Sunday, January 9, 2011
Rick's Cafe Negril,Jamaica pt 1
Years back, my daughter and I came to Jamaica on Jan 2. For the first time and because of the deal I decided to stay at an AI. SunSet Beach in Montego Bay. When we arrived our rooms were not ready, so we went to have lunch, after getting seated we began talking and a woman over hearing us came over and asked where we were from, turns out she is one state over and she sat with us and we talked. She and her group were leaving that day, they had been there for a week, which included New Years Eve, she went on to tell us of the wonderful celebration Sunset had, and on to tell us of some of the things the group had done. Sounded interesting, so she gave me the number for the driver they used. After finally checking in and being happily pleased with our room and the view I called the driver, and set up an excursion for the next day.
Next morning at precisely 9:00 I got a call, letting me know my driver was in the lobby. A tall good looking drink of wata. "Hello my name is Robert, we are just meeting now, but at the end of the week, we will be family, he was right. Robert picked us up every morning and off we went to somewhere different each day from a Mobay city tour, to Ochi, to Negril.
The day of the Negril trip, we drove over and he took us up into the hills, instead of the coast road, not even sure now if that road was completed, but glad for his choice, going to Ochi was beautiful, but the ride to Negril, on the scenic route was amazing. Through the likke towns, getting a chance to see real people, going about their real life. What struck me is seeing the diverse architecture of the homes, board houses, concrete one and two room houses, huge mansion like houses all in the same neighborhood, I mention this because where I come from, you can tell poor and middle class from rich. Here you don't have a clue, also the fact that a home is huge is not a statement of wealth, nor a board house meaning poor. This was the best road trip ever.
We stopped at likkle hole in the wall bars as well as fruit stands, to experience new tastes, and cook shops for jerk chicken, jerk pork and steamed fish, festivals, and bammy, it was a very pleasing pig out ride. This is how I love to travel, a slow and easy ride going to Wherever, stopping to just watch a cricket game, or the guys playing dominoes, having a drink or some food or a smoke. I love it.
We get to Negril and Robert pulls into Treehouse, at the time the beach was pretty nice so we hung out ordered drinks and soup, by far at the time the best soup I had ever tasted. We also did a Negril City tour, found myself fascinated by the 7 miles of beach as well as the laid back vibe of the place, and decided that next year this is where we would stay.
Soon its time to head up to Ricks Cafe, not the same as from the Bogie movie, but close enough. We get there and get for me what turns out to be the best seats in town. We walk around a likkle checking out the place, the water, the cliffs, the people, so many, so cool a vibe. Finally the two shows begin, the one on stage and the spectacular nature show, the reason most folks come to Negril, the Magnificent Sunset. A truly outstanding vision. Imagine really noticing for the first time the colors God used to create a sunset, reds, and yellows,turning into gold and orange, then the sky all shades of blues, purples, pinks, overlooking the deep blues and turquoise of the sea combined to take your breath away. Add to that the beautiful sounds of Bob Marley and the Wailers, Beres Hammond, Luciano and many others coming from the selectors. Purely delightful.
Next the show, the Rasta starts singing, this was my first night time show this trip, first time to Negril, first time to Ricks so I was totally entertained. I am watching , singing along, just having a good time, when he says"I want to sing this next one for my sister", he walks from the stage, everyone is getting into the music, and I am looking around to see where he might be headed also, he walks over to our table and takes my hand and begins singing 'No Woman, No Cry' I thought I had died and gone to heaven, A wonderful day, a beautiful sunset, a beautiful man, singing to Me, in the most beautiful place in the world. Jamaica. I found out he does this all through the show chooses someone to serenade, didn't matter, because this night was my night and I felt so Blessed.
Could life get any betta?