Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Visitor to Wallilibou

St Vincent and the Grenadines was the location of choice for the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series of films. That’s right, this tiny little island was the setting for a blockbuster series of films starring many A list celebrities including Jonny Depp, Kiera Knightly and Orlando Bloom amongst many others.

Whilst the films were shot at many different locations in and around the island, including the fort, the Falls and other various landmarks the most famous location, and most recognizable will be that of Wallilabou Anchoraage, which was the scene of “Port Royal” where Captain Jack Sparrow and Will had their first encounter.

A lot of the original props, film set and scenery remains at Wallilabou Anchoraage for all to enjoy and the best thing is that it remains totally free to have a quick view and photos taken with some of the set.There is a restaurant on the set which is based around the whole “yester year” pirate theme to fit in with the set. There is even the opportunity to put on some pirate style costumes and have a picture taken should you wish. The centre piece of the restaurant is a mast, which the owners claim is the original from the Black Pearl and the first movie in the saga. The restaurant serves traditional Caribbean food and the spicy jerk chicken combined with local vegetables is simply fantastic and very tasty, in addition my other half’s red snapper was also very good.

Compared to other restaurants on St Vincent the meals are quite expensive, not really surprising given the captive audience, but compared to the UK or other holiday destinations the meals are still cheap, and when they taste as good as this they are excellent value for money.

A trip around the set will not take too long which is not really surprising. The set looks quite good, although it is not impressive, and if I had to pay to enter then there is no way I would have even bothered. The site isn’t that interesting, there is not that much to do, there is not a great deal to see and it isn’t really a tourist attraction. That said, it is something different to be able to say “I’ve been to the set of the Pirates of the Caribbean” and pull out a load of photos.The set does not provide a full days entertainment and is ideally suited as a “quick tour” whilst going somewhere else. Many of the Vincentian tour operators use this a stop off for lunch on their excursions, hence the slightly inflated prices.

It is clear that this set is intended to be a tourist attraction and the owners are working very hard to try and preserve everything. During our trip a museum was being constructed to house the props. That said, there is still a lot that needs to be done before this can be considered a fully fledged tourist attraction. There is a distinct lack of facilities, no gift shop or souvenirs to buy, no on-site photographer trying to take pictures of tourists with a parrot on their should etc. etc. It is all very relaxed and there is no hard sell of goods or services to the tourists. On one hand this is good, as I hate the pressure sell, but on the other hand you don’t get to buy any of those tacky holiday souvenirs that remind you of good times.

(This review has been posted on other sites under the name of yackers1)