Day Thirteen, Monday (Negril to Treasure Beach)
We had a slow morning on the beach, eating at our own restaurant, packing here and there, getting in those last swims. When Sala and Dave came to pick up our friends, I was glad to see him, sad to see them go. We’d had a great week together…but at least I know I’ll see them all again soon, at Hookahville if not before 🙂
Here’s where I’m really glad WE aren’t leaving Jamaica just yet. I knew we’d want a couple of days after everyone left to get “back to Jamaica” and wind down. Accordingly, we’d chosen to spend the last couple of days in Treasure Beach on the south coast. I’ve wanted to go there for several trips now but we just got sucked into the black hole that is Negril and never made it out. This trip I’d booked a room and everything, so we couldn’t back out.
We picked up another car from Vernon’s, a Suzuki Something with AC and power locks and whatnot, it was fine. We checked out of BHV and thanked them for a nice week and headed up to 3 Dives one last time to get our stuff and see Lloydie. Paula was not there, she was auditing a computer class somewhere so we’d said our goodbyes to her last night.
Lloydie needed to go to Sav, and we wanted to check out Eddie’s bar in Orange Hill, so we followed him out of town. Eddie’s bar is just down the road from Jamaica Jurassic Park, a really cool place where the resident artist makes huge metal sculptures of dinosaurs and plants, as well as most of the fancier gates and grilles around Westmoreland. Stop by anytime, it’s a sight to see and the owner is really nice.
Eddie’s bar is a friendly open place. A group of guys played something like checkers (but they had another name for it, I forget what) under a tree, we sat at the bar and got a couple of cold drinks while we chatted with Eddie and Lloydie. The bar is right in front of the house Eddie, Lloydie and his brothers and sisters grew up in. Everyone that passes by honks and waves at these two, I feel like we’re sitting with the mayor or something :). It was very hard to leave, but we wanted to get to Treasure Beach in time to have some light so we reluctantly said goodbye to Eddie and left. In Sav, Lloydie stopped at his turnoff and we hugged goodbye there. He and Paula are good friends to us. I hated to leave; next time seems too far away.
We drove along the lovely south coast again (again for me as I’d been to YS, first time this trip for P) to the Peter Tosh Memorial so I could drop off my CDs. P hadn’t been before so we hung around a little while and I gave my shows to the guy I’d promised last Friday.
With map in hand, we continued west, coming to Black River and looking for our turn south. After a mis-turn or two (we just pulled over and asked whenever we weren’t sure…if we were wrong we turned around, I don’t think we went more than a kilometer out of our way, just had to ask a couple of times). Again, this trip was faster than I thought; before I realized where we were we’d pulled up to Calabash Bay. Not sure if we should go left or right we went right (turned out to be left but as we discover, nothing in TB is a big deal, there’s basically one road that hugs the bays along the coast) we wound up taking a little tour of TB. When we saw Billy’s Bay and Irie Rest, I knew we’d come too far so we turned around and shortly pulled into Mar Blue, our home for the next two nights.
We knew we could stay in TB for $35 or so if we wanted, but as this was the end of our trip, I’d decided we should have a pool (in case the beach swimming wasn’t great…we didn’t know), a nice sea view, AC, TV, the whole bit. This we got, and much much more, for $99 a night. There were even robes for us to use. The hotel, it’s not really…I guess it’s a guest house, or a B&B, has 4 rooms with private entrances in addition to the owner’s home. Each room has a balcony, Satellite TV, AC, fan, bathroom with hot water and shower, the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept on and I don’t only mean hotels, I mean ever…down comforters even. The structure was designed by the owner and has a unique layout that allows air to flow through a breezeway in between the two room units. The breezeway has the kitchen, with a nice large bar with bar stools, and a large dinner table with chairs, cushions here and there. You can sit and stare at the sea , sunset, and never get hot….the breeze was constant. In fact they lowered a canvas curtain on the road side during dinner, it was almost too breezy.
The owners are German, they moved to TB about a year ago and built this place. Axel and Andrea are very kind, we wanted for nothing at all, ever. Andrea’s sister was visiting that week, as were a couple from Florida. They were a nice group and we enjoyed our time with them. We were asked if we wanted to stay for dinner this first night and gladly accepted.
(Now here is where I should say P had never stayed at a B&B before, in fact I don’t think I had either, and we weren’t quite sure of the protocol. There were drinks and snacks in the mini-fridge in our room, with a price list we checked off if we took anything, so I knew dinner should cost something, but I just didn’t care enough at this point to go ask. P stressed a little but didn’t want to ask….so we just went with the flow. It turned out breakfast was free, dinner was $15 a person and they kept a bar bill for us behind the bar, announcing when they were buying us a drink (which they did about as often as we bought ourselves one). It was all good, just thought I’d mention that in case anyone else isn’t familiar with a B&B sort of setup. It was a bargain in the end.)
In the meantime, we took a walk on the beach. Absolutely no one else around, it’s great. There are places with big waves, and calm spots, tidal pools, cliffs…lots of variety and you can walk a long way without having to go to the street (which is very quiet in any case). Mar Blue is right on the beach, you just walk past the swimming pool through a little gate and you’re there.
After our little exploration, it was sunset cocktail hour back at Mar Blue. It’s really a lovely place to watch the sun go from. Shortly, Dennis Abrahams arrived, who A&A had invited to join us for dinner. He’s a fisherman/tour guide and a really nice guy. We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner with everyone, the group was very laid back but the conversation never stopped :). The food was AMAZING. Axel is a chef, a real one, and he made the best lobster bisque I’ve ever had….I tasted some kind of brandy or something in there, even P was impressed (and he doesn’t impress easy). After the soup came a beautiful salad with homemade dressing. The main course turned out to be a kingfish Axel had caught. It was grilled and tasted good just like that but then two sauces came out…a peppercorn sort of cream sauce and a tomato-based salsa kind of sauce. They were both delicious.
After coffee we went back to cocktails and everyone sat under the stars facing the sea for several hours, just chatting and enjoying. We arranged to go boating with Dennis the next day, to Black River and up…I was really excited, I’ve wanted to do this for a long time. Dennis told us to just walk over to the fisherman’s beach (less than a minute away) around 9 and we’d go.
We fell into that very comfortable bed, already wishing we had more time in Treasure Beach….