All Around Jamaica March/April 2003…Day 5
by Liz Maher
Day Five, Sunday (Portland to Castle Garden)
We woke early…again. I am NOT a morning person at all but here I can’t help it…there’s just too much fun to be had, people to see, sights to take in. We decide to eat breakfast at FH and go ahead to Castle Garden because we don’t want to be on the road to Negril ALL day tomorrow. We swam in the one pool at FH we hadn’t checked out yet…this one is on top of the hill and has an incredible – you know what I’m going to say – view. Looking down at San San Beach, which we have free passes for from the hotel, we decide to take a quick ocean dip and get ready.
We drove down – could have walked but it’s hot already – and gave the woman at the gate our passes. The beach is lovely. Calm clear water, sand goes out quite a ways. There’s a little beach/snack bar, showers, trees to lounge under, but at this hour we’re pretty much alone. The beach is used by 3 hotels and a few private villas, otherwise it’s $10US per person or something like that. We enjoy it for an hour or so and head back up the hill to pack up and check out. We’ll be back, Fern Hill!
One thing we wanted to do was really get into the Blue Mountains for a day. P wanted to check out a coffee plantation he’d visited as a child but it being Sunday, we weren’t sure it would be open and it was a good 2 hours over the Blue Mountains towards Kingston. So regretfully we put that on the "next time" list and headed west.
This time we went straight to Chef and Lib’s, missed them already. Bill is still there and we hang out for awhile on their porch.
After, it was again time for a nap and a pool swim at the Sinclairs. The kids were in school, it was quiet. The first day we were there the kids hung out with us a lot but after that their mom made a point of taking them to the beach or just out, sensitive as they were to us being on vacation without our own kids. Truly though, they were great kids and we enjoyed talking with them.
For dinner we decided to head back to Ochi and Chef suggested a place he’d passed many times that has grown tremendously over the years – Spring Café. It’s a really nice place with great food and we enjoyed it. It was very crowded so I guess a lot of people do too. We paid about $50US for two dinners and drinks. Castle Garden really has the best of all worlds…quiet country life but with Ochi’s restaurants, movies and nightlife just 30-40 minutes away.
We stopped back by Lib and Chef’s and finally met George…busy guy, very polite and well on his way to being as good-looking as his dad.
Bill was planning to go to Negril the next day too, using route taxis and buses, so we decided to offer him a ride. He accepted and we made plans to meet the next morning. We’d thought of going tubing the next day on the White River – that sounded like fun and Mrs. S had suggested it, but we put that on the ever-growing next-time list and went to bed.