This Adventurous Life

A young couple exploring the world…and their 30's

Posts tagged ‘Jamaica’

Unable to spend an entire vacation just relaxing with our books/drinks by the ocean, Tracy and I rented motor scooters and picked a spot on a map. We set off on a mission to explore a little of a less visited corner of western Jamaica. So much fun and so memorable, motor scooters might just find a place in some of our future vacation plans.
Feeling awesome and looking ridiculous.
I am not sure our vehicles were quite built for the terrain we took them on, but they performed admirably. We survived dirt roads, sand, potholes, some brief off-roading and the dodging trucks into bushes all in one day trip.
Just as I had hoped for, we easily found our own little private beaches as picturesque as you could imagine.
Time for a snack out of the sun in a perfect little beach spot.
Happy to be off adventuring again. Jamaica, we like you.
We’ve arrived at the destination that we picked off of a random map…Little Bay Jamaica.  First order of business was to stop at this little fisherman’s bar on the beach and secure lunch and a drink. These gentleman were already through a couple bottles of liquor by lunchtime, however I think we caught them during a very friendly stage of inebriation.
We found a couple of fisherman who were more than willing to sell us a fish caught that morning and even prepare it as a little lunch for a few dollars. The “kitchen” may have been primitive but the food was delicious.
Tracy befriended this little local puppy which she named “Chef”. He was so amazingly cute and friendly that we temporarily suspended our no touching stray animals rule for travel. He was worth the risks.
This man is building fish traps by hand just like he’s been doing on this same beach for over 50 years. Nice guy and amazing to think he was here doing the same work back when my parents were driving around Jamaica on their honeymoon.
We kept thinking that Jamaica seemed quite like Africa. Both are lands of simple beauty, friendly people, infectious culture and heart-breaking poverty.
Little Bay, Jamaica is still known primarily for being a beach that Bob Marley used to visit to get away from the pressures of Kingston.  We could understand why he came, it was quiet and pretty and seemingly stuck in time.

This day trip was another reminder that is can be both easy and safe to get away from the well traveled tourist areas of any country and experience a little of the true culture and beauty so often missed in a world dominated by all-inclusive resort compounds.

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Between two winter European trips and coming home to cold, gray mid-western weather, we decided at the last minute to go warm up and relax mid-February.  Relaxing on vacation is not something we regularly do because there are too many new things to experience.  But once in awhile, like when you realize you haven’t finished a book in too many months or when you have forgotten what the sun feels like, it is necessary to unplug somewhere away from the looming thesis and ever present work to bask in the sun while slimed up with SPF.  

Enter Rockhouse, Negril, Jamaica.
Tracy originally found this resort in 2004 when we were planning our destination wedding.  It didn’t  appear in our story then, but eight years later was most welcomed into the plot.  Five days of amazing sunsets, rocky cliffs, clear ocean, yoga and exercise, meeting wonderful people, and great food…Oh and we each finished two books and started a third.
This artist has been in the same spot on the beach creating amazing wooden sculptures for decades.  
Do you see how “perched” our room was on cliffs?  Our bed was surrounded by windows showcasing the magnificent, meandering coves of the Caribbean…all of which we could climb ladders down to and swim in.
Every night during happy hour, the Rockhouse guests filled the pool patios taking in the picture perfect sunsets.  The location on the island puts the horizon at due west.
Here I am (It’s Tracy) getting ready for another sunset while cooling off in the pool.  The days were long and lovely reading under umbrellas, doing morning yoga together with Fanette Johnson, swimming in the ocean, cooling off in the pool, reading lots of books, and talking for hours.  I can see why most every guest at Rockhouse is on their 7th or 8th year returning.  A very comfortable, pristine place that wills you to relax and take deep breaths.
Does it get much better than this?  A near perfect sailboat and sunset moment. We have strikingly similar sunset photos from a trip in 2008 near St. Barth’s…but every experience is special and a separate memory that slows time for bit.
Do you see why we hardly left the resort?  (so unlike us, too!) 
Rockhouse Hotel at night as seen from the restaurant…with a very very long shutter speed.
An even longer shutter speed was needed to capture the stars over the Rockhouse pool at night. Warm nights, beautiful views, great food and a relaxed atmosphere make the cliffs south of the Negril a wonderful little corner of Jamaica.
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