With only one or two days left in January I’ve just realised it’s been a year since my Sri Lankan sojourn and I never did get around to writing the posts I promised about all the incredible places and things we experienced there.
Perhaps a teeny, weeny part of my resistance was self-serving-I don’t want toooo many people going there-just you guys 🙂
(Oh oh. Was I being a Holiday Destination Hoarder?!)
But I think the main reason was I’m just so damn in love with the place that I wanted every post to be perfect.
Then I remembered my old resolution that “DONE is a whole lot better than perfect” (Was that it?? Something to that effect anyway)
So, with no further time to waste, let’s take a quick visit back to Taprobane Island.
Located in the Indian Ocean, just a stone’s throw off the southern tip of Sri Lanka in Weligama Bay.
The famous stick fishermen of Weligama Bay
and yours truly, also in Weligama, waaay too many years ago to admit to.
Taprobane Island mimics the shape of Sri Lanka but measures a mere 2 1/2 acres. It was built in 1922 by the Count de Maunay-Talvande who grandly presided over this last, tiny tear-drop of land before the South Pole, for almost 30 years. After Maunay’s death in the late 40’s, the house fell into a state of neglect until the American writer Paul Bowles came upon it. It was love at first sight and it was here that he wrote “The Spider House”.
In reading a biography about Bowles and his wife Jane several years ago I learned that as enchanted as he was with his tiny slice of Sri Lankan heaven, Jane simply abhorred it. She was a woman blessed with neither good health nor disposition at this stage of her life and deeply feared the swarms of huge bats that routinely descended upon the island each dusk. While Paul enjoyed the peace and inspiration Taprobane offered him, Jane would be plotting her escapes.
Not to mention her girlfriend was back in Morocco waiting for her, but that’s another story.
I want to go back to Morocco now
The octagonal open air design allows the tropical breezes to flow through the house. The black doors you see flanking the terrace lead to bedrooms
This was Paul Bowle’s bedroom. Much of the original furnishings and paintings are still there. Don’t you just love the doors?!
Moi, in one of the other bedrooms enjoying a dreamy, sultry breeze on a very hot & humid day.
One of the things we loved about much of the architecture we encountered in Sri Lanka were the wonderful ways in which seating areas are incorporated into walls and floors.
Note the gorgeous patina on the cool, smooth concrete floors- something we also saw a lot of and such a great choice in a hot climate.
Taking late afternoon tea at Taprobane.Uh… no bats ’til dusk right???
(ps. I told you it was humid!)
The steps leading down to the ocean where the house staff told us the present owner and his mother had been swimming when the Tsunami struck.
Miraculously, they both survived but much of the lower part of the house was damaged and the swimming pool was completely swept away.
A new infinity pool has been built in a higher location on the property. Here you can see how close the beach of Weligama is to the island.
The tropical gardens surrounding the house are brimming with eye-popping bouganvilla
Yes, I did post this pic of us leaving the island last year…
Remember that the tide does rise in the afternoon in Weligama Bay!
For More information about Taprobane read HERE
A photo hanging in the house.
(Please note, we did not stay on the island, we just visited and took tea and the tour one unforgettable afternoon)