(So much to write about Jamaica... it will come little-by-little as I go through the photos and arrange my thoughts. It was a truly wonderful holiday, and I'm so glad to have been able to visit Jamaica with Jade. It was not so much a vacation, as an introduction to a new way of life, to new friends, and to the future. One blood, one love.)
Our first full day in Jamaica, and we spent it on the beach: Doctor's Cave beach, in Montego Bay. So named, because it was opened as a public beach in 1906, donated by Dr. Alexander James McCatty for use by a "bathing club". At that time, the beach could only be reached through a cave!
Now, you approach the beach by a few steps down from the road--the "Hip Strip", full of souvenir shops and taxi drivers offering to take you wherever you want to go.
The water is incredibly clear. Turquoise and blue. The sand is almost white. Fishes swim close to shore; there's coral and snorkelling to see the fish and other sea-creatures.
We arrived mid-morning, and the beach was almost empty. Beautiful, quiet, calm and oh-so-tranquil. This didn't last for long: two cruise ships in Falmouth, and many of the passengers arrived by bus or taxi to spend some of their seven on-shore hours at Doctor's Cave beach. And as the beach filled with sunbeds and parasols and sunbathing bodies, so it filled with vendors of beads and braiding.
(We returned to spend all of our last day on Doctor's Cave beach, and it was a day without cruise ships; the others on the beach were either staying in local hotels, or were locals. And that was a beautiful, beautiful day.)
There will be more about these "boat people" later...