Sat. Aug 8th
The sun & I get up together, chores, breakfast, heading for Negril for the weekend with Hal, Jude & the kids, right after breakfast we hear a yell from the road, I meet Oreta from over the hill at John’s place, John is a Rasta Man, Oreta is his weekend girlfriend, man has quite a string, not sure why, not his looks for sure. He does grow a bit of weed, which I’m told is quality leaf, so maybe thats it!
She was unloading all her troubles on Gerry, luckily Jude came by with Mad Bertie to pick me up for Negril.
Stop in Black River and meet up with Hal & the kids, continue our trek, see some nice country on the way.
Arrive Negril at 11:am and check into the hotel, Tigeress II, run by a good friend of Roberts, I never did meet Robert, but good to know, has the cost was $10.00 US a night.
Everybody in Jamaica goes by first names or nicknames, I can’t even remember knowing any last names, but they know who are talking about, I’m Dave staying in TB, thats with Uncle Gerry, Daddy south shore, ha, that Daddy.
We head for the beach & park in a vacant lot, and has soon has we park 3 guys come over and tell us the cost to park is 20J, but kinda backed off when one of our guides talked to him. We found out later he had mentioned BigMo, a local Drug Lord who really owned the property, we gave them 10J for watching the cars. In the early 80’s the beach front here was cheap, met a man who bought a mile of beach property for $20,000 CAN.
At the time I was there the exchange rate was CAN. 25 to 1 Jamaican dollar at the bank, but you could get a much better rate on the street, US $ were over $40 to 1.
What a great beach, swam, soak up rays, few Red Stripes, walking the beach, the only thing that spoils it is the constant hassle from venders selling all that Jamaican product…..from Japan.
Had an excellent meal at Miss Kittys, baked & stuffed garden eggs, mixed peas and rice, and a great rum punch.
Garden Eggs = Egg Plant
Finished off with a chocolate something, it was good & it was big.
Ended the day watching the sunset from the Negril cliffs.
Sun. April 9th – Negril.
Dropped the kids (students) off at the beach, & the 3 of us went for a long beach walk, found a secluded bar ( very rare for Negril )
Rum Punch was 45J very good price….so we had a few.
Jude & I headed back to TB about 2 pm, got back about 430 pm, dropped me off and headed back to Manderville, wonderful two days,
still hard to believe I’ve only being here for 5 days.
Monday, April 10th.
Sun & I, usual chores, Gerry and Daddy off to do kitchen cabinets for Lawrence up Parroty way, Gerry does a number of cabinet jobs around the area, he also is the only one with tools.
I went for a long walk exploring the shoreline, was a nice laid-back day.
Boys came back bringing a 4 lb Jackfish and 2 3 lb lobster, these are the spiny lobsters, no big front claws.
Rolled it in cornmeal and baked the fish, made a nice dinner for the 3 of us, washed down with Red Stripe.
Early night, down by 9 pm.
Tues. April 11th.
Gerry gone again, went fishing on reef, caught a small octopus and will be good for bait, worked on the beach steps for a hour, with lots of trips into the sea to cool off, water temp. seems to be a constant 84 ’ .
Made lobster rice for supper, used a bit too much Bonnet Pepper, also learned when preparing it, to always wash your hands right away, learned the hard way after a bathroom trip…………oh man…..the pain.
After a evening swim, talked for couple of hours, and then turned in, good day except for the peppers.
Went fishing, skunked, worked on steps, read, lazy day, sea calm and not much wind, early to bed.
Met Fudd, chap fishes from a small 10’ boat, goes out a long way, knows Gerry and brings fish now and then. He keeps is boat on the shore at Treasure Beach, we talked some while he had a couple of rums, ( the rum the locals drink is White Rum, 180 proof, they only drink it neat).
Upshot was , I talked him into leaving the boat on our beach, better security and I could use it when he wasn’t, cost me a couple of rums when he comes, and I would weigh his fish and then mark it so he knows what it is when he sells, he just tells them Uncle Gerry weighed it and that’s enough.
The middle mans he sells to can tell him any weigh, but knowing we have a scale really helps if they say the weight its only 2 lbs, when its really 5.
He can’t read so doesn’t know what the weight is by looking it, works well for both of us, I also get the first choice of fresh fish.
I will be commenting on Jamaican fishing in a later post
Just after he left the Donkey Lady came by and I bought the days veggies.
Ladies name is Sulki, her donkey has panniers ( reed and net bags) over the animals back, she gets her produce in Black River at 4 am every morning and makes the trek ( walking ) to Treasure Beach, selling along the way, round trip for her is about 40 miles.
If she sells everything she rides back, often two or three often travel together singing, they carry a variety of produce, pepper, yam, banana ( it is sold by the hand, also the bananas are very small, about half the size of what we buy here), pine ( pineapple ), garden egg, ( egg plant ) oranges, they carry whatever people want and can usually come up with anything.
They are also a great source of news & gossip.