Saturday, January 29, 2011

Musings about Jamaica pt 1

I shared these thoughts on another website but they are still relevant to this one. Because they belong to me.

 I count myself lucky, because by the time I GOT IT, (the love bug for Jamaica) the rose colored visions were gone. In it's place was an appreciation for all of the beauty of this place warts and all. But there are for me still so many places here that remain still unspoiled and with people that have high morals, kindness and decency.

Yes there are bad places and bad minded people, there is what we would consider poverty, and crime. But as we all know we can encounter that any where in the world. I am of an age when I have been there and done so much, that's the advantage to waiting til I was in a position to not have to worry about every penny, just have to squeeze a lot out of the dollar. And perhaps to have a likkle mother wit about myself.
I have stayed in all four corners of Jamaica and found that each one has its own personality.

 From Ochi I gained a love for such places as Murphy's Hill, a place where you can go for a drink and smoke and sit and look over the complete horizon of Ochi, Firefly the home of Noel Coward, poet and screen writer, a place so beautiful that every female that I have gone with sees this as the place she would love to take her vows at. Nine Mile birth place, now resting place of Bob Marley, also St. Ann's Bay birthplace of  Marcus Garvey, considered Jamaica's 1st National Hero. Marcus Garvey was buried in St. Mary’s Roman Catholic cemetery in Kensal Green, London. However, on November 13, 1964, the remains of the Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey were exhumed in London and reentered into a special Marcus Garvey Memorial in National Heroes Park in Kingston, Jamaica. It was here that Garvey was declared Jamaica’s first national hero.

Dunns River Fall a place that many tourists consider too touristy for them, most who have never been, but one of the most beautiful falls in Jamaica. Port Maria for Cabarita Island for a variety of bird species. The site for one of the bloodiest battle against slavery lead by a runaway slave named Tacky, there is a monument to him in the yard of the St.Mary Parish Church.

Plaque at the birth place of Marcus Garvey

On the road to Nine Mile birth/final resting Place of  Bob Marley

Nine Mile

On road to St Mary

A room with a view home of the late Noel Coward Fire Fly Statue of Noel Coward

The view from Firefly

Port Antonio, a place where I have never been hassled, in town, nor on the beach, it seems to be a live and let live, type of place, to me. Norma's on the Marina good drinks, decent food lovely ambiance. Mocking Bird Hotel, where you can become one with the Blue Mountains from afar. River Rafting down the Rio Grande River, an amazingly romantic journey even if you are rolling down it with a girlfriend or two and a few kids thrown in, how can it not be, beauty in sight and sound, and if you get a captain who sings as he paddles you down river,  and you catch it in the hours close to sunset, it's pure magic. I must add sleepy though it may be, if you seek a little cultural respite this can be found here also. Fashion shows, book signings, festivals, live music when a renowned Reggae artist sneaks into town.  Boston Bay home of some of the best Jerk everything, from chicken, to pork, to lobster and sausages, sit, eat, enjoy the vibes. Or sneak into the Blue Lagoon, trying to touch the bottom of a bottomless place. Mooretown a Maroon settlement that hoses the monument of Nanny, legendary eighteenth century female leader of the Windward Maroons in their battle with the English.
                                       View from Ivanhoe Guest House

Sleepy Town of Port Antonio                            

Down town Port Antonio

         Port Antonio business center

Kingston, which gives me Devon House a great house once owned by the first Black millionaire George Stable who made his fortune mining gold in Venezuela, which was once the home of the National Gallery, but now home to many quaint likkle shops boasting of beautiful handmade jewelry, to lace for tablecloths, place mats and some very nice dresses, quite a few nice restaurants and also Devon House ice cream parlor all these meet in the courtyard which is a very nice place to sit and people watch,while you listen to music and the sounds of the city.

