I was really enjoying my time in Negril and could have happily stayed there my last couple of days, hanging with a few friends who also stayed longer than the main group. But if I go to Jamaica and don’t go somewhere other than Negril I just feel like I haven’t really been to Jamaica.
Also, I have an old friend in Kingston who always extends an invitation to visit her and since she wasn’t able to make it to Negril to see me (she tried), I decided to go to her. I took the Knutsford Express bus from Sav-la-Mar and arrived in Kingston around 9PM, right on time. My friend T’s driver met me and brought me up to her house where, after greeting her and her family, I walked right out to her deck to take in her view of the city at night:
She has incredible 360 degree views from her wraparound decks and a roof deck. You can SEE the city and uptown is only 5 minutes away, but it feels different to be in the foothills, not IN the city.
Kingston is an interesting place. It’s surrounded on 3 sides by the Blue and John Crow mountains and on the fourth side, the harbor and lowland plains. Makes a dramatic backdrop to the high rises everywhere you look. It is by far Jamaica’s largest city. The population of Kingston/St. Andrew is about a quarter of that of all of Jamaica and if you count nearby St. Catherine (Spanish Town and around), it nearly doubles.
These are daytime views from T’s house. This is south, to city and harbor.
Looking north, back to the mountains, where a storm threatened all day but never came down from the peaks.
Here I am looking the same way but zoomed in on the harbor, Palisadoes (that is the name of the narrow peninsula that protects the harbor, on which the airport and Port Royal are located), and some cays, I believe the one closest is Lime Key. Lime Key is a popular weekend beach destination for people who own or have access to boats.
The metal towers in the foreground of this photo are part of National Stadium.
Saying I really like to swim is a bit of an understatement. I am always happy in water. Kingston isn’t the easiest place to get to a beach from, doing so involves a fairly long drive in traffic or a boat, for the most part. But T’s family belongs to the Royal Jamaican Yacht Club out on the Palisadoes and they have a pool, so in the early afternoon of my one and only full day in town, we head out. She drove, I took a few photos.
This one is in the Harbor View/Rockfort area heading to the base of the Palisadoes. I would like to visit Rockfort sometime. It’s a mineral spa with a large public pool and private baths. Very radioactive, as Milk River and Bath in St. Thomas are, but cold, not hot.
This is at the roundabout where the main road meets the Palisadoes road. I caught it a little late…
This is a view back to the Harbor View area. For whatever reason these mountains directly east of the city are not really developed. No roads, electricity, houses…not sure why. The center and western mountains most definitely are developed, those hills are home to some of the most expensive houses in Kingston.
This is a zoomed-in shot of downtown from across the harbor. You can see the mountains behind.
The Palisadoes are very narrow in most places. As you might imagine, in a hurricane, the road is easily overcome and swamped.
These boulders are the latest effort to keep the road itself from washing away, or even flooding badly in a normal storm.
This is the view from the yacht club looking out towards the city.
The best drink deal in Jamaica anywhere, anytime, is a Q. Here’s a Q of Smirnoff and a Ting. It’s like summer in a glass 🙂
We spent a very enjoyable few hours swimming and hanging out, had a pretty good lunch. T’s mom was with us and some friends of theirs joined us for awhile too. Other than the staff we basically had the club to ourselves, Mondays are not particularly busy there I suppose.
Heading back to town we could see the full moon rising over the mountains, it was, as you can see, stunning. We were heading back to get ready for a very special event…a
total lunar eclipse would happen from 1AM to 4:30 AM and the sky was clear. We have made
plans to watch it all….
Continue reading this series:
Blood Moon over Kingston