Showing posts with label Caribbean. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Caribbean. Show all posts

Meet Pirates of the Caribbean at Wallilabou Bay, St. Vincent and The Grenadines

Who love Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Carribean here?
I really do :).

I have been such a big fan of Johnny Depp since I don't know when.
Perhaps way back before Edward Scissorhands or 21 Jump Street.
But for sure, Pirates of the Caribbean series are one of my favorite movie series with Johnny in it.

And I was super lucky to get to the set of the first movie, Pirates of the Caribbean - the Curse of the Black Pearl, when I visited St. Vincent and the Grenadines in May 2017.
I know it's been almost a year now but I haven't really shared the stories.
My bad :).

Wallilabou Bay, that's the name of the Bay that has been used as the set of Port Royal. Remember the scene when Elizabeth Swann was kidnapped by the pirates, Pintel and Ragetti, from her father's mansion? Also when Jack Sparrow was jailed and later on helped by Will Turner to escape? Or when Jack Sparrow was about to hang in one of the arch stones in Port Royal, where you saw lines of hanged pirates' skeletons in the beginning of the movie? Those are some of the scenes made in this very Bay.

When I heard that Wallilabou Bay was used as the movie set of the first movie of the Pirates of the Caribbean, I didn't think twice in deciding to go here, even after spending my whole morning till lunch time swimming and snorkeling in Bequai. Being Johnny Depp's huge fan, I felt like I have to see this place! 

So as soon as I got out of the ferry which took me from Bequai, I called our rented taxi to pick us up and take me to the Bay. My friend Tina, who went to Bequai with me, was tired and wanted to go back to the hotel directly, so I went to the Bay myself. 

It took me around 40 minutes to go here from the port in Kingstown, St. Vincent, where I took the ferry to and from Bequai. Along the way, as we drove up to the mountainous area and down to the Bay, the view was fantastic. We passed a great view here and there as we climbed up  just to go down to the bay area.

And as we arrived, it was only me there!
With two pirates standing tall at the gate.
Felt like having this bay for myself.

So, besides meeting Pirates of the Caribbean at Wallilabou Bay, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, you will also enjoy the breathtaking view.
That's the first thing that stole my attention.
The clear blue sky, crystal water, glittering sun and the breeze!
What a beautiful bay.
Like the ones that I tried to capture on my photos.

You see that arching rock in the back? That's where they planned to hang Jack Sparrow :)

Don't miss the 'mini museum' they have here as well.
Well, not really a museum but more like the place where they put some of the properties left from the movie set. We have some photos and mementos as well there.

Port Royal in the back :)

They put photos of the main actors and the crew as well.
Not to forget the costumes and other properties such as coffins, old phones and Victorian home accents.
It's fun to see them there.

Meet Jack :)

What's left from the movie set :)

My driver told me that Johnny loved St. Vincent & the Grenadines so much, especially the food, that he even had one special chef from St. Vincent and the Grenadines who stayed with him  after the movie was done. 

Well, there is a bar near the area as well and we took some times to sip some local soda and fried finger food while enjoying the breeze.

It was a great visit to the Bay to meet Jack Sparrow!
So, if you're around and a big fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean just like me, don't miss Wallilabou Bay.

Till next story :).

Sunset at St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The trip was made in May 2017 but I still remember vividly how beautiful the sunset at St. Vincent and the Grenadines!

The golden sky is such a a pretty sight!
I literally held my breath, unconsciously, while taking this photo :).
This one is taken from my hotel, Mariners, Arnos Vale, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Coming out to the French Verandah, this is what's welcoming us.

Join us on Skywatch Friday and enjoy the magnificent sky from different part of the world!

Antigua and Barbuda in One Day

Carlisle Bay, Antigua

"May I have your passport, please, Miss?"

A super fresh protocol officer from Saint Lucia Foreign Ministry office greeted me that morning, politely asking for my passport and later he escorted us to our plane this morning.
I was still struggling to stay awake after finishing my report late the night before when we were taken to the airport to catch our flight to the next destination.
Leaving Castries, St. Lucia early in the morning through George F.L. Charles Airport, we flew Liat airlines for about 1 hour to reach V.C. Bird International Airport in St. John's, Antigua and Barbuda.
As we were preparing for landing, I know we have arrived at another beautiful spot on earth.
I felt the excitement as I looked down from my window seat.
Welcome to Antigua and Barbuda.

My days in Antigua and Barbuda might be short and a bit blurry as straight from the airport, we flocked from one place to another to meet several high-rank officials, including the Prime Minister himself.

It was another incredible and successful visit, I believe, and although we were tired from the non-stop traveling and meetings even from NYC, I had the energy to explore this beautiful country.

By the way, are you familiar with Antigua and Barbuda?

