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28 August 2017

The Most Amazing Place In The Bahamas | Going For A Walk To The Hermitage, Cat Island

Note: Our blog lags reality by many, many weeks. So while you're reading about our cruising adventures in the Bahamas, in reality we're actually back at Indiantown Marina working on boat projects. Cruising in the Bahamas was much more fun. {Sigh}

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I hate when people ask what our favorite place has been in our travels. That's such a hard question to answer. How can you pick just one place? There's usually something interesting about every place we've been to.  It's like asking a mother to pick her favorite child. How can she? Every child has lovable qualities.

But, if you force me to answer the question, "What was your favorite place in the Bahamas?" (and by force, I mean promise me a plate of chocolate chip cookies in exchange for the answer), I'll tell you - it's The Hermitage on Cat Island.


The Hermitage sits on top of Mt Alvernia (also known as Como Hill), the highest point in the Bahamas. It's 206 feet tall. That may not seem that high to you, but in Bahamian terms, it's like scaling Mt Everest. The Bahamas are flat, so when it comes to walking uphill, I'm terribly out of practice.


I paused to catch my breath here. I told Scott that we needed to stop so he could take a picture of this archway. In reality, it was my middle-aged, out-of-shape body screaming at me, "Why are we going on this stupid walk?! Let's go back to the boat and eat cookies instead."


After you walk a little ways, you have a choice - scramble up the hill through the Stations of the Cross or go around and walk up the more level path. I thought my mom would like to see pictures of the Stations of the Cross, so I scrambled up the hill, feeling muscles in my legs I had forgotten were there. See what a good daughter I am? I must be her favorite. Not that she'd ever pick a favorite.




Want to know why I like The Hermitage so much? It's tiny. Like a dollhouse that humans can just about squeeze into if they don't eat too many cookies. The priest who built The Hermitage, Father Jerome, used to be an architect, which is a handy background to have if you want to build a scaled down model of a European medieval monastery.


It has a tiny bell tower, a tiny bedroom, a tiny kitchen and a tiny chapel with one tiny pew.


Father Jerome built The Hermitage in 1939. He lived here, leading a contemplative life, until his death at the age of 80 in 1956. Supposedly, he's buried somewhere at the monastery, which seems fitting. It was definitely worth the hike up the hill to see such his extraordinary and adorably tiny creation.



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Cruising Log | Monday, 26 June 2017 - Wednesday, 27 June 2017

26 JUNE
We finally left George Town! Anchor up at 8:30 AM. Anchor down at 6:00 PM at New Bight, Cat Island. Chartplotter went out multiple times while getting out of Elizabeth Harbour. Not good at all considering the many boat-destroying obstacles you need to avoid. Once we got through the cut, then of course it started working fine. Uneventful sail. Autohelm uncooperative. Lots of hand steering. Nautical miles = 53. Engine = 3 hours 15 mins. Spending = Nil.

27 JUNE
Left dinghy on the beach and visited The Hermitage. Checked on dinghy after walk, everything looked good. Walked down to the store. Met a nice lady who gave us some mangoes. Kind of disappointing selection at the store. Came back to find the dinghy swamped and getting more swamped by the minute. Yet again we don't have a bailer. When will we learn? Saved by the kindness of strangers who lent us one. Wind was kicking up so moved over to Fernandez Bay. Tried north side first. Anchor got stuck in the bow roller. Good times. Moved over to south side. Made bread and cake both of which were disappointing. Nautical miles = 8. Engine = 1 hour. Spending = $2 on two cans of pop.

Do you like tiny things? Did you ever have a dollhouse? What's your favorite place that you've traveled to?

If you're interested in more of our Going for a Walk posts, click on Walk underneath Labels on the right hand side of the blog.

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30 comments:

  1. How unique. I hope it's being preserved. I love that Scott took many pictures in B&W.

    Are there cats on Cat Island?

    Where I live is an elevation 50 feet less than that and we are over 1 & 1/2 hours from the beach.

