Friday, February 16, 2007

Touring Eastern Jamaica

Kaelyn’s dad recently came to Jamaica for the first time. So of course we had to show him some of the wonderful things that the island has to offer. We chose to spend our time in Eastern Jamaica, because this would give a sense of city life and the heart of Jamaican music in Kingston, while also allowing for the wonders of jerk and serene beaches in Portland. The trip also allowed for a tour of the concrete jungle that is Portmore.


We started out in Kingston, going to the Bob Marley museum, Knutsford Boulevard, and Devon House. The Marley museum really has a good tour, so you should check it out if you get a chance. There are tons of intimate details such as the bullet holes from where Bob and some of his entourage were shot in a politically motivated murder attempt. You can see where Bob played football, and his favorite shorts to play in. Then there is a short movie that highlights the music and lyrics of Bob Marley and the Wailers.


Knutsford Boulevard had some interesting places to visit. There was Juici Patty, one of the two most popular patty shops in Jamaica. The food is cheap and good, beef patties, vegetable patties, and other treats. Devon House has plenty of fine shops and restaurants. The Grog Shoppe was where we chose to eat dinner. It has a wonderful outdoor eating area set amidst the old stables of the first black millionaire in Jamaica. The food is tasty as well. We also went out to Two Sister’s Cave and Prendy’s on the Beach, both in Hellshire. Prendy’s has some of the best fried and steamed parrot fish on the island, along with lobster, bammy, and festival, as you can see in the picture.


Every beach in Portland seems to be perfect. But Boston Bay is especially interesting because of it has some of the biggest waves in Jamaica and is the site of the biggest jerk centre in the island. Great Huts, a natural paradise with tents and tree houses, was our base in Portland. Boston Bay has beautiful water and waves, some interesting snorkeling, and is surrounded by cliffs, giving you the impression that you are inside of a big bowl while you are swimming. The jerk centre offers jerk chicken, pork, fish, plus festival, breadfruit, and yam.


We also visited Port Antonio. There is a busy market with food vendors and craft vendors all in one location. Rock Bottom was the name of one craft vendor who makes really nice wood carvings, although they were ridiculously overpriced. The Port Antonio marina is the site of Norma’s on the Terrace, one of Jamaica’s best restaurants. The restaurant has a view of the marina, and while we were eating a small cruise ship was leaving the dock. There are also a number of impressive yachts to see. The food at Norma’s is really good, we had smoked marlin, butterfish, shrimp salad, and stuffed crab back. As you can see, seafood was the order of the day.


We ended the trip in Ocho Rios. The craft market was fun, but tiring. There are only so many times you can hear a vendor tell you that their wares are the best in the market, better than everyone else, even though most are selling the same items. Then we went down to Island Village, browsed the shops and ate at Margaritaville. The Margaritaville people tried to get us to stay for a party with tourists from all the hotels attending, but at 8:30 there was nobody there yet so we left. The next day we stopped at Walkerswood to take a tour of their facility. It’s really fun. The tour guide shows you how to make jerk paste, and then you get to see their clean, modern factory and sample all of the sauces. They were making jerk sauce the day we went, and the smell of pimento and scotch bonnet pepper suffused the whole compound. It is a very nice tour. We made one last stop for jerk at Faith’s Pen before enduring the backed-up traffic on Mt. Rosser and heading home.

Sadly, the journey had to come to an end. As Bob would say, “Jah live i-tinually.”

-Shane and Kaelyn

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The trip was definitely IRIE!!!!
Hard to believe that we were able to experience so much in 8 days...
After seeing how you live, I have only one thing to say...


One Love

Your Dad