Two weekends ago Captain Phil and I went down to Kingston and watched the Reggae Boyz, Jamaica's football (soccer, as we'd say at home) team beat the American team for the first time ever on home turf. It was the loudest experience of my life as many people there, including the guy three seats down, had tiny little horns that weren't quite vuvuzelas, but equally noisy.
|I was wearing a purple t-shirt as I had no shirts in team colours. Boy, did I stand out because the crowd was dressed to support!|
|The Americans scored a goal within the first 15 seconds of play, but Jamaica eventually won 2-1.|
|Audrey and Aziz - notice their jackets!|
|The win was a big deal for Jamaica.|
|Typical fishing boats. No, I did not steal this picture from the Lonely Planet website; it really looks like this.|
|We followed the sidewalk around and down to "Golden Sands" beach.|
|The sidewalk went past this house - truely made from bits of the sea. It reminded me of "Borrowed Black", a character in a Newfoundland story who borrows bits from the Labrador Sea to make his house.|
|Beach number 1, Golden Sands. There was no swimming yet, only wading. We were followed by three little girls who were just curious. Other than that, the beach was empty.|
|The journey continued, with a stop for coconut water from the side of the road.|
The highlight of the trip was definitely going to the Morant Point Lighthouse, which is on the easternmost tip of land in Jamaica. It was a bit tricky to get there, with lots of stopping to ask the locals if we were going the right way.
|We had to drive through a sugar cane plantation to get there. For the most part, we couldn't see over the cane to tell if we were going in the right direction.|
|I was a little bit afraid that we'd never get out of the field and they'd find us at harvest time, skeletons in the rental car.|
|Fortunately, there was the occasional helpful sign.|
|And we made it!|
|The lighthouse was shipped in huge round sections of iron all the way from the UK and assembled in place. The inside was wooden and VERY rickety!|
|We ate our fried chicken lunch on the rocks in the shade.|
|An interesting find while we were waiting for the lighthouse keeper to meet us for a tour.|
|We got to climb to the top - I was a bit skeptical about this, not being fond of heights or crumbling staircases.|
|The lighthouse is all automatic now, and run by solar energy. The keeper only comes out to do regular maintenance.|
|The view from the top was worth it. Even if I couldn't really move and had to stay pressed against the wall.|
We then drove up the east coast to Port Antonio, where we spent the night.
|Port Antonio harbour|
|The view from our hotel room balcony.|
|I could have walked faster. We should have rented a donkey instead of a car - it would have been more useful!|
|It was, however, very beautiful. And I had lots of time to look, even if Captain Phil didn't, as he was trying to keep the car on the excuse for a road.|
|Where we were finally undone. We decided this had been enough adventure and we turned around and stopped for a refreshing drink and chat with the locals.|
|The Rio Bueno River that we had been following.|
The rest of the day was spent meandering back to Kingston, stopping at as many beaches as we possibly could. We swam at Frenchman's Cove, saw the Blue Hole (where Brook Shields came into tropical bathing stardom), and put our toes in the sand at Winnefred Beach, Long Beach, and a couple that didn't have any names (or at least, no signs).
|Long Beach, further down the east coast. There was a significant undertow here, so not good for swimming, but the waves were beautiful to watch.|
|A pretty little cove along the way.|