 Emancipation Park is the home of the monument named Redemption Song,  by Laura Facey. This is an 11 ft statue situated at the main entrance of the park, made of bronze of  a black man and woman looking to the sky. A symbol of their freedom from slavery. It is set in a fountain to also symbolise how important water is to life, and the purification needed to wash away the pain and suffering of the past.

 The Monument Redemption Song found in Emancipation Park in New Kingston

 It gives me Papine and Gordon Town sweet neighborhoods with working families, who don't beg up, pressure, or higgle you, just busy living life from day to day. No Muss. Also on another side it gives me the opulence of Strawberry Hill one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen with gardens and views to thank God for your eyes. One day I would love to stay here for a while. There are also theaters, the Pegasus Hotel, art museums, Emancipation Park, and on Sunday night there is Rae town for those who love the oldies, and want a chance to go to a place that sadly is only open to all, one night of the week Sunday, but people of all walks of life and class go and mingle together and enjoy the vibe and the music. Kingston the place where culture still lives.

Knutsford Express Yard in New Kingston

Gordon Town on the road to the Blue Mountains

                                      Kingston Old Hope Road

Blue Mountains Kingston Side                            

Near by you have Port Royal which still captures the colonial adventure. The old pirate hangout. Henry Morgan was one of the  most notorious. Pirates from around the world, some as far away as Africa. On June 7, 1962 a massive earthquake struck at 11:43 am which brought widespread destruction. Two thirds of the city of Port Royal fell into rumble and sank into the Caribbean Sea.  It was once known as the 'Richest and Wickedest city in the world'.

 Now it is  more of a quaint little fishing  village with a few points of historical interests.  There is the old fort,  Fort Charles, and  nearby is Giddy House, a former artillery store, and it gets it's name because of its strange tilt, the result of having been moved by the 1907 Earthquake. When you walk in side you are walking on an angle, causing a 'giddy feeling' thus the name. Port Royal is also home of Gloria's for some of the tastiest and freshest seafood you will find on the island.

Fort  Charles in Port Royal

Giddy House in Port Royal  

Black River, capital of St Elisabeth and one of the oldest towns n the island giving you a river ride through and amongst sleeping alligators and a stroll down a street that houses some of the cutest buildings in Jamaica, one of which is Ivercauld Great House, one of the oldest buildings in Black River, eventually turned into a hotel that my friend Libby Thompson used to manage. It was amazing realising from the set up of the rooms in the old house how small people were back in the day. Also on main street there are other buildings made out of wood that  look like gingerbread houses.  Black River is the first place where electricity was used in Jamaica, it's harbor was also important to the Slave trade.

 Nearby is Parotte a good jump off place for Pelican Bar, a bar built on a sand bar in the middle of the Sea. Catch a fishing boat out to the bar for lunch and drinks, An interesting place to spend the day. Wear your swim suit, you might want to swim out to the natural reef

Ivercauld Great House n Black River

An abandoned boat in Black River

The beach at Idlers Rest Hotel in Parottee

Pelican Bar a swim up bar on the sand bar in the middle of the Carribean Sea

I guess I got a little carried away, but you get my drift, some come and look around and find nothing of interest, but there is so much more to do and see and learn, so much more than Negril and it's beach, just come now take a look, you will be amazed at what you might find.


  1. Hey Liz

    Coming from you that is a great honor. Thank you.

    Much Respect

  2. Lovely Jamaica, I caught the bug last year. Hopefully returning again this year to explore more of Jamaica.

    1. The more I came and explored the more I wanted to see and do. Jamaica has that effect on you. Welcome to the Joy of All Jamaicaholics, More and more and more. Full Joy.

  3. What a beautiful overview of some key areas of the island and important points in history. I learned something new and something I can now pass onto others.

    I love teachers!

    Thanks my friend.

    1. Sharon to have been able to share my Love and the things I've learned about Your Country of Birth means more than you will ever know, Thank you for going with me on my ride. It was my Pleasure.


    1. It was my Pleasure. I'm Happy you Enjoyed.