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 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...
£240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...
£27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...