In Deutsch



Enjoy some pictures of the worldrecordtour, taken in Anguilla


Anguilla Map


Map of the Caribbean

click a picture to see details







Every inch is taken. Even on
the ramp a car is transported
"MV Vagabond" in the harbor
of Marigot in Saint Martin
Boarding for Anguilla

Anguilla - "Tranquility - wrapped in Blue"      (and a lot of troubles)

Shall it be Anguilla, Antigua or Montserrat? Since weeks, we are discussing which of these tiny Islands should become the 150th country on our epic journey around the world - we chose Anguilla - as a result that Montserrat didn't signalize yet an OK for the car's entry and for Antigua we didn't find yet a reasonable shipping line!


We sail into the sunset Port of Sandy Ground in Anguilla
Two happy children at
Sandy Ground Beach

Already the departure from the French port of Marigot harbor is not under a good star, as the vessel "MV Vagabond" which will take us for free to Anguilla, is delayed hour by hour. Already at 8am we are at the port, and at 6pm we finally sail. The reason is that firstly the vessel is running only on one engine and secondly two of the three caterpillars are soon breaking down and the vessel full of bulk has to be unloaded beforehand. "Burnt children are afraid of a burning fire" is a saying. Therefore, we want to make sure that we do not have to hand over our car key to the port authorities on our late evening arrival in Anguilla. Emil phones to Mrs. Brenda Gumbs of the Ministry of Tourism, who arranged our car entry, and uses all the phone cards of about US$ 40 until we get a positive answer. Finally relaxed, we board the "MV Vagabond" and sail into the sunset and towards our new destination. Soon, we see lights glittering in the water in the distance. They belong already to Anguilla, the flat neighboring coral island, which - beside Malawi being country No. 50 and Germany No. 100 - will be a milestone on our worldrecordtour. A bottle of Champagne for a proper celebration is already on ice.


Lanvil, our helpful "hand" in Anguilla,
standing besides Emil with brown
white shirt with brother and daughter
"Village"-Church in the capital
"The Valley"
House with balcony in the
capital "The Valley"

The small port of Sandy Ground is deserted as we land. The officer in charge is informed. We park our Landcruiser in front of the Customs, close the doors and are driven by Lanvil, who we met in Sint Maarten, to the simple guesthouse "Nadine", where we shall spend one night. The next morning, we are already up with the chicken. In "The Valley", the island's capital, everything is still sleeping and we crave for a cup of hot coffee. Why do we not go to the harbor and have breakfast in our car? At 6.30am we are there. But the port security does not allow us to go to our car, which is parked just besides the entry shelter. It somehow reminds us at some narrowness we experienced in earlier times. Two hours later the gate opens and we can start with our breakfast and the entry formalities. The young, friendly lady officer is already informed and handles everything straightforward and efficiently. After we bought a local third party insurance and paid the port fees of US$136.20, she sends us to the vehicle inspection.


Beach of Sandy Ground Rural charm in Sandy Ground Lost?

In the beginning, everything is running easy and smoothly. After the inspection of the lights and the horn, we are sent to another corner of the town, i.e. land, to get a local license plate made, which will cover our original one. We are happy how really smooth everything seems to be working out. But one should not praise the day before the evening! Suddenly, I hear Emil's voice rise at the licensing department counter. What is happening? Indeed, they present us a considerable bill for the licensing - fees which - according to the Ministry of Tourism - should have been waved. But the people here do not know anything about it and their boss is out for the day. We do not see any reason why we should be the victim of a false communication between two departments and spend money we are not supposed to pay. If on this small island one hand does not know what the other does, it is not our problem. The situation calms down and the people at the licensing office tell us after a while: "Go and enjoy the Island and return tomorrow morning" what we do and get sent off again with the same words as the boss still is away.


Shipwreck on Anguilla's rocky shore
Sailing between containers back to
Saint Martin on "MV Captain Johnny I"
Luxury hotel resort at
Anguilla's North Coast

We think that the matter is solved now and drive to the Ministry of Tourism to thank for their support. A heavy tropical shower is starting, as we turn into the gravel road leading to the lonely pink building. Two ladies are sitting at the front desk, as we enter, another on a bench near the window. The lady at the window introduces herself as Brenda Gumbs. We are told that according to the Finance Department, the Licensing Department would not have been allowed to wave any fees, and thus, we are driving illegally in the country because we did not pay the bill. Why did then the Licensing Department let us drive at all? "Where did you spend last night?" she then asked. As we tell her that we slept in the car in the compound of the local Toyota Dealer, she argues that camping and therefore also sleeping in a car is illegal in Anguilla, even if it is on a private property. Slowly we start to realize that this is not a country we want to be in. Luckily the vessel "MV Captain Johnny I" which was supposed to take us back to Saint Martin in a weeks time, has just arrived and will return to Saint Martin within two hours. "Better an end with fright than a fright with no end". From this moment on, everything goes very fast. At 3pm we already board the vessel and leave Anguilla on a free ride after only 42 hours of visit, of which most of the time was spent dealing with its bureaucracy, and sail back to our "loved" Saint Martin. We drove 77 kilometers in the 150th country and reached hereby nearly both ends of the Island. What is there to see? Our frustration apart: Besides the beautiful beaches, which are mostly accessible only through the expensive hotel resorts, there is not very much. The island is totally flat, covered with scrub. Mostly we drove on a badly paved road between houses. The Capital is inland - it is rightly named 'The Valley' - is scattered, without a real center, lacks of charm and has a population of only about 600 people. There are no colonial buildings, because the English decided at that time to make their government seat of the region in Basseterre on St. Kitts. Many of the scattered, luxury villas seem to be empty on this tax-free paradise. We have our own thoughts where Anguilla gets is income from.


Flat Anguilla with long sandy beach
and the mountainous island of
Saint Martin in the background
Child with his friend in
Sandy Ground

Anguilla - " Tranquility - wrapped in blue"


Our 150th country leaves behind a kind of emptiness, a hole, as black as Anguilla's license plates that covered for a few hours our original Swiss ones and which are kept now as a souvenir. The Director of Tourism apologized that things went wrong because "They (the Licensing Dept.) told us one thing and another occurred" and confirmed - as agreed upon - to reimburse us the 50% of entry fees. If it becomes reality, it is a gesture we appreciate but which will not be able to modify the big disappointment we feel for that island. It is really a pity, as the few people we had the chance to meet were kind and welcoming and carnival and boat racing festivities were just starting.