192-PART GUIDE TO THE WORLD: PART 5 ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
Sunday 04 April 1999
Antigua and Barbuda
Even combined, the three islands, including Redonda (Antigua's second dependency, a rocky volcanic islet set 35 miles to the south west), would fit 70 times into Belgium. Antigua, with about 108 square miles, is the largest of the eastern Caribbean's Leeward Islands.
Antigua is low-lying and composed of volcanic rock, coral and limestone, with unspectacular but pretty rolling hills and flowering trees. As a result of colonial deforestation, most of Antigua's vegetation has been reduced to dry scrub. Neighbouring Barbuda is a flat coral island. Both islands are fringed by glorious white sand beaches.
The ruins of Shirley Heights are a candidate. This is the 18th-century naval base used by (among others) Horatio Nelson. Today the ruins stand on a particularly picturesque spot, where steel bands and reggae bands play at weekends.
MOST FAMOUS CITIZEN
For most people in Britain, it is the former captain of the West Indies cricket team, Viv Richards. Nineteenth-century novelist Matthew Phipps Shiell is perhaps another strong contender. Formerly King Felipe of Redonda, Phipps Shiell emigrated to the UK where he wrote his novel, The Purple Cloud. This was later made into a film called The World, The Flesh and The Devil, staring Harry Belafonte.
Pepperpot, a stew of vegetables and a range of (optional) salted meats.
BEST MOMENT IN HISTORY
1 November 1981, the date of independence from Britain.
WORST MOMENT IN HISTORY
The 18th century was a grim time for these islands, with most of the population enslaved on sugar plantations by the very few. Even after the emancipation of the slaves in 1834 conditions scarcely improved for farm labourers.
Sunblock, fishing rod, snorkel. Plus insect repellent to ward off noseeums, tiny sandflies that give nasty stings.
HOW NOT TO BEHAVE
Do not expect to spend nights under canvas as camping is illegal.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 Prince Harry leaving the armed forced to pursue conservation projects in Africa
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Thailand tourism video Love En Route criticised for featuring Instagram stalker
The Atlas of Beauty: Photographer travels around the world to capture cultural diversity through stunning portraits of women
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
Chief executive of Malaysia Airlines: The toughest job in travel?
The 10 Best hiking boots
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
£12500 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This established Knaresborough ...
£23,000: Beverley James: Do you have a background in hospitality and are you l...
£26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The post holder is a key member of the V...
£18000 - £28800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Driv...