We awoke to the beautiful sunrise today. As usual, I headed over to the kitchen and made breakfast arrangements. As I walked back from the kitchen and looked out to the sky, in the direction of beach, it was clear with not a cloud in sight. I sat out on the porch till Karen was ready and just watched the beach. Breakfast would be a while, so Karen and I decided to go for a walk on the other side of the beach, which we did cover, in our last walk. The beach was bustling with crabs on the sand digging out their homes, back to life again with people walking along. As we passed along the resorts and villas that lined the beach we saw people laying out getting sun. There were also vendors putting out their wares for sale. As we got closer to where the Negril River enters the beach we could see remnants of the rain in the water in the evidence of branches and patches of grass near the shore. It was getting warm and Karen and I decided it was time to head back to Whistling Bird for breakfast. We also felt it would be the best chance for a sunny day on the beach. When we turned back, we realized we had walked some distance away from the Whistling Bird.
Breakfast was good as usual. Next we changed and headed down to the beach. The water was warm and we swam around for about an hour. I brought 2 of the floating beds on the property to the water. Karen and I had the time of our lives getting on them. There were quite a few people around the beach in front of the property. We later learned that was because the property had trees, beach chairs and probably one the best beach areas. We lay out on the beach for a little bit. It was getting close to noon and our plan was to go to the market & check out Lilly’s stall.
We cleaned up and headed out to Norman Manley Blvd. at the entrance of the hotel. Getting to the town square was a breeze. Taxis & buses run frequently along Norman Manley blvd. Within 5 minutes of walking we were in a cab to the town square. We were very hungry so we asked the driver to take us to the square. We had a lunch of drum pan jerk chicken (me) and patty & a bun (Karen). Karen was most proud of her first sky juice in years. We were off to the craft market next. The craft market was just over the Negril river bridge, which we drove over to get to the town square.
The market was very slow and not a lot people were buying. Many of the vendors were beckoning us into their stalls, when we entered the market area. Once we told them we were looking for Lilly’s stall they were quite helpful in pointing us in the right direction. Lilly’s stall was close to the middle of the craft market. Her brother and a dread locked gentleman were manning the stall. The dread locked gentleman was polishing some of the wooden crafts. Karen was at her best picking out items to purchase. We would not have to carry anything back with us, as Lilly’s brother would bring it back to the Whistling Bird. Once we had completed our shopping we walked around a little.
We bought a few light things from a lady way in the back of the market where few probably venture. While walking out we were drawn to a fence lined with canvas painting. The colors were bright and just brought everything around it to life.
On the way back to the square there were 3 boys playing on the bridge with a crab. As I got closer I could see that they all had handmade slingshots. I borrowed one from one of the boys took a stone and fired it into the river. Memories of my childhood Jamaica came back. Getting a ride back was just as easy as getting into town. This driver was a little bit more talkative than the other. He mentioned how slow it was & how competition for customers was stiff. On arrival at the Whistling Bird we headed back to the beach. This time we hung out at the bar swinging on a hammock hung on the frame.
Lilly’s son and another boy his age (about 10 – 11) were playing cricket on the beach with one of the artists who displayed his paintings for sale nearby. We had decided to eat off the property today so Karen headed back to the hotel office to get recommendations from Lilly or Andrea.
I watched the cricket game for a bit but then I could not resist joining. I started out bolding and batted for a little less. It was the most fun I had in a while and I hate to admit the most exercise I have in a while. Karen came back and watched until I was finished playing. Bim was close by and I asked him for coconuts. Karen and I got in a reasoning session with the ‘artist’. Oddly enough it was mainly talk on religion. It was very refreshing. The beach was still buzzing and some of the people we saw laying out along the beach earlier were still there. We beach watched for a while but were interrupted by Lilly who said I had a call. It was Sienna. We talked for a little bit and agreed to meet after Karen and I come back from dinner. I had asked her for her restaurant recommendations but settled on Sweet Spice, which was recommended by Andrea. We really wanted to go to Cosmo’s, which we enjoyed from our last visit. It was getting late so we headed back to the room to get ready to head out to dinner. Getting a cab down to Sweet Spice was easy. The driver asked us if he could take us back so he could get the round trip. He also suggested we pay him on the return trip. The restaurant was located near the town square. It was crowded but we were seated in less than 5 minutes.
There was a mixture of locals and tourists. We ordered and were served in less than 15 minutes. We were warned that the food might be more tailored to a tourist visiting Jamaica. They were right. The driver was out side when we finished. Sienna and Solomon were already on the property when we got there. As usual when we meet, Sienna and I get engrossed in the affairs of Jamaicans.com. We talked some about her new job and life in general. We talked for about 2 hours. On departure to our room, I made final arrangements with Solomon for our departure to Montego Bay tomorrow. It was not a day we were looking forward to…