As 2012 draws to a close, I’m eagerly anticipating another year of travel and discovery. But before I start the New Year, I wanted to look back at my year of travelling Jamaica.
Since January, I have logged hundreds of miles around the island. Sometimes I traveled solo, sometimes I was with friends who were visiting. Each trip though, brought me face to face with intriguing individuals, or took me on explorations of interesting and historic places, or opened my eyes to things I’d missed or just hadn’t paid attention to before.
The best times during the year though, were the simple ones. At those times, my camera felt intrusive. I didn’t want to break the flow of conversation or make notes. I only wanted to savor the moment that I was no longer observing and reporting, the moment I felt a part of the story.
Here’s some of what I experienced.
At dawn one morning in February, friends and I walked the beach in Negril from our hotel near the center of town to well past the Hanover border. It was the first time I’d done that and I loved the near emptiness of the beach and the pinkish color the sun had painted the sky as it climbed above the horizon to start the new day.
The first person we saw was this guy who was walking the beach selling various herbs. After chatting with him, I bought a bag of ground bissy or kola nut. Bissy came to Jamaica from West Africa and is used to help digestion, and fight fatigue and hunger. It’s also good for the heart.
Two, sometimes three times a week, ships dock at Freeport in Montego Bay. Usually, it’s a ship from the Carnival fleet but early in 2012, I spotted this tall ship. It looked impressive even from a distance and I watched it almost all day.
In March, I fell short by a few hours in my attempt to hike to the top of the Blue Mountains, Jamaica’s tallest, to greet the new day. I was very disappointed but on the hike back, I was able to see what I had missed in the 2:00 a.m. walk up. These views almost made up for the sunrise I didn’t get to see.
One day, I visited King’s House, the official residence of the Governor General who is the Queen’s representative in Jamaica. A few days later, I was at the former home of Bob Marley, the King of Reggae.
Two places of worship caught my attention during my travels: Holy Trinity in Kingston and Our Lady of Perpetual Help in St. Ann.
In July, I discovered Fay who still practices the (almost) lost art of making peppermint candy by hand. I also found out that it was a skill my paternal grandmother had.
It was fascinating to watch Fay’s mixture turn from brown to white then, as she added coloring, to red and white. (More about Fay in an upcoming post.)
Hope you’ll check back for Part II of highlights from my year of travelling Jamaica.
This is my submission to this week’s Travel Photo Thursday series, which is organized by Nancie at Budget Travelers Sandbox. Hope you’ll head over and check out more photos from locations around the world.