Irie, Man!

Thursday 16th February 2012

 

We’ve had a great week here in Jamaica.  We got to know our way around Port Antonio:

 

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The entrance channel to the West Harbour of Port Antonio.                                         The Jamaican weather forecast…

 

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The main square in Port Antonio.                                                                                             Christ Church in Port Antonio,

 

We hired a car for a couple of days and drove around the eastern end of the island to Kingston on the south-east coast:

 

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Reach Falls                                                                                                                                          With our guide Odine at Reach Falls.

 

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Bob Marley’s house in Kingston, now a museum.                                                             With Bob Marley’s statue.

 

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‘Redemption Song’ statue at Emancipation Park, Kingston.           The park is an oasis of calm with piped music coming out of fake rocks!

 

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Devon House in Kingston, built by the first black Jamaican millionaire.                    Steve relaxing in the grounds behind Devon House.

 

We drove back through the Blue Mountains – scary roads!  Steve was brilliant as he steered us on narrow roads round hairpin bends, over landslides, around and sometimes (when there was no choice) through potholes and over rickety bridges!  The road surface had often just simply been washed away, but the hire car took it all in its stride.  We stopped at a coffee plantation and the owner showed us around and explained about coffee growing and processing.  She gave us various beans to taste and made us a delicious cup of coffee which we sipped whilst looking out of her living room window over the slopes of the mountain which were one moment visible, the next shrouded in mist.  Breathtaking!  Apparently they bought the house as a weekend cottage, planted a few coffee plants and it all grew from there – literally!  We bought a couple of bags of coffee beans which we will enjoy all the more because of the memories the coffee will invoke.

 

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Blue Mountain coffee berries – some beginning to ripen.                                               Beans fresh from inside a ripe berry, before drying, husking & roasting.                                        

 

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Rows of coffee bushes line these slopes in the Blue Mountains.                                  The city of Kingston, from the Blue Mountains.