A well deserved escape to the country was on the books for this weekend. So we packed our bags, grabbed an out of date map, rented a tiny car and trekked out for Negril. Negril is on the opposite side of the island so it is a bit of a hike, predicted to take four hours. The roads are anything but highways and you drive on the left, well actually you just drive in the middle and dodge cars, it is too fun. As you can see the toll booth sign says it all "check yourself before you wreck yourself!" So you driving through contorted mountainside roads covered in pot holes due to rain and flooding. They are narrow, and the turns are often 180's with 100% blind spots. This is also know as heaven for people who love to drive, these roads were made for Pete <3. So since I love to drive I quickly volunteered, Anita was our co-pilot who rocked the map the whole time, and Jazz provided the tunes, she is our dance hall music extraordinaire. Now your constantly driving through little hillside towns and everyone is unique. The landscape is thick, lush, and so green. The view from the mountains and the valleys are distinct and bucolic (my favorite GRE word that gave us a good laugh today - its a 10pointer). At times the fog rolls in, and the rain just falls, but you can drive out of it in seconds. Overall our intuition for which roads to take were pretty spot on, when in doubt ya just roll down the window and shout out "Negril?" And they yell to stay straight, turn around, or bust a right or left! In Jamaica no one actually gives whole directions, you get directions to the next person that you have to ask for the next step!
On the way we stopped for coconut water and jelly, it was delicious. As you can see Anita is absolutely thrilled. This fruit stand also had the cutest kitty who likes to eat beef patties! She looked just like Kaya (my crazy kitty who I more commonly refer to as ecstasy kitty) did as a baby. Since Kaya is also named after a Bob Marley song maybe she is Jamaican by default! We hit towns like Mile Gully, Maggotty and Whitehouse. Perhaps these names stick out the most because we made the most ridiculously wrong turn at Mile Gully, got our first flat in Maggotty, and our second one 45 minutes later in Whitehouse. Good thing Pete taught me everything there is to know about cars (more than I ever wanted to know), but its proved to be more valuable then some college classes! We also ran into some incredibly friendly locals that patched up our first blown tire right on the spot in the pouring rain! Thank god he offered to patch up the blown one, cause I hit a pothole and knocked out the wheel of the recently replaced spare, therefore the first mashed up tire had to go back on! Yeah I know, you say nightmare, I say adventure! The local hospitality in a time of need was uplifting therefore the mood never went sour despite the dreaded missing pieces of road. Island Car Rental may never let us rent again!
So our four hour trip took seven hours! We pulled over to take randoms photos and took our time exploring everything. We saw multiple rainbows and ran into a ton of wildlife. Mangy dogs, a huge pig, hella cute goats, cattle, and horses! All just roaming the roads just like us. Jazz & Anita were constantly reminding me to pay attention to the road as my eyes followed every passing animal! The views were almost fatally distracting. We finally made it to Negril around nine pm (left at 2) and we were starved. Dinner listening to crashing waves was a nice changed compared to the usual car alarms and city noise. As usual we hit the local music spot, danced, and got home stupid late/early. Despite the lack of sleep the beach called at 9am.
Iced coffee, breakfast after swimming, tanning, being serenaded by cute old Rastas was the perfect morning. But the rain clouds came thru and we were off the the country to go check out some more rural parts of town. We went to Grange Hill and landed in a little village known as Paul's Island. I have officially found the part of Jamaica that stole my heart. This village felt like home and the residents felt like family. I would love to build a tiny house there and have it be my getaway. Let me try to explain it: You live off the land here, your fruit and your meat come from what you grow, what you trade and what you raise. The community feel was like no other. As we drove through our friend Teddy who showed us around mingled with every passing neighbor, catching up and sharing laughs. We stopped at Jared and Jeff's house (brothers) and we fell in love with them and their neighbors. They showered us with fresh picked June plums and just cut sugar cane! We have enough to last a serious while. We stayed at their house for hours, listened to dancehall in the streets, played with the kids, and learned how to wield a machete, which we will be buying tomorrow! Just to emphasize my affinity for goats here a few shots to make you love them as much as me!
|Anita wanted to be a goat too!|
We have all decided to spend our last three weeks living in this village working on their farms so we can learn the trade. I wanted to learn so here's my chance!
This weekend also gave us some good laugh at lots of wondering tourists just sucking up the commodification of Jamaican culture. These touristy spots are so engineered, I mean you get a bunch of mishmashed Jamaica culture placed in a pretty package that you purchase. Good documentary to watch on this is "Life & Debt", one of my favorites. If you have only been to Sandals, you have NOT been to Jamaica. Loud Brooklyn accents trying to say "waagwaan & yeah mon" like REALLY OVER ACCENTUATED was too much for us, how can you not laugh. We are certainly not professionals but we are experiencing all of Jamaica! Jody; Kudos: the tropical shit here is really ridiculous looking, no one in Jamaica wears Tropical flower shit except for tourists!
We stopped by Rick's Cafe where you can cliff dive, it's for some daring guests and local performers, I will be convincing both Anita and Jazz to take the leap with me when we return in November. I will say you can do some really cool stuff at these destinations like swim in caves, hike into mountainous caves, and you can try any water sport under the sun.
So if you hit a few tourist spots, your bound to run out of money. After satisfying our good old American cravings we wanted our cheap delicious Jamaican food back. And where better to go than street food! Steamed street fish and conch. You say risky, we say our favorite!
So part of this weekend that we experienced in hindsight was the emergence of a new energetic portal. As we know today is 10/10/10. If I get to into it your mind will probably get blown. (click on mind, will get, blown for 4 different sites that will...don't make me say it again) Crystalline energy, largely understudied by science, incredibly understood by the esoteric, makes up everything and within its perfect structure it contains memory. The greater, most amazing, collective universal memory. Crystalline structure is formed by an essence of frequencial light resonance that is multidimensional and coherent, existing in matter and antimatter. So the prediction of Gaia (mother earth) to separate from earth and leave it to the earth & lightkeepers (us), has also led to the prediciton that on 10-10-10 the crystaline structure needed to realign to transmit the collective memory from crystals to us. The universe's memories will become ours. This is were we get back in touch with our Galactian selves. Principles emphasized are, simplicity, flow, love, understanding, comoradiry with everyone and everything on our earth. The Cetaceans are responsible for acitivating this energy so imagine the ocean's most amazing and largest creatures; dolphins and whales are among the original lightkeepers and they are teaching us through energy transmissions. Now is a time for meditation, focus on the ocean if you need some inspiration. In short, I feel very blessed to be on a tiny island surrounded by incredible water, ocean, creatures, and the deep. Anita, Jazz & I agree that we experienced our shift this weekend. Finding ourselves at home in the Jamaican country was the perfect conduit for us to experience rural, simple, loving, and environmentally sustainable lifestyles. Now this is Jamaica. We celebrated with kartwheels, splits, handsprings and swimming in the dark on the beach. Perhaps this was us getting in touch with the playful dolphin transmission!