Zipping and Cruising in Antigua Barbuda

Outside of the Beach Limerz bar at Fort James Beach, Antigua.
Outside of the Beach Limerz bar at Fort James Beach, Antigua.

We had another stellar day of eco-tourism here on the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, beginning first with another drive across the island into the Antigua Rainforest where we met up with a group of visitors for a zip-line in the thick forest.

Pepperpot is the national dish of Antigua, it's greens, potato, pickled meat in soup.
Pepperpot is the national dish of Antigua, it’s greens, potato, pickled meat in soup.

It’s fun to see how laid back the Rainforest Canopy zip-line staff was as we suited up with harnesses and helmets and ventured in a big group to the series of 13 zip-lines.

I asked one of the young men, all Antiguans, what was down there in the dense forest below the tall towers. “Mongoose,” one replied, “about the size of a cat, with tiny heads.”  The only thing I saw down below were gloves dropped by errant zip-liners.

After the 13 zips, a little twist was introduced.  There is a series of eight obstacles, first a high wire to walk on and balance, and then a series of narrow shaky wooden planks. I watched in mock horror as the guides shook the wires as two young Canadian girls tried to navigate across.

If it were me, I would have yelled back ‘hey cut it out!’ , but the girls were quite amused as the wires shook and they nearly fell off.  They were hooked up to a wire above using a carabiner, and didn’t seem to object.  At one point we crossed a simple narrow net, and one of them slipped and fell into a hole in the net, but we all made it safely through.

The One Love catamaran picked us up on the beach for a sunset cruise dance party along the coast.
The One Love catamaran picked us up on the beach for a sunset cruise dance party along the coast.

One of the members of our group hit his glasses on the zip-line, and lost one of the lenses down into the forest. Uh oh.  But again, he had a good spirit and remained undaunted, pushing on nearly blind for the final day and a half of the trip.

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We drove around winding roads, past ramshackle houses and past dramatic vistas of soft mountains and the distant sea, and made it to a beachside restaurant and bar called Beach Limerz.

As noted earlier, to lime, or lyme, is to chill out and relax with friends. So here was ‘da lime,’  in the form of conch fritters, grilled Mahi Mahi,  island-brewed ginger beer and the national dish of pepperpot.

This is made with creamed greens, pickeled pork, or beef, a potato and a soup…served in a small dish.  Ducane is another local specialty, a mix of coconut, sweet potato and cinnamon and nutmeg, like a little white log.  Akey and saltfish is often served with ducane.

At lunch one of the travel writers, JD Andrews, asked for some hot sauce, and he finally

A walkway in the Antigua Rainforest canopy zip-line.
A walkway in the Antigua Rainforest canopy zip-line.

met his match–the house-made scotch bonnet pepper concoction threw even this crazy hot sauce lover for a bit of a loop.

But he was asking the chef for some to take home after he finished.  No dice.  What fiery sauce is born in Antigua will stay in Antigua.

We ended up the day aboard the One Love, a sail catamaran that took us out for a sunset cruise out along the coast, that left right from the beach.  The lime was on, the rum punch and Carib beers flowed, and soon the classic dance music was blasting and we were all dancing on the deck, as we watched the big orange sun go down in the horizon.

We found the lime all right.  Find out more about Antigua and Barbuda.  We stayed at the very comfortable and fun Sandals Grande Antigua Resort and Spa.  We enjoyed the fun of the all-inclusive, especially when we visited the Soy sushi bar and our bottomless in-room minibar.