Your very own Sandy Island
Have you dreamed of finding the perfect Caribbean getaway, complete with bar, BBQ and deserted white sand beaches? Welcome to Sandy Island.
You probably won’t end up having a conversation with a volleyball, à la Tom Hanks in Castaway. And unless you’ve brought along a trunk full of evening gowns, you won’t be changing costumes every five minutes like Ginger on Gilligan’s Island. Other than that, though, you’ll probably feel pretty much as though you’ve washed up on your own desert island when you hop out of the small motorboat that takes you from the village of Sandy Ground on tiny Anguilla to even tinier Sandy Island.
Granted, the flat, almost treeless cay isn’t completely deserted. There’s the minor matter of your fellow passengers, for one thing. Then there’s the laid-back beach bar, where bartender Dion Gumbs mixes up some mean electric-hued cocktails. He can choose from 15 kinds of rum, as well as Grey Goose vodka, Chivas Regal, Courvoisier and a bar full of other libations. (Just because we’re on a cay that regularly gets re-landscaped by hurricanes doesn’t mean we have to live like savages, dude.)
To ensure those Island Breezes (Appleton rum, mango, pineapple and lime) don’t go to your head, it’s best to eat something. If it’s some kind of protein and you can slap it on a barbecue, you can probably get it here: chicken, lobster, shrimp, crayfish, ribs and more, all served with piles of rice, potatoes and salad. Expect to pay about US$25 to $45 a plate, which might seem steep until you realize someone had to ship all this food out here and then keep it hot or cold on an island without a hydro pole. Be grateful that someone wasn’t you.
Once you’ve eaten and drunk your fill (for now), it’s time to get to the deserted part. You could borrow some of the bar’s snorkelling equipment and dog paddle through the endless sandy shallows. You could go for a leisurely stroll around the island—you might make it through three songs on your iPod, if you’re really shuffling, before you end up back at the bar.
Or you could just follow the lead of most of your fellow castaways: slather on the sunscreen, grab your book and head for the nearest beach chair. Read a couple of pages, snooze, wander to the bar for a beer, repeat. Soon, the workaday world will be a distant memory. Unfortunately, someone will wake you up before the last boat home.