Thursday, December 27, 2007

More Animals We Saw in Jamaica

One of our side trips was to the Black River where we rode on a pontoon boat. David took this first photo of an egret. These egrets seemed larger than the ones in Minnesota, but for all I know, it's a Minnesota egret wintering in Jamaica. Who knows? There were also several nestlings but none of our photos of them turned out.

This next is a fresh-water crocodile. I hadn't been aware they lived in Jamaica until our horseback ride at the Rhodes Hall Plantation, northeast of Negril. This photo is of a croc on the Black River. The tour guide was able to reach his hand under the croc's chin and lift it up. I suspect they keep the crocodiles well fed so they won't nibble on tour guide "finger food." Look at those teeth!

This peacock is located at Rhodes Hall. I didn't even try to get it to spread its tail (you tai chi types should understand that statement).

Paz is a donkey at the Appleton Rum Factory. (That's a fun link. Cruise around to look at all the chances to win a trip to Jamaica.) They used to use donkeys to turn the sugar cane squisher (I have no idea what its real name should be). They'd have two donkeys walking in an endless circle while the cane was fed into the squisher and cane juice would come out the other end.

At the end of the factory tour, we came to another cane squisher. Guess who volunteered to be a donkey! The cane juice was sweet but otherwise had little flavor.

This is one of two kittens at the LTU pub, just south of where we were staying. LTU served, of all things, veiner schnitzel, which David said was quite good. Anyway, neither of these kitties was tame but would come up to you if you had food in your hand. Then they would bat at your hand to try to make you drop the food (only one claw came out when I wouldn't drop my bite of lobster). I suspect the cats are kept for catching mice and other vermin. Must be doing a great job. I didn't see any vermin.

There was another horseback riding place just below YS Falls. I'll put more photos from our trip to YS Falls later. You already saw one if you checked out my Christmas day entry.

And to end the list, this is a gecko. Years ago, when we were in Jamaica, the resort had many of these little guys. I got used to seeing them hanging on the walls in the bathroom. They would eat the little bugs that came in. This is the only gecko I saw this trip. And there were a lot of little, teeny, tiny, itty-bitty ant-looking bugs. They were light in color and maybe a millimeter long. I tried to invite this fellow in, but he didn't seem interested.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

From YS Falls.

(No, that's not me.)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

"Serious Chicken" - in Jamaica

These pictures are for my son Ben, especially, and the others who went to Jamaica with us in 1986.

Back then Ben and I were in Jamaica one week before the rest of our friends arrived. While out walking we came across a fellow with a 55-gallon drum who had converted it into a grill. His only menu choice was grilled chicken. He'd take a large piece of foil, put a couple pieces of white bread on it, pour catchup and some hot sauce on the bread, and place the chicken, which he'd literally hacked up with a cleaver, on top of the bread.

While there waiting for him to finish our dinners, a "rasta mon" on his bicycle came along and, in pattoi (I think he figured we wouldn't understand him), asked the man at the grill if we, the poor unsuspecting tourists from America, knew that chicken had only just been scraped off the road. From then on, Ben and I referred to it as the Road-Kill Chicken place. The chicken was very, very tasty, by the way.

On this trip, David and I discovered, located in roughly the same spot, Serious Chicken.

(Dave took this photo and the last two.)

While we were waiting for our food, I asked Felix if he was the same fellow who'd been cooking chicken along side the road all those years ago. He said "yes" and showed me a photo of him with his cooker back then. It's the same cooker, retired now, out by his sign in front of the little restaurant.

David ordered the conch soup and said it was delicious.

I ordered the chicken and it was also very good.

Actually, we ate there for dinner earlier in the week. I don't recall what David order, maybe the Jerk chicken. I ordered the lobster, which was a whole lobster, maybe 8-10 inches long, cut in two in lengthwise along the back, and grilled. It was very good but I couldn't be sure what parts of it I was eating so I was glad it was dark out.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Security System

The resort where we stayed in Negril, Jamaica, uses dogs for security. Twenty-one years ago, they were German Shephards. Now there are two Rhodesian Ridgebacks and a Mongrel of some sort.

Ridgebacks are identified by the well-defined ridge of hair growing backward toward their heads. They are quite large dogs, weighing 80-90 pounds and standing 25-27 inches tall.

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This is Sugar, or, as the Jamaicans who worked there pronounced it, Sugah. We were told she was pregnant but it is too early for us to see. She is the youngest of the three dogs and the most playful and most alert. When someone comes onto the property that she hasn't been introduced to, she stands tall and makes a couple hearty barks of warning. Then she loses interest and lies down. I do not want to think what she might do if she didn't want you to be there.

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This fellow is Tensing. He's actually a couple inches shorter than Sugah and more laid back than she is. I guess he figures if she's going to be vigilant, he doesn't need to be.

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And here's Bella. She's the oldest of the three and mostly mutt, I think. Sugah often tries to get Bella to play and Bella doesn't seem interested. 90 percent of the time, Bella can be found on the patio in front of the office with the other dogs, but lying in the shade.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

The bridge has no handrail and is 20 feet above the water. It's a popular place for people to jump from. This was taken from our balcony.

The hammocks are a lovely place to relax, nap, knit, watch the dolphins.

Hibiscus in the predominant flower at this resort. They are what we find in our room every day on the bed when the maid is done.

This is our shower, located below the Pillar House.

This is the view from the loo.

Sock, gorillapod, and iPod.

Horseback riding by the sea and in it.

Peacock does not spread its tail.

Sock progress Tuesday afternoon.

Sunset Tuesday.

Sock progress Wednesday noon.

Monday, December 03, 2007

A Sock's Eye View of the Carribean

Full blogging will happen after we get back. While we have internet here, it is relatively weak. Fortunately, there is a somewhat comfortable couch outside the resort office where I can sit and feel the breeze, listen to loud music emanating from across the street, and type.

On Saturday afternoon, my sock was quite small.

By Sunday evening it had grown considerably and was deserving of a refreshing drink of Red Stripe, the local lager.

I've turned the heel on my sock but not taken a photo of it. Suffice it to say, I've snorkeled, I've eaten yummy food (lobster on the first day, snapper last night), napped a little, knit a lot. We're planning to dinner at a place called Rock House this evening.

The water feels like it's around 82 degrees. Cool when you first get in, but easy to get used to. Because it is salt water, I float like a fishing bobber. There are a lot of pretty fish in that water. The contact lenses are working fine.

Well, that's all for today. Stay tuned for further adventures of april and David. We're going horseback riding tomorrow.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Eat your hearts out, folks

This is the view out the sea-facing door on our deck, the Middle Pillar house.

And this is the lovely group of blossoms arranged on a bath towel on the bed.

Remember, you can click on these photos to see a larger view.

That's all for today.