Our Island Expert Deanne is back with another post about her island home, Jamaica. After living abroad, she's rediscovering the beauty of her country...and sharing it with us!
Living on an island, it is always amusing to me that people from other countries seem to feel we spend our days sipping bright colored drinks with little umbrellas while lounging on a Caribbean beach. This is exactly what I am fantasizing about as well when standing in line at the bank or filling out forms at the tax office. It is probably more agonizing when dressed in a suit and stuck in traffic knowing that, if you play hooky, the beach is anywhere from five to twenty minutes drive away.
(Walking down the boardwalk to Boardwalk Beach. Photo (c) Deanne Allgrove)
Luckily, sooner or later, we have a day with no responsibilities and it is of course easy for us to indulge in the call of the sea that we have been trying to ignore all week long. Maybe I will reach for the phone to call a friend to enjoy a beach day or merely throw on my bikini, grab my towel, book and suntan oil and head off by myself to the nearest strip of sand bordering the sea.
(The nearest strip of sand! Photo (c) Deanne Allgrove.)
One of my favorite ways to cave into the constant call of the sea midweek, is to arrange to have lunch five feet from the surf. We all have to eat, right? I always keep a swimsuit in my car and, within half an hour, I can be walking with my toes in the sand and sea at a place like Boardwalk Beach.
(With the author on Boardwalk Beach. Photo (c) Deanne Allgrove)
You'll soon be salivating over the idea of such local dishes as escoveitched fried parrot fish or snapper and lobster along with festival (a sweet rolled bread) and my childhood favorite, fried bammy (made from cassava). The best part is choosing out your own fish and lobster from the catch of the day, bringing new meaning to the word fresh!
After a swim to work up the appetite, I emerge from the turquoise waters to where my food awaits. Freshly cooked to order, I smother it all in a homemade pepper sauce made with onions, vinegar, and our local extremely spicy scotch bonnet peppers.
(Fish with fried bammy. Photo (c) Deanne Allgrove.)
I eat with my fingers, pulling the soft crisp flesh away from the bones, savouring each bite as the flaky fish melts in my mouth. I cut the pepper alternately with a bit of crispy bammy or a swig of freezing cold Red Stripe Light beer.
(Enjoying a Red Stripe Light in the sun. Photo (c) Deanne Allgrove.)
The wind whips my hair around and my toes curl into the sand as I enjoy each bite, looking out to where a blazingly blue sky meets the sea, the darkened edge marking the distant horizon. Afterwards, a snooze in the sun awaits.
(An apres-lunch snooze in the sand. Photo (c) Deanne Allgrove.)
My lunch made all the more delicious knowing the workaday world carries on just beyond sight and sound...
Thank you, Deanne, for sharing this extraordinarily appealing lunch-time getaway with Island Runaways! You'll find Boardwalk Beach near Ft. Clarence Beach Park, outside the town of Portmore in St. Catherine Parish. To reach Boardwalk beach from Jamaica's capital, Kingston, drive toward Ft. Clarence. Then, Deanne says, "Instead of driving through the gate for Ft. Clarence, you turn right and go to the end of the road." From Kingston the trip will take 30 to 45 minutes by car.