See more pictures of Jamaica on the Crossroad in Dalvey (more below).
Farewell in January
Oma and Tineke took me to the airport. We left at 4.30. I was sad to say goodbye but I will see Tineke in about 6 weeks.
Once I got to the check-in I was told I was 6 kilo's overweight and it would cost me 130 euros! So I took Lizzie's locks, earrings and books out and put as much as I could in my computer bags. Just hope the seals hold. First plane was delayed but so was the second. Thankfully I have a lot of time in Miami
In Miami I was patiently waiting for my suitcases as I was told that 5 had to pick them up there. At some stage I discovered they were send to Kingston. Miami was the airport of hell, long waiting lines everywhere and I was shipped through many scrutinizing searches and nearly missed my plane.
What was nice in Kingston was the many different cultures and it was warm, the good old fans doing their job while people patiently waited.. However one of my bags was missing. Oh dear more form filling more up and down but finally I got out and Mahlon was waiting for me. What a relieve to find some one I knew.
Not long before the first potholes and rivers rather then road but most of the journey was along the coast and I could imaging how beautiful it looked during the day. Windows open and the warm, humid air and smells all so familiar. Also a beautiful star filled sky with sounds of crickets.
Emily and Demus put me up in one of the cottages. The next morning I could not believe my eyes, beautiful turquiose sea and bright blue sky
Visit to Ohio Rios
Lizzie's and here husband Mahlon husband are building a house in the hills near Ochi Rios. I went for a visit and arrived in the night-time accompanied by the sound of crickets. I could see the beauty in the shades and I could hardly wait to wake up. I didn't need to worry about that because, as soon as dawn broke, the cock started making a very loud noise. I got up just in time to see the sun rise over the hills. The valley is as green as can be, with occasional dots of orange from the African Tulip tree. There are many familiar trees such as the Cherimoya, Papaya and Tropical Almond with it's big leaves, also Banana, Coconuts and Mandarins. But also the Aki, unique to the island, with many red fruits.
The house is unfinished and on top is a terrace so I got my computer and camera out, and did some work. After a while Mahlon came out with coconuts, the flesh soft and juicy, after which I got treated to a Cheramoya - yum!
The trip back along the coast was beautiful, going through many villages with many people dressed immaculately for church.
Today Yahimba is fun too as the sun is shining and tourists are around. The waves are emerald green and very inviting.
The Blue Lagoon
Today I was invited to join the Spanish guests, with Lizzie and Emily, to visit the Blue Lagoon.
The Blue Lagoon is a pool that is formed by several underwater streams running down from the mountain. The waterhole is around 86 meters deep and it is enclosed on three sides by green cliffs. It is also near some nice snorkelling spots.
The film 'Cocktail,' starring Tom Cruise and Elizabeth Shue, was filmed there.
We were picked up by a local taxi and while avoiding the many potholes and crazy drivers we arrived at our destination and were greeted by a dozen drivers all wanting to sell boat rides. Emily negotiated a good price and five minutes later we were taken to a beautiful, pristine beach to snorkel. The water was crystal clear. This was the first time in Jamaica and I was so curious. The fish here are unique. I need to buy a Caribbean fish guide to get to know them.
After a delightful time snorkelling. We were then treated to a boat ride and visited Devon Bay. At the end of the ride we sat on a little wooden platform by the blue lagoon itself. The colour of the blue hole is really deep turquoise and it is a very peaceful place to swim. It is made more unusual by the sensation of chilly water at the surface mixing with warm seawater below. The mineral spring was very refreshing.
Once upon a time the whole area must have belonged to a 5 star hotel as there was a broken helicopter landing platform, but also many stunning beautiful trees and shrubs.
Back at Yahimba I was greeted by the lovely family who brought their Housepet, a giant yellow boa constrictor. They have invited me to their house on Wednesday I am looking forward to it!
My Bamboo Hut and The Walk Down The Hill
The pictures are pretty much self-explanatory. The bamboo hut is on a hillside with a wonderful view of the ocean. Every hike up or down is an adventure. I pass two shops. Shop might be an over statement as you can see from the pictures.
I am slowly getting to know all the local people, and wave and stop for chats. The view of Long Bay is always stunning.
My Sister, Tineke's, Visit to Jamaica
Two unforgettable weeks with many highlights: Tineke had never been to the tropics and she adjusted to being an 'island girl' within a day. She was very comfortable with the simple lifestyle and once I taught her to dive through the waves, rather than to be thrown about, she loved being in the ocean. She was also just happy to sit and watch the abundance of nature on the balcony of our bamboo hut. She liked the simple lifestyle that I enjoy so much myself.
We also discovered local expressions like: "do you have one ma and one pa?" and "If you are alright, I'm alright." We made some wonderful friends.
A couple of the high points:
- A hike with 'Uncle Pa.' It was a stroll for Uncle Pa, who is 69 year old, but we could hardly keep up! We set off at 6 am. The views were stunning and we learned about local trees and bushes. Some samples include Pimento (pimento dioica), Pawpaw or Papaya (Carica papaya), Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans), Cocoa (Theobroma cacao), Ackee (blighia sapida).
- Going to the Bath hot springs, beach and the town of Delphi with D and Kumar, watching soccer and meeting D's family. Bath hot springs are mineral springs in a beautiful, lush valley. We could have stayed there for hours, but unfortunately the Jamaicans do not like water as much as we do! It was also very special to visit areas where no tourist come, to experience the traditional way of life.
- Going to Reich Waterfall with Mahlon and Lizzie. It is refreshingly cold and beautiful - a must for anyone who visits Portland.
- Back to Delphi to the sugar factory with D and Tammi. This time we met Tammi's Rasta father. We went back to the beach for more fish - this time they left the fish heads on. The day closed with beading with lots of lovely kids on the soccer field.
The Crossroad in Dalvey, St Thomas
In the Parish of St Thomas is a small village called Dalvey. It is surrounded by sugar fields and on clear days you can see the Blue Mountains. If you climb to the highest point in Dalvey you can see the Caribbean Sea on two sides of the island. There are no tourists so very soon everyone knows you. I am not too good at remembering names but "Mornin" or "Evenin" or a simple "Alright?" is good enough to get by.
There are a couple of small crossroads. Recently on one of the crossroads a little stall (small shop) was created by one of the locals called Paps and it soon became a local hang-out place. It is near a pipe (tap) where the locals collect water.
In the late afternoon you can find lots of sporty young guys playing football on the football field behind the school.
Demus, D and Tommy, who all work at the restaurant, all come from Dalvey and I have had so much fun hanging out with them and their families. I found it interesting that I met several older people who had lived over 40 years in the UK and decided to return to their home town.
Most of my pictures are taken in and around Dalvey and "Paps" stall. I hope you enjoy them.