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    1. Some things just look better in black and white. I didn't see any cats on Cat Island :-(

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  2. Oh, wow. Thank you for sharing these amazing photos. And your writing is excellent. The repeated mention of cookies cracked me up. As for tiny things, I do like them. And so did my mother. At her memorial service on Saturday my brother made mention of that fact. ~grin~ Be well! Oh, and I'm so envious of Ms. Wolfe. I want to live nearer the beach! We'll be migrating toward the Atlantic ocean in a few weeks. I can hardly wait.

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    1. That's sweet that both you and your mother shared a love for tiny things. How exciting that you'll be headed towards the ocean soon. It's a magical place to be.

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  3. I love the first pic, but the black and white shots are so interesting, and a little creepy. (But that might just be me, big surprise.) :)

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    1. Black and white can certainly make things look more dramatic and creepy. It's interesting to look at the same photo in color and then in B&W and see how different they seem.

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  4. How cute! Traveling definitely has me working muscles I forgot existed. And my body always prefers cookies to climbing hills, no matter how tall (or not) they are. I love the shot looking up at the Hermitage (fourth one down). :)

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    1. There seem to a be a lot of muscles I had forgotten about :-) If only they wouldn't remind me they were there in such a painful way.

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  5. I can understand why you would like this little place, it looks like the type of place we would enjoy seeing too. Cool that you discovered it and were able to hike to the top and it looks like you had it all to yourselves which is even better. I bet your mom is proud of you!

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    1. There was no one else there which I think added to the magic of it.

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  6. Nice! Hastings charged up the hill but he did go on a few lay down strikes on the way home. The Hermitage was Matt's favorite stop, but I'm split between Hoffman's and Conception....and there's Long and Cat... really, too tough!
    Was there still a red tide? When we were there, the anchorage and beach was totally covered in huge amounts of seaweed.

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    1. There wasn't a red tide when we were there, thankfully. We had enough trouble with the swell without having to worry about seaweed everywhere.

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  7. I'm like you, it would be very hard to pin down a favorite place. Maybe is someone gave me chocolate chip cookies, they would stir my memory.

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    1. It really is hard for me to pick a favorite place. Glad I'm not the only one.

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  8. I would love to explore there. How cool.

    I've never had a dollhouse. I made sure my granddaughter did though.

    I've traveled to so many wonderful places it's hard to pick just one. Okay, Kauai, Hawaii.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. I had a dollhouse and loved it and all of the tiny furniture in it.

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  9. I was puffing right along with you. The reward at the top is always great, but the getting there is another matter. I hiked Cnoc na dTobar (Mountain of the Wells) in Ireland. It's 690 meters high and I think stopped to take picture every ten steps.

    Beautiful pictures that you shared here today. Thanks.

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    1. Your hike in Ireland sounds wonderful. I bet you had some great views.

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  10. Great photos! I'd probably be struggling to go up that hill, too! I'll bet the way down was easier.

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  11. Awesome photos. I'm adding to my list of places I want to travel to.

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    1. It's definitely a place I'd recommend in the Bahamas if you ever get there.

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  12. Wow! Seeing a place like the Hermitage is definitely worth the climb up that hill. The architecture is amazing, and the thought of a priest living there once upon a time is fascinating. I especially like the thought of him doing the stations of the cross all by himself. It's easy to see why this is one of your favorite places.

    I'd be hard-pressed to pick a favorite place, too, but it would probably be in Hawaii. Maybe Hanama Bay. The water is a crystal clear blue unlike anything I've ever seen. Then again, I haven't been to all that many places... :)

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    1. I visited Hawaii once. The water was gorgeous. I can see why one of your favorite spots is there.

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  13. That's really neat! Thanks for taking us with you on your walk. I love visiting out of the way places like that. Now let's settle in and share some cookies. :)

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    1. I've got the cookies ready anytime you want to stop by :-)

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  14. That is so beautiful! I can see why it's your (qualified) favourite. I could never pick an absolute favourite either, even with chocolate chip cookies.

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    1. It is so hard to pick a favorite, but this one is at the top of the list.

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  15. That's so cool! I would love to see that.

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    1. Just head on thru the Panama Canal and make your way over here :-)

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