
Perhaps our day trip to Anegada happened exactly as it should. Because now I am left with this feeling of unfinished business. We’ll be back some day. For pure and utter relaxation and bliss.
I’m ready, already!