Monday, 17 October 2011

MoBay in the Rain

Up here in Montego Bay for four days - a long weekend here, with Monday being National Heroes Day. My first "holiday" since I got here and second chance to go to a beach . . .  well, it is a little wet.  Yesterday was torrential, so we wisely chose beer and pizza; today was the first time that I had a day that was either raining or grey all day - but warm!  Of course, it is the height of the rainy season so we should expect this. 

We are making the best of it and being rather adventurous.  We have rented a car for three days and both getting used to driving on the left: our greatest challenge is trying to use the turn signal without turning on the windshield wipers. When either of us do this - and we both do - we break into laughter. 

Have plans for tomorrow, Sunday, and hoping for less rain.  Julia is hoping to go sailing, as per her usual Sunday schedule, and I hoping to be on the beach.  Stay tuned . . . 

 Jamaican Bobsled Cafe on the "hip strip", where we sheltered for lunch on Friday and shared a very good jerk sausage pizza and had a good time. 
 Jamaican Bobsled Cafe
 Julia ready for the winter Olympics :-)
 Greenwood Great House was built in the late 1600's by the Barretts and was the birthplace and home of the father of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (who was born in England). The road up was formerly regarded as the best 1.5 miles of road in all of Jamaica - unfortunately, it has not been upgraded for the last 400 years. It has many of the original furnishings and was a very interesting. 
 Rose Hall Great House, originally built in 1770, was a plantation with 2000+ slaves.  It fell into ruins, but is now fully restored. A good gift shop here, where Julia and I indulged in soe retail therapy and now have matching tie-dyed dresses - actually made in Jamaica!
 The Rocklands Bird Sanctuary is run by donations and was started almost 70 years ago by Lisa Sammons, who died in 2000 at age of 96. Commonly referred to as "the bird lady' she lived in the forested hills inland from MoBay. The guide book described the road as "one abominable road" - I think they underestimated it!  However it was well worth the trip . . . .
Lisa Sammons spent many years luring the birds, sitting patiently with them and holding small "feeders" in her hand.  Now the birds will come to perch on your hand and dine if you sit very still . . .  as did little Anna a visitor from Germany. That is a lovely Doctor Bird (hummingbird), the national bird of Jamaica.  
 Julia astounded that she actually had a hummingbird eating out of her hand!
 Alas, Fritz, who was supposed to be taking my picture on the several times I was feeding a hummingbird - Doctor Birds and Mango Hummingbirds - did not know how to us my camera. However, right before we left I took this with my left hand and just caught a doctor bird - see the luminescent green - as he flies away from a long perch on my finger. Quite delightful.
In the gardens of Rockland Sanctuary.
Brown doves feeding at the sanctuary.

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