Turtle Run was the perfect antidote for a long and bitter cold Montana winter. I stepped back in time when my propeller driven plane gently landed on Cayman Brac; back to a time of sailing ships, a time when life was slow and steady, a time when nature was abundant, beautiful and inviting. The people who call this island home are a reflection of their environment; warm and friendly. The house manager was waiting for me and quickly ushered me to Turtle Run. He gave me a thorough review of the lovely house and attentively answered my many questions.
The house was beyond my expectations. Three spacious bedrooms, two well appointed bathrooms, a luxurious great room with a home theater, DVD/VHS television, an elegant sound system and sumptuous seating. The kitchen was equally magnificent. It was exceptionally well designed with enough counter space to prepare a banquet. I reduced my vacation expense by hundreds of dollars by cooking my cuisine in this wonderful galley. The dining room looked out over the gentle turquoise and deep blue Caribbean sea and was a delightful place to relish my home cooked fare. After dinner I often savored dessert and a cup of tea on the ocean side deck while listening to the gentle breaking of the surf on the coral beach below. Sometimes I took in a movie and other times I read books from Turtle Run's small and informative library. There were several books I enjoyed regarding local trails, sights, history, diving and attractions. I learned quite a bit which made my vacation even more memorable. Around 10 PM I drifted off to sleep on a soft and comfortable bed in a cool, air conditioned room. The gentle swish of the surf lulled me into a deep and thoroughly refreshing slumber every night.
In the morning I collected shells and coral along the beach while enjoying the peace and quiet of natural surroundings that have changed little in 200 years. One day I hiked across the Brac and visited the museum and library. Another day I hiked to the light house. While walking I saw a banana farm, cattle and beautiful tropical gardens. At the end of the Brac the Caribbean Sea is deep blue and spreads to the horizon in resplendent beauty. Wild birds live in the cliffs, the sun is warm and bright, the air clear and refreshing.
On the way back home to Turtle Run I explored Peter's cave and the small town of Spot Bay.
Turtle Run was only a mile or so from the main town; West End. The grocery stores are small and well stocked. Bread and rolls were freshly baked. Local sea food and tropical fruits were widely available. I ate well every night.
I walked almost everywhere and hitchhiked when I was tired. Rides were easy to come by and provided a wonderful way to meet island residents. Everyone was friendly and I always felt safe. Next time I may rent a bike from one of the resorts in town and cruise the island's well maintained paved roads while viewing the captivating scenery at a leisurely pace.
Staying at Turtle Run was far more comfortable and relaxing than a hotel. The house is tastefully decorated, well designed and exceptionally comfortable. The location is perfect; quiet, peaceful, expansive views and yet close to town. The weekly rate was considerably less than a hotel and I saved even more by cooking my own food, watching movies at home and washing my clothes in their washer and dryer. I told all my friends about this pleasant home and the wonderful island called Cayman Brac. If most of them do not book this lovely house first, I will be coming back next winter.
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Turtle Run is an elevated home so not for those who have difficulty walking or navigating stairs. There is also no sandy beach, just dead coral, so it is not for those looking to lounge around on sugar white sand. The water is very close here and initially I was concerned about the constant sound of the surf crashing against the shore, but this soon became pleasant background noise. I absolutely loved looking out one of the many french doors that line the beach side of the house and seeing the sunlight shimmering on waves so close they created the optical illusion of the house actually being perched in the sea. The breeze was constant here which was good and bad. While it was pleasantly cooling it also brought with it a heavy dose of salt and gave everything in the house an ever present feeling of just the slightest dampness. If you have ever spent time living on a boat for a few days, you will understand what I am talking about. For example, dry goods that do not get put into the refrigerator or a plastic container soon get soggy just from the surrounding air. This also means that you will find areas of rust in the house. Personally, I am not negative about any of these things. This is the reality of life near the ocean; however, if these are the types of things that you cannot live with I suggest staying on the North side of the island which is less affected by the salt and dampness because of the direction of the prevailing winds.
The house itself is very spacious with an open floor plan and a really great kitchen with everything one could possibly need for cooking. While it was only my husband and I this trip, the layout seemed excellent for 2 -3 couples, as the common living spaces are so large I felt that a larger number of people would not have gotten in each other's way. The home is tastefully decorated both with great photos of underwater scenes and various wooden carvings, primarily of turtles. Views from both the front and the back are excellent, one being the sea and the other the Bluff. A full length deck runs along either side but I found them a little to narrow for my taste; however, my husband really enjoyed sitting out on the back one every morning with his coffee. Water pressure and temperature were both always good in the 2 bathrooms. Overall, the house was very clean and the location is excellent, not just for the view but because when staying here you have easy access to both the West End where many of the restaurants, markets, etc. are located and to the road which will take you onto the Bluff and from there either to the North side of the East end. There is no phone and the TV only plays DVDs. We found a couple decks of cards and enjoyed playing many games of double solitaire on the beautiful dining room table, while watching the sun dance across the waves. The lack of TV was not missed here. Definitely the biggest issues that I had with this location were (1.) the front door lock was jammed and unusable during our stay and (2.) the beds were extremely firm .... very, very, very firm. I did not get a good nights sleep at all the entire 2 weeks that I was there. I communicated via email with the owner about both of these situations and it definitely sound as if both of them, along with a few other very minor issues, will be taken care of ASAP. I should note here that the owners, Gary and Robyn, were excellent throughout the entire process of arranging our stay here. I communicated primarily with Gary and he was always very quick to reply to any questions or concerns that I had. They also provided an excellent guide to the best shore diving and snorkeling sites on the island, which we used to great benefit many times during our stay. Since I trust that the comfort level of the beds is being addressed, for us there is absolutely no reason not to stay at Turtle Run again, whenever we are blessed to return to this island.
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