Tuesday, 6 January 2015

The House in the Hill.

We took a walk from Prickley Bay to Secret Harbour Marina in Mount Hartman Bay. Luckily some of the group we were with had been before and knew the way, even better some knew short cuts!
One of the short cuts was through an old resort, that had been damaged during hurricane Ivan in 2004 and has just been left. Some of the old villas on the shore are being used but the extensive grounds, beach and swimming pools are not. But they make a nice walk through to Secret Harbour. We spent a pleasant afternoon listening to some yachtie musicians jamming. We walked back to Prickley Bay in time for Happy Hour. A steel band was performing and they were very good. Followed by a local reggae band, which we also enjoyed while drinking cocktails (cocktail of the day was a Woo Woo) and the local beer, imaginatively called Carib.

When we had sailed into Mount Hartman Bay before Christmas, we were very taken by what looked like a house on the headland. From the sea it looked like a manta ray and closer in you could see curved walls and grass roofs. It really caught our imagination, so we decided to walk back over and see if we could find out more.

Mount Hartman Estate from Secret Harbour

Using our great sense of direction we managed quite quickly to find it and weren't surprised to find it was called the Cave Restaurant. As we were discussing it, the man who built it came to talk to us. A Welshman, who had learned how to build and plaster in the army in preparation for covert operations. He very kindly gave us a tour and explained how it came to be built. The idea had started as a joke; building a cave on the hill, but it has become a work of art and passion. It is Guadiesque, and a bit hobbit like with beautiful curved walls. Inside the attention to detail is fantastic, with massive curved wooden  banisters, made from purple heartwood up the staircase and a beautiful wooden table inlaid with stone in the dining room. The view over the bay from the restaurant terrace was stunning. In the grounds was a folly, a tower that looked like it came out of the swimming pool, and a beach house, next to a perfect white sand beach. Oh, and a helipad out in the blue water at the end of a dock! Unsurprisingly, it is a boutique hotel now.
Darrell was also rather taken by his Triumph Bonneville 100 yr celebration model motorbike.

The Cave!

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