Jamaica March 2009: 13 – Port Royal

We woke up whenever we felt like it today…personally I made coffee and took it out on the veranda and checked out the city from my perch up on the hill for awhile.

About mid-afternoon we started talking about going somewhere. I’m the tourist, everyone else lives in Kingston, but the gang is game to take me somewhere. We consider Hellshire…mountains…some local restaurant, but finally settle on Port Royal. I’ve never been there, or to the Palisadoes at all, so I’m excited.

We pile into T’s roommate’s car and 3 of us head out. A phone call later we stop around Mountainview and add one more to the party.

The route from Liguanea to Port Royal is almost all new to me…I’ve never really been anywhere but New Kingston and north and west so I am enjoying a look at central and east-ish Kingston.

As we pass the airport, T spots tents with Canadian and US and French flags – there are soldiers camped there. We wonder if we might see them in Port Royal. (We didn’t – but a few days later I found them!)  I’m reminded of Fleet Week in NYC…thanks to Sex and the City I think most people now know that this is – a week that ships from all over the world come to NYC and the sailors flood every bar and hot spot in the city for a week, buying drinks, hanging out and generally being a lot of fun for us NYC residents. We reminisce about that as we pass.

After the airport (indeed for some stretches before it) the Palisadoes is hardly wider than the road…there is a thin rocky beach, occasionally some dunes, but we are pretty much on a thin strips of land between the harbor and the sea. NOT a place I’d want to be in a big storm. I looked up “Palisadoes” in Wikipedia and apparently it is a Portugese word for a “thin tombolo of sand” that separates the harbor form the sea. What’s a tombolo? An island connected to land by a thin strip of land, formed by wave action against the island which deposits silt and sand at the edges. Weird.

We arrive in Port Royal and it is pretty much as I pictured it. The museums and pirate/historical attractions are closed as it is dinnertime, but I get a good feel for this small town on the end of a long peninsula. We take a quick walk on the beach so I can take a few photos…

Looking to Kingston

Customs – right by Gloria’s
Looking to Kingston and the mountains behind…the views from out here are really special.

You can see the gantry cranes at the harbor in this shot.

We are headed to Gloria’s, a well known spot in Port Royal for seafood. Tables are outside and there is a good crowd of city people enjoying the evening. We place our orders, get our drinks and take a table. I’ve heard it can take a long time to be served here but it was actually fairly fast…maybe 15 minutes.

You order at the kitchen, tables are across the road, under a roof/awning of sorts. The food was delicious.

After dinner we considered checking out Morgan’s Harbor but decided on Y Knot instead. It’s next door to Morgan’s and has a rustic bar/restaurant with docks for boats and very nice showers and bathrooms. Y Knot is one of a couple of places you can get a boat out to Lime Key, and for this reason they have the showers – so people can clean up after coming back and stay on to party at Y Knot. On weekends there’s music and tons of people but this day (a Tuesday), it’s just us and a few regulars T knows, boat captains who take her husband diving.

I took a lot of photos here as we made it for sunset…

Air Jamaica jet coming into Normal Manley Airport

Looking towards Morgan’s harbor and the sunset
Tables at Y Knot
Some of the gang (to whom I must apologize because none of them like this photo but it’s the only one of them I took!)

We make our way back to town after sunset and spend the evening at the house, entertaining. This is a house people like to come visit, for obvious reasons, and it’s cool to hang there and meet people….

Continue reading this series:

Thoughts? Questions? I'd love to hear them!