Hope Town. The real Bahamas? Only the loyalists know for sure…

As the American revolution was heating up and it seemed that the British would be expelled from The Colonies, those loyal to the Crown fled the soon to be  United States.  Many of them settled in the Bahamas and some in the Abacos on Elbow Cay and founded the lovely village of Hope Town.

Today, Tuesday, Brenda and I weighed anchor in Marsh Harbor and made the short trek, less than 10 miles, to Hope Town.  While we enjoyed Marsh Harbor (I finally got a haircut, my first since January) this island, even though it is very close to Marsh Harbor, is beautiful and a world apart.

When I was reading some of the comments on Active Captain, a sort of Web based cruising guide, one reviewer likened Hope Town to Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, a lovely spot known for their tiny Victorian cottages.  I agree, Hope Town has the same feel and is actually even nicer and better kept.  We went ashore and toured the Island, primarily to find a spot for dinner tonight and here are some of the sights we enjoyed.

The main settlement of Hope Town is built around a very compact harbor.  The homes are lovely and each is more beautifully kept than the last.  The colors of the buildings, in true Bahamas style, are very brightly painted.

These two pink buildings, perfectly maintained, with green grass all around, are home to an art gallery.  How magnificent.
Out in back of the gallery, with a view of the ocean, is a lovely deck.  I’d love to have this sort of layout on the back of our home in Essex.    I can’t imagine a better spot to host a gallery opening.  I’d go, assuming that they were serving wine.  That’s what they do at openings, right?The island is known for it’s candy stripe lighthouse.  It’s the last manned light and only kerosene light in the country.  The keeper still winds the mechanism and lights the lamp each night.  Actually, there are precious few lights that are maintained at all, manned or not in this country.   I expect that the locals have something to do with this status of this light as there is clearly money on this little island. This is a good example of one of the “streets” that run all around the island.  Golf carts are the preferred form of transportation.   The plantings are lovingly maintained. This was a particularly lovely walkway on someone’s property.  The large pendent trumpet flowers are datura.  Really impressive flowers.  Some folks in the US grow them as a summer patio plant.  Here, they grow well year round. Some of the plantings on the island are very old.  This one is from Captain Bligh’s stash of breadfruit plants brought on the Bounty from Tahiti.   Pretty amazing.  Someone has worked hard to keep this plant living for all this time.  Breadfruit is clearly not an invasive species as this tree is showing it’s age.
Everywhere you turn there is another lovely home to enjoy.   The trim work on this one is perfect. So, did we find the perfect spot for dinner tonight?  You betcha!!! We will be dining at the Hope Town Lodge.  Check out their site as it really gives a feel for how nice the place is.  The dining room requires “appropriate attire”.  “What would appropriate attire be”, I asked?  Hoping that we had something suitable aboard Pandora.  The answer was shorts and a polo shirt…and shoes.  Whew… I can do that.

Prior to dining we will enjoy one of our favorite “adult beverages” on this terrace.  As luck would have it, the patio faces west so we can enjoy yet another Bahamas sunset.  I can hardly wait.  So, is this the real Bahamas?   Right again and one of our favorite stops yet.   

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