Monday, August 15, 2016

Casa de Caracoles

Imagine you're following friends through the humble streets of this little coastal town on a biking tour... when you come upon THIS!

At first it might look like any other beach house... but upon closer inspection... you realize that every available surface is covered in SHELLS!

Casa de Caracoles has been gaining attention since Jimmy (the owner) retired and began painstakingly creating this work of art.  

We didn't have a camera along on our first visit, but today Bruce and I went back there and had the pleasure of meeting Jimmy in person.  

He had a small bucket of cement and a trowel in his hands and was taking shells from the piles on his driveway and fitting them into some spots where the shells had fallen out. 
These look new.  Wonder where Jimmy will put them...
The wall from outside.
Jimmy was more than welcoming when we pulled up and parked our bikes outside on the sidewalk.  We would have been perfectly happy to stand out on the sidewalk and gawk through the gate.  But when he saw us, he waved at us to come right in. 

Our Spanish is very limited, but Jimmy knew enough English to give us a brief history of the place.  The first question we asked was "How long did this take you?".  The answer?  Seven years. 

We haven't seen many shells around here and we wondered how he could have possibly amassed what must be over a million sea shells...  Jimmy said that indeed there aren't many shells in this area, but that when flooding waters come (I'm assuming from tropical storms), there is a place just up the coast to the west where he finds and collects the shells.

As our eyes scanned the property... our jaws dropped in wonder as the enormity of this project set in...  Jimmy could see that we wanted to take a look around and his invitation to wander freely and treat his house as if it were our own reminded us of one of the reasons we are loving this little town so much.  So we let Jimmy get back to his work while Bruce and I took a look around.

Crabs inside the car!!!
I couldn't wait to get a closer look at that CAR!
I wonder how much weight the shells have added to the car.  Somewhere under all that is a 1993 Pontiac Sunbird!  Do you think the trade-in value is affected by all of this?

A nice touch... critters on the trunk lid.

The entire carport is lined with shells as well!
Stairway to the home on the upper floor.
Leaving the car to go in search of Bruce...I found him on the waterfront.  The gorgeous view is upstaged by all of the little touches.

There's a small rocky beach just beyond the wall.

An outdoor shower

All corners of the property have been shelled!

I think we found some spots he missed!

The inside of the front wall

Even the mailbox is covered!

What a find this is!  There is actually a notation on Google Maps so if you're ever in the neighborhood... stop in and give Jimmy a hug!

We signed his guest book!  On the table covered in shells!

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