This country  is one of the independent countries in the Caribbeans, strategically located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, making it abundantly blessed with beautiful white sandy beaches.
An archipelagic state, Antigua and Barbuda consists of 2 main islands, Antigua and Barbuda, plus some other smaller islands. They are obviously famous for beautiful beaches dotting the country with their powdery white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, and perfect weather all year long. No wonder many world-class resorts are available and cruises stop and stay here for a while, welcoming honeymooners, families, and travelers from different corners of the world.  
They have been independent from England since November 1, 1981, and are now part of the Commonwealth. That's why we have the Governor-General, besides the Prime Minister and his/her governmental staff.

As you have probably heard, Barbuda island was suffering from major damages after Hurricane Irma in November 2017. More than 90% of this island was destructed and the Government is in the process of recovering and rebuilding Barbuda.
Nevertheless, the center of the government as well as most of the tourism industry is in Antigua, a much bigger island compared to Barbuda.
Interestingly, as I read in Wikipedia, one of the nick names of this country is 'Land of 365 Beaches'!  I guess it means you can go to different beach each and every day in a year and probably more.  I also love their slogan, 'the sun is only the beginning', as I found that this country is way more than its incredible beaches. Not to mention some interesting stories involving the pirates, former colonizers and the Soka music!

After all the official business is concluded, I literally had a half day in the evening and a half day in the morning on the next day to see the country.
So, Antigua and Barbuda in One Day?
Why not!
You can certainly enjoy and do many things although you have limited time and you have to make some choices. 
Of course, ideally, you have to stay longer to enjoy most popular landmarks Antigua and Barbuda has to offer, but since I don't have that luxury, I try to enjoy what I can :).
And here's what I can share from my trip there.

Let me start it from the late lunch we had.

As we finished the meeting after the lunch time, we went directly to our hotel, Carlisle Bay Antigua, and decided to have lunch there.
The hotel is amazing, kind of reminding me of some resorts in Bali, Indonesia, back home. 
As for lunch, we went to Indigo on the beach, the in-house restaurant there and I chose Antiguan Roti, an Indian roti with shrimp in curry spices, homestyle chutney, and chopped salad plus vegetables. Our waiter explained that due to a big Indian influence in the island, they sort of adopted the Indian curry and roti  with the island's specialty in seafood and vegetables. 
West Indies way!
I love the food. It's simply delicious and fresh.   

Carlisle Bay Antigua
Antiguan Roti at Indigo on the Beach

After lunch, I just can't resist to sneak to the beach!
Antigua Bay is a beautiful secluded area dotted with white sandy beach, palm trees and clean turquoise water. My kind of place!
As soon as my bare feet touched the sand, I knew I felt at home.
It's just  so homey.. the sun, the sand, the sea.
And my mind successfully flew thousand miles across the Caribbean sea to the Indian Ocean, to the beauty of my home town Lampung and my beloved Indonesia. 

And the room I got was exquisite as well!
Love the bed, the interior, the amenities, the view. Everything!
Well, Carlisle Bay Antigua is one luxury resort indeed.

Carlisle Bay, Antigua
Carlisle Bay, Antigua

As we realized we didn't have much time, my friends and I decided to see St. John's, the capital city of Antigua, that night.

We rent a taxi and Ocia Spencer, our jolly driver, was super cool!
She took us along the Old road to see more of the beach, passing Mount Obama, and stopped at Darkwood Bar at the Darkwood Beach to see the sunset that day.

Sipping our coconut crush, we stayed here for a while and enjoyed the exquisite sound of the waves while watching the sun set on the horizon. Too bad it was cloudy but we still fully enjoyed the peaceful environment.
It was not too crowded there, with only a few people dipping on the sea.
Perfect for a relaxing afternoon.

I was tempted to try the massage but again, we didn't really have much time and it was dark already. 

The mission that night was to go to the city and got some souvenirs plus Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Yup, you heard me.
One of my friends has this ritual of trying every KFC in every country she visits!
So there we were that night, lining up at the crowded KFC in the city and getting our bucket of fried chicken and fries!
I have to admit it tastes really good! 
It actually reminded me of the same brand I tried in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, another Caribbean country I visited earlier in 2017.
There's got to be something in the air as the Caribbean fried chicken are super delicious!
Try it if you get the chance :).

Then Ocia took us to the city.

Recommending us to make a stop at the hip donut shop, we bought the famous Butter Rum, Cookies & Cream, and Chocolate with sprinkles donuts at Donut Ace.
And the donuts were awesome!
It's big, yummy and tasty. But half of it is enough for me :).

Then we walked around the Heritage Quay, where we could easily find the duty free shops and more souvenir shops here. I rummaged the souvenir shops name the Shipwreck here and got the usual fridge magnet, shooters, mugs, t-shirts and key chains. It's quite expensive, I have to say, but we didn't really have much time and most of the shops have the same if not similar items and prices. They had some cruises docking at that time, I guess, because it was packed with tourists indeed.

