Flight To Montserrat
I decided to take a tour of Montserrat as an excursion from the ship when it docked in Antigua. This was partly because my grandson was interested in volcanoes and I was going to take him to see some of them later in the year.
I dressed as much as possible to look thin, because there is a 230 lb weight limit for this tour. We were to meet on the dock at 9:30, so we started out at 8:45. We didn't see the tour person with the sign on the first pass through, and Bob went all the way to the dock entrance. I decided not to do that, and I started back and found the person. Apparently there were to be 5 of us, but it was only 0900, and there was another couple already there. Bob was waiting at the entrance to the pier, so I had to go and jump up and down and wave to get his attention to come back. The other lady on the tour came and then we just had to wait for someone from "staff" who proved to be the excursion lady.
They drove us to the heliport, gave us our instructions and lined us up according to size. They seat belted us in, and gave us ear phones with a device to push if we wanted to talk. We took off about 10:00. The pilot was saying that he was going to take us over to the old capitol but then he said - Hey there's a pyroclastic flow that is fresh. I took a short video of it It was coming down and turning the sea water to steam and the buildings that had been there were burning and marked by smoke plumes. So we couldn't get over to the old capitol because of ash in the air. The pilot tried a couple of ways to get over to the old capitol but was blocked each time by dust clouds. So we didn't get the regular tour, but we were quite happy with what we did see
Standard price: US $285.00 Per Person
Online Discount: US $10
Pay only a US$ 50 deposit to secure your flightRelated to:
- Adventure Travel
Antigua & Barbuda Humane Society
My wife and I are big animal lovers especially of cats (since we have our kitty at home). Our resort had many local stray cats that prowled the property in search of a mouse, bird or lizard to eat. The cats were horribly skinny and many had missing parts of their ear, tail and big clumps of fur missing. Of course my wife felt terrible and from day one was feeding the cats. Breakfast, lunch and dinner she saved food to bring to whatever cats were near by. We had dinner at an outdoor restaurant where a small cat sat right under Liz's chair as she fed her pieces of Lobster from her dinner; kitty ate well that night.
When it was time to leave we found a collection box for the Antigua & Barbuda Humane Society at the airport. We automatically dug in our bags for money to help the animals of the islands. I hope other people contribute as well; these creatures are so helpless and in need.
Lighthouses and Light Ships
I'm not sure if this is a picture of the 1939 Sandy Island Lighthouse or not. It looks like the description which says that it is aluminum skeletal tower with gallery. I took the photo from the cruise ship and the lighthouse in question is located on a low island about 2.5 miles west of the entrance to the harbor of St. John's, Antigua. If it is Sandy Island, the station was established in1875 and is active; focal plane 52 ft; gives one long (1.5 s) white flash every 15 seconds. The lantern has been removed. The original lighthouse was a triangular wood skeletal tower. After suffering damage from several hurricanes, it was replaced by a more substantial wood skeletal tower in 1882.
We did see the 1920 Danish Motorfyrskib IV Black Swan 1920 (photo 2). Decommissioned around 1970 and converted to a tall ship the 67 ft wood lightship, now rigged as a 2-masted ship painted black with white trim. The converted vessel was originally named Rana and berthed at Hadsund, Denmark. More recently, the ship was sold and sailed to Antigua, where it appears as a tourist attraction, a faux pirate ship named the Black Swan. (The light tower and lantern were removed and are displayed at the Motorbadsklub in Copenhagen.) The ship is available for day cruises, weddings, and private charters. When in port, it is moored on the St. John's waterfront. Vessel open to paying customers.
Photos 3, 4 and 5are of a lighthouse in St. Johns which was built around 1905. It was intended as a lighthouse, but never activated. The St. John's light consists of a 39 ft. round cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. This light was apparently built as part of a project to develop a large sugar refinery near St. John's. It was intended as the rear light of a range, but it proved to be in the wrong position for that purpose, and it was never commissioned. Located behind Island Motors, an auto dealership on Independence Street, on a hill several blocks behind the waterfront of St. John's. Site open, tower closed.Related to:
- Sailing and Boating
Stanford park near airport
A large area close to the airport, bought by texan billionaire Allen Stanford, has developed into a well-kept park with several facilities. While the high-class restaurants, the cricket grounds and the finance center are not on my list of preferred attractions, the park itself was. It offers you a nice place to walk around while waiting fro your flight.
An observation tower is open fot he public. However, you can only climb its steps together with one of the staff members. But that’s no problem, especially if it’s a beautiful girl who explains everything about the surrounding area.
If you don’t like the beautiufl artificial world of Mr. Stanford, the only option is heading back into the terminal and look around in the crowd. Outside of the airport, there’s only a road with its main attraction being a windmill ruin….Related to:
- Budget Travel
Graveyards at Shirley Heights
When at Shirley Heights, take a minute and see the old graveyards. There are two of them: One (larger one) close to the road at the beginning of Carpenter Rock Trail. The other one is behind the ruins of the old cistern, at the beginning of Jones Valley Trail. These 18th century graveyards were abandoned and the tombstones are missing or damaged. Many of the inscriptions were washed away. The graveyards give you an impression about death during this time of the British Empire. The people buried there are mainly soldiers who died from tropical diseases.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Arts and Culture
The wild ocean!
