St. Elizabeth to Little Ochi & Points In Between

“Sell everything. Bring No 9 Hardy Fishing Rod, polo sticks and come.” Lionel Densham – This urgent telegram was the beginning of an enduring love affair between the Densham family and the tiny Jamaican fishing village of Treasure Beach, on Jamaica’s south coast.The geography of Jamaica’s south coast is remarkably diverse.Traces of iron have colored the sand black and their picturesque beauty stand out like little dots against the rocky coastline. The Black River, Jamaica’s longest river sustains 125-square miles of wetlands called the Great Morass; largest wetland habitat in the Caribbean.  The Santa Cruz mountain range forms the backbone of this region and is responsible for the dry grasslands of the Pedro Plains. The South coast especially the parish of St.Elizabeth is considered the bread basket of Jamaica. The soil is maroon red and rich in minerals, especially bauxite ore. Farming is a way of life – so much so – residents’ plant scallion and thyme in their front yards instead of flowers. Tall green stalks of sweet sugar cane stretches as far as the eye can see, shoulder to shoulder, dense as thickets. The Appleton sugar estate, makers of rum and other distilled liqueurs is located here. We drove through the tiny village of Middle Quarters, just outside the town of Black River, which is famous for its peppered shrimp. This is rural Jamaica; the roads are narrow and in disrepair. Potholes hide like trapdoor spiders waiting to pounce on unsuspecting motorists as they navigate th enarrow roads. Chickens add to the litany of […]

Greetings from Negril

A Brief History of Negril Negril’s seven mile long beach is among the best in Jamaica and perhaps the world. The white sands slope gently into sea water warm and crystal clear. Ricks Café, located in the West End of Negril is breathtaking. Best bar in the world! For sheer beauty and location, I’m sure it ranks as one of the best. From Hopewell, Hanover it’s an hours’ drive to Rick’s Café in Negril. The drive is much quicker, since they built the Highway 2000. The road to Negril ten years past was narrow, winding and studded with potholes. To make an arduous journey more challenging, it was faithfully patrolled by stray goats, cows and donkeys. Only a few decades ago, telephones and TVs were unheard of. Telegrams delivered from the Negril Post Office provided communication. Few hotels existed The main road was the beach, known today as Negril’s “second high-way”. Negril’s’ beauty and tranquil feel was reserved for the brave few “in the know,” who were willing to make the tortuous three hour journey by car, or pay for an expensive small airplane flight into town. Initially, development was very slow. Then in the 1960’s the American “flower children” discovered Negril. Accommodation was very limited and the few establishments on the beach did not appreciate or encourage “the hippies”. So these young foreigners, college kids, draft dodgers, Vietnam veterans, gravitated to the West End and The Rock and lodged in the humble homes of the local people, renting a room, a bed, or a space […]

Cooking Ital Jamaica Rasta Roots & Culture

“Never forget your cultural identity it says who you are as a chef.”  Jomo Morris How would you like to spend the day with a group of holistic Rastafarian’s? Would you like to learn to cook with local herbs and spices? Interested in a diet without salt or chemical additives? Are you curious? What would it taste like? Would you enjoy the mesmerizing sounds of Nyabingi drumming and chanting? Are you feeling adventurous? Leave your shoes behind and journey to the Montego River Valley in Porto Bello, Montego Bay. It will be fun; today we’ll tag along with students from the Hopewell high school in Hanover, St. James. Join me in pictures, where the sun is warm and the smiles genuine. Enjoy Rasta Village Jamaica What Is Ital Cuisine? The word Ital (pronounced eye-tal) derives from the English word “vital”, with the initial syllable replaced by the letter I. This is done to many words in the Rastafari vocabulary to signify the unity of the speaker with all of nature. Rastafarians derive their beliefs and morality from intense personal meditations and prayer. The primary goal of adhering to an Ital diet is to increase “Livity”, or the life energy that Rastafarians generally believe lives within all human beings. Rastafarians believe that food should enhance life rather than diminish it. Food should be natural, pure and from the earth. What is Ital is therefore vital. Ital cuisine uses no salt and avoids food which are chemically modified or contains artificial additives. […]

Don Quixote Your Carriage Awaits

“I do not deny that what happened to us is a thing worth laughing at. But it is not worth telling, for not everyone is sufficiently intelligent to be able to see things from the right point of view.” ―Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

As the World Turns…………..Contemplate Freedom

“Freedom is never dear at any price. It is the breath of life. What would a man not pay for living?” Mahatma Gandhi