Saturday, February 6, 2010

Road Trip

We are presently anchored in the boat basin of Treasure Cay for a week. Our friend Keith has come here for a visit and is staying at the resort. Check out and you can see the resort, marina, and all the amenities, including the gorgeous 3 ½ mile long beach.

Since Treasure Cay is actually on the main island of Great Abaco, today we decided to take a car trip south to Cherokee Sound and Little Harbour. The place that we rented our vehicle from, advertised rental cars, gift store, and hair braiding all in the same shop.

Dave loves driving on the left, and today was even more fun because they gave us a right hand drive Toyota Avalon.

Dave said it was actually easier to drive it because he could see the traffic better, since he was driving on the other side of the road. The rental cars in the Bahamas are not like the ones we are used to in the U.S., where they are almost new. The roads here are rough and the cars take a beating. This Toyota looked pretty nice on the outside, but sure had its share of rattles, squeaks, and maintenance issues. It got us through the day though, and we took it on some nasty potholed and rocky roads.

Our first stop was back in Marsh Harbour to show Keith this 3rd largest city in the Bahamas, and give him a look out over the Sea of Abaco towards Hope Town. It was a very windy day on the water so we were glad that we were on a land tour.

Then we travelled the long desolate road, lined with scrub pine and palmetto trees, down to the oasis settlement at Cherokee Sound.
What a quiet, immaculate, and quaint place. The water there is so shallow that they built the longest dock in the Bahamas at 770 feet, and then it’s still only about 2ft. deep.

We walked around this sleepy settlement and among the fishing boats, stopping for a snack and a souvenir T-shirt at the well stocked little grocery store.

After our explorations, we headed to Little Harbour. First we passed by the elite resort at Winding Bay, perched up on a bluff, and it is run by the Ritz Carleton. We had to drive down a road that was bulldozed over and through rock, to get to Little Harbour, which is actually the southernmost point of the Abaco cruising grounds.
At the end of our bumpy ride it was well worthwhile, since we got to eat at the famous Pete’s Pub and walk up to the old lighthouse keeper’s house. In the mid- 1950’s, internationally renowned artist Randolph Johnston and his wife Margot founded an art colony at Little Harbour. When they first arrived, they actually lived in caves in the rock hillside, and you can still go in and explore them. Now there is a foundry and an art gallery displaying the bronze statues and artwork that the Johnstons are famous for, and they even allow visitors to watch them when they are pouring their castings.

Their son Pete runs Pete’s Pub Restaurant and Bar, which is made from all the wood and flotsam that has washed up on shore.

The path up to the old lighthouse is really getting grown in, but we made our way up to the fallen down building and smokehouse of long ago. Now there is an automated light on this high ridge overlooking the ocean.

I walked down to the edge of the cliff and listened and watched as the waves were crashing in and caused spray to come up through holes in the rock causing blowholes.

On the way back to Treasure Cay, we tried to find one of the inland blue holes that we had previously visited. We knew it was down a dirt road, but since we were there last, it has deteriorated with huge potholes filled with muddy water from last night’s rain. We ended up having to turn around because the holes were so deep and we didn’t want to wreck anything on the car. Unfortunately Keith will have to settle for watching the PBS special on Abaco's Blue Holes this Tuesday at 8 P.M. To see one in person is spectacular though, knowing that there is both fresh and saltwater in these ponds, since they have tunnels leading to the ocean.

Another interesting day comes to a close, and hopefully we will be able to do some boating before Keith has to go back to the cold north.

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