Many organised tours won't take you to Devil's Bridge, but if you hire a car or get a friendly taxi driver, it's a fascinating place to go, especially if you like watching raw ocean power!
Devil's Bridge is just a rocky stretch of the east coast where the Atlantic ocean is always quite rough. The way that the rock falls means that the waves come under the rock and spurt out of the holes that have formed further inland. Prepare for spray!Related to:
Turner's Beach - One of Antigua's Many
With so many beaches to choose from, and just 1 day in Antigua, it was vital we made a good choice for our 2 hour stop! We enlisted the help of Sean John our personal local tour guide for the day & of course, having lived in Antigua all his life, he chose well! Even so, I can't imagine there is actually a 'bad' beach on the island.
Turner's Beach was quiet when we visited in April. The beach bar & restaurant was busier! (See my restaurant tip.) A typical long stretch of white sand, clean calm sea, a car park & a breeze. What a great beach!!Related to:
- Family Travel
- Luxury Travel
We stumbled across Darkwood Beach whilst driving through Fig Tree Drive one day.
What a find !! - In comparison to other beaches on the island this beach was deserted most times we visited. It really was like being left alone on a desert island.
The water at Darkwood Beach was crystal clear - so much so that you could see fish swimming around you.
This beach comes highly recomended. Although it is out of the way there is an excellent little beach bar at the end of the beach that serves up snacks and cold drinks.
Fig Tree Drive
Whether you have hired your own jeep or taking an excursion Fig Tree Drive is a great scenic drive.
Whilst on Antigua we decided to rent a jeep from Dollar and what an experience the Fig Tree Drive was. Our first couple of days on the island saw torrential rain and as you can see from the photo at times it was like driving through rapids.
After you have completed the drive through Fig Tree Drive carry on driving for around 20 minutes and you will arrive at Darkwood Beach .... in our opinion the best beach on the island.
this small drinking hole is on the way to St. Johns from the Jolly Harbour villas. It is on the right hand side on the way to St Johns and looks just like a small hut but do stop!
Lynn owns this pub/bar and sells all different types of drinks. She also has loads of cats and kittens.
It is right in the middle of the rainforest, truly idyllicRelated to:
- Beer Tasting
- Jungle and Rain Forest
i cannot find words to describe this beach. It is featured in many of the books about the island, but you have to see it to believe it.
It is on the west coast, near the jolly harbour and jolly beach resorts. It has its own bar, and there is a lady who sells t-shirts and gifts (shes lovely).
Very friendly staff, i bet they dont realise that they are living in pure paradise.
The food is great also!
When we went there was a tropical storm which lasted about a quarter of an hour, really made it very special.Related to:
- Diving and Snorkeling
There is great windsurfing on...
There is great windsurfing on the north side of the island, a small shack with an crazy frenchman offering lessons at resonable rates with reasonable gear. The wind is good, and consistant, the water warm and shallow enough in close that the beginner won't have to concentrate on swimming. Its just near the airport on the north side of the island, though I cannot remember the name of the bay.
Harmony Hall, on the south end, is a fanastic resort with a beautiful view. Its quite out of the way, but the restaurant is worth the trip, and it makes for a great afternoon.
There are many catamaran tours...
There are many catamaran tours that offer a day of sailing with lots of drinks,partying and maybe a stop for snorkeling. This is fine if all you want is a party, but for something different, try the Eco Adventure tour with Eli, Antigua's best amabassador. This tour was great!
The tour went like this; we left Jolly Harbour with two stops to meet other guests, on our way around the coast Eli gave running commentary on the Islands that we passed, such as Long Island, and on points of interest on Antigua that we saw from sea. We did a first stop for snorkeling and then went on to Bird Island for lunch after which we hiked up to the top and got an amazing view of the Atlantic Ocean with nothing but endless seas that stretched to Africa. After lunch we visited Hell’s Gate where the more adventurous of us went out and explored the caves while the others stayed on the boat and took photos. We stopped again for snorkeling after which we went to Guiana Island and got a rather interesting and incredulous history of the Island. Our last stop before we were homeward bound was at an Island that shall remain unnamed for shelling, and not only were there millions of shells but also a lot of starfish!
I now understand and can substantiate why Eli gets all good reviews. His tour is unique in that at the end of the tour you leave the boat sober, seriously though it was a learning experience. For first time snorkelers, like me, I got the opportunity to try it and surprised myself that I only panicked a few times, swallowed some water but despite that I really enjoyed it. If you do get a chance to do this tour do not hesitate, at the end of the day you leave slightly less ignorant and a bit more appreciative of the Island than when the day started.
We got the public minibus into...
We got the public minibus into St Johns. This in itself was an adventure, our own particular attempt at the world record for the most people you could fit in a 12 seater minibus was just below that in the Guiness book. Still it was fun and an eye opener on seeing how the locals lived.
We took an unofficial tour in an MPV with a few couples . Our experience was OK and safe enough . By havng a smallish group we could be flexible in where we went and how much time we spent.
We went shopping through the...
We went shopping through the resort we were staying at to pick up souvenirs. The locals offer a wide selection of tshirts,jewellery and so on. Most are willing to make a good deal with you and are usually very friendly...
Antigua and Barbuda Hotels
We always celebrate my Birthday with a trip of my choosing and October 2012 was Antigua. We chose to...more
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