On Sunday, March 11, we met at Kokomo Beach, on the north shore between Port Maria and Oracabessa, for the bi-weekly hash. I have missed the last few - it's a busy life! - so was keen to be there. Rented car, as usual, sharing with Erin, Erin, and Kim. I am the "car rental mum", but everyone shares the cost and I quite like the driving. I am driving "more Jamaican" every time I go out!
We went early and spent some time on the beach just past Oracabessa. Oracabessa is where Ian Fleming lived when he wrote all of the James Bond novels - his estate is called Goldeneye. Haven't been to Goldeneye yet. We planned to go to "James Bond Beach" but they wanted $350 each and we declined as we were only staying an hour. The chap at the gate offered us a special deal of $1400 for the four of us - we couldn't quite figure out the deal, so declined again. Though it is a nice beach and would happily go there again and spend the day.
Most beaches in Jamaica are private; either owned by hotels/resorts or operated as day beaches. The more you pay, the better the facilities.
A few hundred metres from James Bond Beach, we stopped "Calabash In & Out Beach". It was free. As noted above, you be correct in assuming that "for free" the facilities were fairly rustic. But we were happy, ordered Red Stripes from Joey, and I bought a carved coconut bowl from Sky Lion.
Back to the hash. There was a good turnout with about 50 hashers. I met the other Wendy Lee hasher, who is a bit younger than me and has lived in Jamaica since a child and her parents are from Vancouver! The hash went straight uphill and I confess that while I was feeling the years, I was feeling good that I was passing the thirty-somethings :-) Of course, what goes up must come down and my arthritic knees are paying the price today :-(
We stopped at the jerk centre in Lanrumney on the way back and topped up on chicken, arriving in Kingston just before dark. Ended the day with a trip to MegaMart after I dropped my friends off: not very exciting, but wanted to take advantage of the car to stock up on the heavy things. (The car is always a 24 hour rental, so I take is back on Monday mornings and then bus to work.)
Such is another day in the life of a CUSO volunteer in Kingston.
Calabash In & Out
The river at Calabash (just behind the beach)
The beach at Calabash
Meet Sky Lion. He is a young rasta, posing in front of his home. Yes, this is where he really lives. I had a long conversation with him ad he is quite delightful and happy in his humble home. Right behind him is a stone hearth and fire, where he will cook dinner for visitors to Calabash. Note portrait of Haile Selassi adorning Sky Lion's home.
Hash Master Owen at the peak of our hash. We started on the beach somewhere down there to the right.
The hash took a detour up to the Jamaican home of Noel Coward, Firefly. "False Trail!", but worth it.
Coconut bowl carved by Sky Lion. Beautiful.