The Cayman Islands are depicted as Britain under a tropical sun by a recent article in the Sunday Telegraph.
The Sunday Telegraph has a readership of 682,900 and 87 per cent of the readers are well educated professionals with a propensity to travel.
The lead-in reads, ‘The Cayman Islands are not only beautiful but in many ways appear like Britain under a tropical sun’.
The article is titled ‘Dragons and Sharks’ in reference to the iguanas and underwater creatures the writer James Henderson met while visiting the islands.
It appeared on 5 March, and says that Grand Cayman differs from other Caribbean islands in many ways: it is highly developed, especially compared to neighbours Jamaica and Cuba, and it has the wealthiest economy in the Caribbean.
The article refers to Seven Mile Beach as ‘possibly the most spectacular coast in the Caribbean’.
However, the writer mentions that Cayman is quite expensive.
He notes its distinction from other destinations. ‘The feel here is also more metropolitan than on other islands. In the past 30 years it has developed from a desert backwater to something teetering between Britain and the US under the tropical sun.’
As one of a handful of British Overseas Territories remaining in the Caribbean there is a visible British influence, said the article, including a branch of Coutts Bank, driving on the left and pavements laid with the herringbone pattern of provincial British towns.
‘But occasionally it has a distinct air of America, too, from the cheery waitresses in shorts to the hopelessly weak coffee. Unbelievably, there are around 50 Hummer vehicles on Grand Cayman, surely ridiculous in a place that’s just 20 miles by eight.’
The article also mentions how the two sister islands, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac are more Caribbean in feel.
Explaining that there are said to be more iguanas than people in Little Cayman, the author writes, ‘There are even road signs warning you not to run them over. And they are big too, up to five feet long. They are strange animals, prehistoric looking. It is easy to understand where the myths of dragons came from.’
Going on to what he refers to as the most important thing for most visitors about Cayman – the diving – he describes Grand Cayman’s North Wall.
He again parallels it to British landmarks. ‘Looking back, the wall has the magnificence of a cathedral. Buttresses, recesses and spires all furred with corals, tangled and jostling for the sunlight’.
Mr. Henderson also notes that Hurricane Ivan hit the island badly in 2004.