Tranquility Wrapped in Blue
At this point, we are now traveling to the beautiful Caribbean island of Anguilla. Saturday was the awaited day trip to Anguilla via ferry. We shared the ride with a group of college friends from ASU who were celebrating a bachelor week in both SXM and Anguilla, so suitcases were in tow. Our mission for the day was threefold: to find one of the top 10 Dr. Beach beaches at Shoal Bay East, to locate and hopefully meet the island reggae legend Bankie Banx and locate the famous island restaurant, Blanchard’s.
The day could not have been more perfect. Time on the beach was supplemented with shopping at Zazaa and conversing with the local shopkeeper, eating and sharing cocktails with Enoch and friends at the Manecamarin Bar who gave us directions to Bankie’s Dune Preserve, and tooling around the island Brit-style on the left side of the road in our rented Jeep. One of the interesting things I discovered was how remote areas of the island are in comparison to the island of St. Martin. You could be driving along practically abandoned roadways, and then be surprised by a small strip shopping center around the next corner. We followed the directions we had been given and found Bankie’s place, which was built and added onto as more space was needed. It is framed by a background of azure blue water and powdered sand of Lower Rendezvous Bay and one marvels at how breathtaking the view is from there.
I enjoyed visiting with baristas, Carla and Jolene, who introduced me to Bankie when he stepped out into the outdoor bar area. Following a few photos, beers, and an hour of conversation with the legend, along with a self-guided tour of the premises, we left for our next destination before returning the jeep and locating the ferry back to SXM. One of my favorite beach reads had been “A Trip to the Beach”, written by Bob and Melinda Blanchard years ago about their adventures surrounding the move to the island and the opening of the restaurant. Since once again we were limited time-wise before departure, we weren’t able to make a dinner reservation in Anguilla, but to our surprise, we did get to meet Bob, who was inside in the late afternoon prepping the front of the house. He gave us a tour of the restaurant and his extensive rum collection and signed a copy of the new Blanchard’s cookbook and business guide. Copies of these were displayed for purchase along with other books that have been written since the first one.
The ride and check through customs was smooth and brief upon arrival again in St. Maarten. We decided to end the evening hours at The Greenhouse with appetizers and raspberry Mojitos. I could definitely say that I had never tried crab back and acras as a dinner entree. It was tasty, but didn’t compare to the flavor of Chesapeake Bay blue crab from the Mid-Atlantic, although home, with its frigid temps, was far from any of my thoughts at that moment.
Photos at top:
New from the easel:
‘Tranquility, Anguilla’ acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas – 48″X60″
Contact artist for purchase: www.kandy-cross.artistwebsites.com
photo 2: a view of the Dune Preserve
photo 3: interior of Blanchard’s
Recipe for the libation of the day: Raspberry Mojito
- 2 shots of light rum
- .75 shots of lime juice
- .5 shots of sugar syrup
- 12 mint leaves
- 8 raspberries
Top off with soda water Gently muddle raspberries and mint with rum in the glass, add the other ingredients and churn with lots of crushed ice. Garnish with mint sprig and raspberry.
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