Jamaica March 2009: 16 – Port Antonio

Man, I love Porty. This was my first time staying right in town. I’d booked Ivanhoe’s Guest House on the Titchfield Peninsula for $40 a night, on the recommendation of several friends. After a little asking around we located it. The peninsula is not large, maybe 4 blocks by 4 blocks, with a high school at one end, an army base of a sort on one side and surrounded by water on 3 sides. The architecture in the area is old Port Antonio…old wooden houses with lots of gingerbread and wraparound porches,but all a bit decrepit and past its prime. I loved it.

Some views of Titchfield…

This is a little house behind Ivanhoes, I thought it looked like a treehouse, and I couldn’t see how people got up into it.

Looking to east harbor

Looking to east harbor, town and the mountains

This red building is the mall. Seriously. It’s a nice mall too, with a big open cathedral ceiling in the middle and a great little coffee shop and stuff in it.  I feel like it’s called St. George’s but I am not certain. Lovely building with neat architectural touches.

A house across the road from Ivanhoes

houses on the hill

East harbor

The high school that takes up the whole end of the peninsula.

In my view, Ivanhoes is the nicest guesthouse on the peninsula and there are several, maybe 4. It is spotlessly clean, extremely well run, has lovely gates and flowers and 3-4 levels each with table and chairs and nooks to sit, and views to die for.

This is the front entrance of Ivanhoes, from above

This is the patio off of my room, shared with 2-3 other rooms.  I am kind of in awe that my $40 a night gets me this view whenever i want it.

This is the common living area adjacent to the dining area – nice spot to read or hang out with other guests.

…and this is the lower courtyard.

Mrs. Burke is the owner/manager and she checks me in, shows me a couple of rooms to choose from and is very pleasant. Thereare a few air conditioned rooms for $60 but for the life of me I can’t imagine needing one…the breeze up here is constant and strong and the $40 room has a ceiling fan and a floor fan. The $60 rooms are on the highest level (third) and thus have the best views, but as you can see the view from the second are not at all shabby, and I can go up to the third floor seating are anytime.

At Ivanhoes I hooked up with an online friend and she walked me down into town, showed me the market and took me to the beach and marina. I had a few concerns about the neighborhood that turned out to be completely unfounded.

I was comfortable there right away. I am not sure if I’d have felt good about walking late at night alone, but that is not something I’ do much of anywhere other than where I live. I found the neighbors to be friendly, and having the high school there was a hoot…there were SO many kids coming and going all the time, it made for a nice atmosphere. I also worried about a beach. Well that was fine too – one of the loveliest most well kept beaches I’ve seen was a 3 minute walk down the hill at the Port Antonio Marina.

The beach we use…

West harbor is great for swimming.

Looking to Navy Island – more on that in a day or so….

Navy Island and the marina beach.  The beach is clear of weeds and stuff but it does drop off fast – the dark patches you see are in deep water.

I had NO problem hanging out here. Norma’s on the beach is the local bar and despite having exceptional service and comfy tables and bar and a prime location, charged only about $150-200 for a red stripe. The restaurant menu was not pricey by US standards, and quite a few appetizers (like delicious crab cakes, salads with seafood and such) were around $10US. I enjoyed my time there very much.

I’m excited to do stuff around town today….

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One Reply to “Jamaica March 2009: 16 – Port Antonio”

  1. The veiws at Ivanhoe are breath taking from the third level you get a four sided veiw. The beach very nice, Norma's food was outstanding. We did the same things but separately, one day we must link.

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