January 24, 2016

Jamaica 2016

2016 the year we skipped the January blues.

Our suitcases were packed with swimmers, sunnies and (not enough) suncream. A 10 hour flight later, we awoke in hotter climes to the familiar sound of waves gently crashing on the shore and the rustling of palm tree leaves...

Paradise found, just under 5000 miles from home.  Welcome to Negril!  
The time difference gave us a lunch time lie-in (in English time) but meant we were Jamaican early birds most mornings, with the beach practically to ourselves for pre-breakfast swims.

 Now that breakfast I mentioned...

Made to order poached eggs on buttery toast with a serving of hash browns.  Freshly squeezed chilled orange juice and just to maintain our English status abroad; a cuppa for good measure.

The resort is all inclusive, perfect for us piglets.  It was very difficult not to enjoy 6 different breakfasts every morning.

I'm pretty sure I overdosed on fruit smoothies one of the days.

Sun-baking is thirsty work though, right? Speaking of which - the pool had beautiful white parasols with bright yellow & blue sun loungers to sprawl on and roast away in the Jamaican sunshine.

Once that got tiresome it was a short stroll in the opposite direction and you were onto the beach and into the sea...

The weather was a mixed bag as expected for January. Plenty of (heat rash inducing) sunshine and very humid & tropical days where the sky simply over heated and the ritual afternoon cooling off commenced.

With soft sand between the toes, a cold cocktail in hand and steel drums playing in the background - those short bursts of heat diffusing rain clouds were quite spectacular to behold

There were plenty of gorgeous mornings...

A lot of lounging and hydrating in the pool, at the bar 

 And a few Daniel Craig worthy moments...

And not forgetting the plethora of colourful cocktails...

Nothing better than a lazy evening watching the sun go down

 Stunning stuff. Really takes the edge off any stress levels and winter blues.

A few days of sunshine, tanning and cocktails we ventured out of Negril on a 'Southern Adventure' to Black River, YS Falls and the famous Appleton's Rum estate.

Black River involved a boat trip with crocodiles, a lively Jamaican (wanna-be Mick Dundee) captain and plenty of lush green scenery.

YS Falls was tucked away in the mountains, where you climbed a few hundred stone steps to the top for a refreshing cool dip!

At the top there is an army of lifeguards who were on hand to play photographer, directing us around the refreshing waters (perfect for a very sunburnt Rich Gypsy)

We dried off in minutes (lucky, since we forgot to take a towel!), jumped back on the bus and headed to the Appleton Estate for a tour and tasting

The location was very Jurassic Park like - fields of sugar cane for miles & miles.

We learnt about the wide range of spirits including white, dark and cream, none younger than three years old. We even brewed and sampled our own molasses. 

My amazing flamingo vest, here or here ^

At the end we are treated to a tasting of all the Estate's varieties including incredible rum cream in banana, rum & raisin and coffee flavours!

A great nap-inducer for the journey home.

The week really did fly and our last evening was here before we knew it!  We settled down for dinner at the Italian, our favourite resort restaurant.

Nibbling on a selection of flatbread and oils

Followed by the beef carpaccio and a beautifully arranged caprese salad

A pasta course of carbonara and futti di mare

And the meaty mains; the pork and beef tenderloins with mash and veg. Both delicious and cooked perfectly (sadly, no snaps!)

We forfeited dessert for post-dinner cocktails in the rum lounge.

Walls of rum and Bob Marley's dulcet tones playing in the background and an extensive rum based cocktail menu.

If you're thinking of a winter blues busting holiday and fancy overdosing on sunshine, plenty of rum and snorkelling your way through January - give Jamaica a go!

We stayed here, the resort is about a 90 min taxi transfer from Montego Bay. Happy Holidays!

The Rich Gypsy xo