Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Volleyball and the Beach
Kaelyn and I went to Trelawney and Montego Bay over the past weekend. On Saturday, we went to the parish of Trelawney for the third annual Burwood Beach Volleyball Tournament. It is a fundraiser for STEA (Southern Trelawney Environmental Association), an organization for which many Peace Corps Volunteers have worked. There were ample beverages, but the only food we ate was tortilla chips and yam salsa. The yam salsa was so good we bought some to eat at home. The yam pizza, on the other hand, was a dissapointment. It sounded like a good idea in theory, but when I went up to look at the result, there was a liberal sprinkling of sliced hot dog as a topping. These are the "Jamaican Reds", those red hot dogs with the artifical red dye number 5. Not too appetizing.
Burwood Beach, where the tourney was held, has warm, crystal clear water. Unfortunately it is only about two feet deep, so you have to squat on the sand in order to actually be in the water. The other problem with the site is that it had the most disgusting bathrooms. There were flush toilets, but none of them flushed, they just filled up and then overflowed. It would have been better had there been latrines. And the nearby trees weren't very good for bathrooms because they were mangroves and quite swampy (mosquitoes and toilets do not mix). There was an abundance of Red Face Rum, a cheap Trelawney white rum that was sponsoring the tournament. It is no Appleton's Special, let me tell you.
After the volleyball tournament we spent the night in Montego Bay, which is near to the beach where the volleyball tournament was held. I had never been to Montego Bay before because it is a fairly long bus ride from Portmore. On Sunday, we ate lunch at Margaritaville, marking our third trip to the restaurant that we have now visited in all three locations in Jamaica: Ochi, MoBay, Negril in order of preference. This is called the Margaritaville Triumvirate and we can facilitate guests who would like to complete this taxing journey (especially if they pay).
We then went swimming at Doctor's Cave Beach. It is a famous beach in the area and Peace Corps get in free. We got to do some snorkeling and saw sea cucumbers, sting rays, snappers, and many small fish -- much more than in Negril. Sea cucumbers kind of look like turds that lie on the bottom of the ocean and eat sand. Two cool things, though, they can spit out their insides when agitated, and they conform to the shape of your hand as you hold them.
Sunday night was devoted to NFL football. Sometimes it's nice to just sit around and watch it. Not much thought is required. We left on Monday morning, and the bus ride took about 4 hours to get home. It's not bad as long as it is a three day weekend. We definitely want to go back and spend some more time in Jamaica's Second City.