Our guest house at Lille Maho was at the end of nowhere. For many years there were two ways to get to the the place. Either by boat or walk over the hill from Big Maho, a goodly steep hike of about a quarter of a mile.
In this postcard picture there are three white dots on the hill across the water. Those were over-looks, places where tour buses stopped and tourists took pictures. When guests were arriving we often met them in Cruz Bay with our jeep. When we got to that second gap we'd take out an air horn and blast it towards the beach. The noise of the horn slid across the water and we could hear it, a signal for us to get in the dingy and row around the point to Big Maho to pick up guests and/or luggage and row back. Guests sometimes chose to walk over the hill while we rowed the luggage around. Sometimes we had to make two trips, one for the guests one for their luggage.
Sometimes our guests arrived by "charter" boat from St. Thomas or Cruz Bay. In this picture it looks like luggage is being unloaded. The jeep on the beach is the one I learned to drive in. It jumped out of second and barely had reverse. Eventually it was relegated to hauling any and all supplies from the beach up the hill to the cottages and our small commissary. We called it The Elevator.
We offered simplicity and isolation. We had electricity, but no telephones, TV, or hot water. We had two cottages. This is the Lower Cottage, also a postcard picture. They were duplexes. Each side had a bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette and porch. The "wall" dividing the porch was also a door. If a large group or family rented the whole cottage, they had access to both sides. Along with the two cottages we had a small apartment call the Crow's Nest and two bunkrooms that were mostly used by families; simply a place for their kids to sleep.
For a while my grandmother cooked dinners for her guests. But eventually it was total self-sufficiency. Guests brought their own food and cooked their own meals. We made sure they had clean sheets and towels. We also had a small commissary offering the bare necessities; condiments, canned beans and vegetables, evaporated milk.... In the chest freezer they could find hamburger and chicken. Guests were allowed to keep a tab of what they took, it was all done on the honor system.
This is where I had my fabulous donkey Yeknod. You can read about her here.
Eventually we had a road bulldozed into the place, a steep and, when in rained, treacherously muddy slide that required a certain amount of fearlessness to navigate. As Dad taught us, you put the jeep in low low (four wheel drive) put it in first gear, floored it and pointed it where you wanted to go.
All of this is setting the scene for my next post. The story of an adventurous land crab.