The beach activities!

Negril Travel Blog

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Negril Beach on our doorstep

Our hairy trip into Negril prefaced a wonderful, relaxing 10 day stay.  The non-routine was to get up (eventually) , swim, eat, read, swim, read, drink, swim and then plan an eating or music (or both) interlude for the evening.  The water was that wonderful carribean aquamarine colour and a perfect swimming temperature.  The beach entertainment was to see what came along on sale through the day.  It ranged from coconut, joooooce, cigarettes, patties, thongs (flip flops), lobster, carvings, shells................  You never needed to leave the beach.

Once or twice we did taking the only road along the beach, taxi after taxi would toot their horns at you and slow down to see if they could get a fare.

Famous Negril sunsets
  This was constant and annoying.  We found a supermarket and bought supplies of Blue Mountain coffee and jerk spices.  Many of the tourist souvenier shops were run by Jamaicans with Indian backgrounds and my much ribbon bedecked akubra hat seemed to take their fancy with many of them commenting that they liked it.  At the end of our stay a security guard at one of the tourist shopping centres told me how was he supposed to recognise me without  my hat as I wasn't wearing that time?!

Reggae shows ran everynight somewhere along the strip.  Rick's famous sunset cafe on the west end up on the rocky cliffs needed a taxi ride to get there.  It had been wiped out by hurricanes twice, the last being in December 2004.  Local boys and guys gathered on the cliffs near sunset, when the tourists arrived, to dive into the water 30 feet below.

Rick's Sunset Cafe
  The cafe was pricey but the food was good and the sunsets into the ocean , spectacular.  Our own spot where we were staying also gave us magificent views of the sunset and the hotel bar next door on the beach had happy hour cocktails between 5 and 7pm.  Now that is happy two hours I know!  I became addicted to rum punch and found bottles of fruit punch in the supermarket and white rum so I made my own from about day two. 

Patties became our lunch of choice on the beach with callaloo being my favourite.  The pattie is a flat type of pastie and callaloo is a spinnach type of green.  The flakey pastry is spicy and the filling can be beef, chicken or callaloo and is also spicy.  Ronting became a very attentive  security guard bringing me shells, a bunch of leaves (flowers) on my birthday and rushing up to tell me when a rasta man had an interesting local drink for sale.

locals diving near Rick's Cafe
  One day we were reading under a native plum tree on the beach when a rasta man came up clutching a bunch of aloe vera leaves.  He muttered "sunburn" to me and began to smear the juice on my shoulders!  I told him "no, thank you!" but he then started putting it on my chest and now Andrew was saying "No".  Ronting rushed up telling the rasta man "No, she no want it, she no pay, No" 

Another night we went to Jimmy Buffet's Marguaritaville.  I tried the conch soup and shrimp bowl.  Delicious.  For my birthday we wandered down the sand to our favourite local food stop, the Coconut Inn.  A rudimentary wooden shack with plastic tables and chairs under an awning or on the sand and I had a lobster.  It was our breakfast place often too where we chose the fruit platter and french toast with fresh orange juice and tea or coffee.

Andrew surveys the mainly white clientelle
  Towards the end of our stay here, we walked down the road to a restaurant and I managed to roll an ankle in one of the numerous potholes and sliced the toe on the other foot.  It was bleeding badly when we arrived at the restaurant and a swish in the sea didn't stop the bleeding.  The proprietor spotted us applying paper serviettes and pressure and said that he would fix it.  He wanted to put rum on it but I said that would be a waste, so he got antiseptic cream and a bandage and did a wonderful 1st aid job.

At the guest cottages there were three American guys staying on one of their regular visits.  Dad (Russell) and two sons Dave and Daryl.  We began to plan a cost saving trip that would take us on to our next destination on the north east of the island, Port Maria.

Ronting Ansell's Thatchwalk security guard
  We would hire one of the mini buses with a driver they knew.  The guys wanted to visit Port Antonio which was beyond our destination and we would share the cost of the vehicle. 

We reluctantly left on our tenth day and took the three hour drive with the guys.  Dave had a piece of land on the island and tended to holiday in Jamaica most often during the last 29 years.  We passed the tourist spots of Montego Bay and on to Dunn's River Falls.  We paid our entrance fees and went into the very touristy falls.  The guides want you to climb the falls while their photographers capture your every move.  Russell (72 years) wanted to have a go so Dave and Daryl went with him but they were not going to pay a guide and join the flocks of their fellow Americans!  They tagged along until the tickets were purchased then sauntered casually off by themselves.  I was keeping my sliced toe out of  water to allow it to knit so Andrew and I took their money, camera, passports and back pack and watched their progress upwards taking photos when we could. Russell made great progress but cut out at the halfway point leaving the two sons to continue up.  A rasta man was admiring my hat and wanted to know if anyone gave me any shit over it!

Back in the mini bus and we passed Ocho Rios (Eight Rivers) where there were two huge cruise ships in the harbour.  This is where the tourists had disembarked for a day on Jamaica.  Spectacular coastline as we travelled on to Port Maria and our next destination.



grizgirl says:
Your post is captivating. All true... Im a native.Sounds like you handled yourself though. I use my patois when I am there so I dont get harrased. Commuting is the worse, even if your driver is not reckless, the ones overtaking your driver cant be stopped. Really nice post.
Posted on: Apr 25, 2011
ronman2006 says:
Yes Negril is being over run with beach bums peddling everything...the first word to learn before coming here is NO.
Posted on: Feb 02, 2008
Dogtown says:
Excellent post, thanks for creating such vivid images. You take a bit more adventuresome approach to your stay. I think we will stick to the resort areas for now.
Posted on: Aug 02, 2007
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Negril Beach on our doorstep
Negril Beach on our doorstep
Famous Negril sunsets
Famous Negril sunsets
Ricks Sunset Cafe
Rick's Sunset Cafe
locals diving near Ricks Cafe
locals diving near Rick's Cafe
Andrew surveys the mainly white cl…
Andrew surveys the mainly white c…
Ronting Ansells Thatchwalk securi…
Ronting Ansell's Thatchwalk secur…
photo by: bashmentbabe