And our adventures in the city concluded after we got that bucket of KFC for dinner.
Besides, I still have some notes and reports to work on.

The next morning, I had set my heart to explore more. 

Starting quite early at 7 AM, Ocea (my favorite overseas driver so far) was waiting for me and my friend in front of the hotel. And we had around 3 hours to see English Harbour, Shirley Heights, and anything interesting along the way. Ocea efficiently took us to those beautiful places and we made it on time!

So first, we stopped at the St. Barnabas Anglican Church in Liberta Village, Antigua.

It is on our way to Shirley Heights but the church is indeed striking with its green stones and its position on a holly part of the village. When we arrived it was still quite early so we managed to get the morning sun in the background, making it look so grand!
It was still closed but I can definitely feel the peaceful and serene ambiance in this place.

We stopped at several other churches and saw some cemeteries  as well along the way.
Really like to see the building here, as it's different from the typical churches I have seen so far.. It looks more like an extended house and it feels homey.

I really like the windows!
Then we were heading up to the Shirley Heights.
It's one beautiful point up above to see the Caribbean Sea and  the surroundings. 
Its stunning bird-eye view is indeed perfect for a military lookout and base for those cannonballs used in the past.
This historical place was completely deserted when we were there.
That's the perk of coming early in the morning.
And I didn't waste my time to take pictures of this incredible vista!
What do you think?
And excuse me for posing there joyfully :).

In one of the hills, Ocean told us that the famous singer Eric Clapton has a house, or rather a villa, I suppose,- there. Standfast Point, that's the name of the headland.
He has been  like an honorary citizen of this country I guess, because he has contributed  a lot for Antigua and Barbuda. If I had the money, I will be more than happy to have one property in this beautiful area!
The view is simple stunning!

familiar with the insignia?

Near the area, we still see some canons with the famous insignia.
You can definitely guess who was the owner of these weaponries.  

Around the area we can see the ruins of the lookout and the officers' quarters at the blockhouse.

In the same area, I also saw the mass cemetery as well as the monument for the fallen victims during that time.

We then stopped at the Guard House, not far from the here. 
There is a cafeteria here and obviously the bar with incredible vista but it was still closed when we were there.
Huge flag of Antigua and Barbuda is displayed in the front part of the building, making it hard to miss.

Here, we were enjoying another round of jawdroppingly amazing view.
English Harbour from above!
Let me just put all those photos and tell me what do you think!

Breathtaking view, isn't it?
Now wonder this Guard House is my fave because of its incredible view of the English Harbor from above.
I could definitely stay here longer, if I didn't have crazy tight schedule.

The English Harbour and Nelson Dockyard were next, although I have to say that it looks much prettier from above. And we started running out of time!
So we just made a swift stop there and took a couple pictures.
I bet there must be more to explore considering that it's one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

At the dockyard..
And of course, the trip to the Caribbean is not complete without swimming on its wonderful, turquoise water sea! 
And Antigua and Barbuda is obviously famous for its sun, sand, and sea.
That's why we rushed back to our hotel so that we had enough time to swim and enjoy some time on the beach!
How I miss those breeze and salty taste of the ocean. 
Feels like home! And it's priceless.
And I did have enough time swimming in Carlisle Bay, right on our hotel, before enjoying our rather late breakfast.

Let's swim!

beautiful ocean I dearly miss!
And finally, we had our last breakfast that morning in Antigua.
I have already packed everything so by the time we finished our breakfast, we went straight to the airport to go back home to NYC.
I know I have left a pice of my heart here and I sincerely wish I can go back here again someday and stay longer!
There is so much more to see and to try here in beautiful Antigua and Barbuda.

So how do you like Antigua and Barbuda?

Antigua and Barbuda in One Day is not that bad at all, right?
What is your favorite part?
Do you want to travel here as well?
See you on the next story from another wonderful part of the world!

WW: From Antigua with Love

I know we are counting down to 2018.
And Christmas has just left us around the corner, with its lingering festive ambience.
So, any plan for the New Year's eve?
We haven't decided anything yet.
But I sincerely hope that in 2018, my family and I will get more chance to travel and see the beauty of God's masterpieces in many parts of the world!

And now, I still have wonderful memories and tons of pictures from my last trip to the Caribbean.
To Antigua and Barbuda, to be exact.

As it was a business trip, I have very limited time.
Yet, I've seen some amazing parts of this beautiful country.

Here's from Antigua with love.

For sure, as you have rightly guessed (as I mentioned it again and again), the complete stories are coming. Maybe in the beginning of 2018 :)).

Join us on (almost) Wordless Wednesday and have fun linking up with us!