I’m visiting the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda this week, which was created in 1981, after years as a British colony. These islands, the first with 100,000 residents and the latter with just 1500, are wonderful places to enjoy nature, sip on fruity drinks, and savor perfect weather and relaxed people.
If you want to relax with friends here, you ask where the lyme is. “Who’s lymeing, where is the lyme,” they say. Our day today was a little like my Wednesday night music sessions–it took me far away from the details and tribulations of daily life, to a place where it was relaxing, totally consuming, and pleasure…nothing else.
We started our day kayaking with South Coast Horizons, making our way on tandem sit on top kayaks through thick mangrove trees, to a pretty beach where fishermen were emptying their nets of small fish that would be used as bait to catch marlin.
Then we jumped in a boat and took a splashy trip (the water was warm!) out to a reef, where we snorkeled and viewed an aquarium full of fish darting in and out of the coral. Then after a break with local banana bread, we went to Turner’s Beach Bar for lunch overlooking a beach full of tourists.
It was a rare press trip moment, we got there and spent about two hours, just hanging out and enjoying the seafront and the food. No rush, plenty of time to wander to check out the beach and souvenirs, until it was time for another stop.
At Fort James, we met up with a Rastafarian man named Sun Fire who had a group of horses, and we mounted our steeds and followed, nose to tail a trail that led to the beach. Our leader, Sun Fire, drove his little Jeep along the trail to make sure we were all doing it right, and as the sun created huge shadows on the water, we rode along the beach.
Both when I was snorkeling and when I was riding, I wasn’t thinking about anything except that. It was a rare moment when the many things I worry about melted away, and it was only the sea, and the horse, and the fish below me, and the warm waters of the Caribbean.
I needed that.