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#TPThursday: Treasure Beach Jamaica

In my post yesterday, I made a brief mention of Treasure Beach Jamaica, a place I’ve written about several times. Treasure Beach is a small community that is located on Jamaica’s south west coast, in the parish of St. Elizabeth. It is a close knit community where everyone knows everyone else. It reminds me of the district, that’s what we call them, that I grew up in – the kind of place we sometimes think no longer exists.

Treasure Beach is a 2-hour drive from Montego Bay, about 3 hours from Kingston. A number of the residents are involved in fishing but as tourism takes hold, more and more people are recognizing it as an option.

One thing I didn’t mention about Treasure Beach is Calabash, the literary festival that takes place there. It returned this year, so did the people who love literature – about 5,000 of them. Treasure Beach really is the perfect spot to listen to literature. Here are a few of the photos I took.

#TPThursday Treasure Beach - Calabash Int'l Lit Festival

#TPThursday Treasure Beach – Calabash Int’l Lit Festival

On the first night, Chimananda Adichie, read from the piece she had written about moving into the house that had been vacated by the legendary Nigerian author, Chinua Achebe. I’d heard her read the same piece in New York at the event honoring Achebe but here in Treasure Beach, it felt new somehow, and different.

#TPThursday Treasure Beach - Calabash Int'l Lit Festival

#TPThursday Treasure Beach – Calabash Int’l Lit Festival

And if the interviewee is boring, there’s this beautiful backdrop to focus on.

Since the festival lasts the weekend, we usually rent a villa.

#TPThursday Treasure Beach Jamaica

#TPThursday Treasure Beach – Calabash Int’l Lit Festival

Doesn’t everyone have breakfast overlooking the ocean?

I can’t mention food and not mention accommodations in Treasure Beach. One cool thing here is that there is only one main hotel, aptly called the Treasure Beach Hotel, the rest is a mix of villas — small, large and luxurious — guest houses and private homes where you can rent a room, especially during the festival. If you’d like to find out more about villa accommodations in Treasure Beach, Jamaica Villa Rentals is a good place to start.

#TPThursday Treasure Beach Jamaica

#TPThursday Treasure Beach Jamaica – Fishermen

The seas were rough most of the week we spent in Treasure Beach. Finally, on Saturday, it became calm and I spotted these fishermen bringing in their catch.

#TPThursday Treasure Beach Jamaica Sunset

#TPThursday Treasure Beach Jamaica Sunset

No matter how rough the seas are, the sunsets in Treasure Beach are always spectacular.

This is my submission to this week’s Budget Travelers Sandbox Travel Photo Thursday Series. Be sure to check out other photo and story entries on their website.

Calabash International Literary Festival Returns this Weekend

This weekend, an estimated 5,000 lovers of literature and poetry will descend on the community of Treasure Beach on Jamaica’s south coast to listen to 30 authors read from their works at the Calabash International Literary Festival. The theme of this year’s festival, which starts this Friday, May 25th and ends on Sunday, is Jubilation! 50.

Started 11 years ago, Calabash was shelved last year because of lack of funding. At the time of the announcement, the organizers, poet Kwame Dawes and novelist Colin Channer, and hotelier Justine Henzell, promised that the festival would be back this year for Jamaica’s 50th anniversary celebration of its independence from Britain.

With a lineup of international and local authors, poets and musicians, from Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia, the U.S. and the U.K., this year’s Calabash International Literary Festival resumes its proven format. Gathered under a huge tent that is pitched just steps from the Caribbean Sea, attendees will hear the sound of waves crashing (or rolling) to the shore as they listen to readings interspersed with interviews and open mic performances. Each day’s session ends with music.

The following authors will be heard at the Calabash International Literature Festival this weekend:

Chimamanda Adichie        The Admiral                   Wayne Armond     Jacqueline Bishop    Loretta Collins
Carolyn Cooper                   Michael “Ibo” Cooper   Christine Craig     Fred D’Aguilar           Marcia Douglas
Garfield Ellis                       Carolyn Forche               Steve Golding       Vivien Goldman        Colin Grant
Laura Henzell                     Paul Holdengraber        Melissa Jones        Sadie Jones                Ronnie Kasrils
Victor Lavalle                     Shara McCallum             Alecia McKenzie    Maaza Mengiste        Anis Moigani
Orlando Patterson            Patricia Powell                Claudia Rankine     Olive Senior               Seretse Small
Sonjah Stanley Niaah      Ian Thomson                   Kerry Young             Kevin Young

Despite its funding problems, the Calabash International Literary Festival remains free and open to the public. Donations are welcomed and can be made at their website.

Other literature festivals that take place in the Caribbean:

* Anguilla Literary Festival, May
* BIM Literary Festival & Bookfair (Barbados), May
* Bocas Literary Festival (Trinidad & Tobago), April
* Havana International Book Fair, February
* Nature Island Literary Festival (Dominica), August
* St. Martin Bookfair, May

 

Treasure Beach, Featured Post

I’ve been featured in the Cheapflights blog in their Travel Bloggers choice series. Take a look at why I think Treasure Beach, Jamaica is a destination everyone should visit.
Treasure Beach

View from a villa

Cheapflights is the UK’s leading flight deals provider and if you haven’t already booked your flights to Jamaica, take a look at their site.
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Since my arrival in Jamaica, I’ve been soaking up everything around me, especially flowers. Many, like this one, the Shrimp Plant, are new to me. Some I know but have forgotten their names.
Shrimp Plant, Jamaica

Shrimp plant

I’m surprised how many fruit trees I don’t remember. I know the popular ones, like the mango, banana, coconut. But guava, naseberry, starapple, for example, if they’re not in fruit, I’m lost. So I’m also getting re-acquainted.
While I’m doing that, please take a look at my post on Treasure Beach and a few of my previous posts on Jamaica.

Treasure Beach – Where I Go to Escape

Treasure Beach is small community on Jamaica’s south western coast that prides itself with being friendly and very laid back.

A fishing community with six miles of beach, rocky coastline and private coves, Treasure Beach it is the perfect place to get away from it all.

I’ve been going to Treasure Beach for several years now, most times to attend Calabash, the international literary festival, which brings scores of lovers of the written and spoken word to this far off the beaten track place to listen to soak up world class literature.

I’ve also been to Treasure Beach when the festival is not in session. It’s a beautiful place. Here are a few of the reasons I keep going back.

Treasure Beach boats - Maynefoto

Enjoy!