Things to Do On Your Staycation: Portland Day Trip
Variety is definitely the spice of life!! Yours truly went on her monthly staycation. As you may or may not know, once per month I actually go through the process of releasing the day to day life activities, and simply allowing myself to explore the environment that I am in. For the next few weeks, I am in Jamaica and so I carefully plan where I'm going and then execute and present to you guys in case you want to try it!!
For those who know my history, I am a Jamaican but I have lived in various locations including Leeds and Belfast in the United Kingdom, and Cleveland in the United States. Additionally, I have toured the Eastern Caribbean, and also Barcelona and Paris among other adventures. While at home in Jamaica, I turn into what I call my TheDrylandTourist alter ego. You've met her before!! She's the woman who will have a picnic in her own backyard once a week, and spend some time in the sun just reclining! Eventually though, she does seek adventure in new places.
The last trip that I had taken you guys on last month was to Caribbean Fashion Week at Villa Ronai, Strawberry Hill, New Castle and Port Royal. This trip, TheDrylandTourist went to Portland, Jamaica. This was another high resistance trip...but I just willed myself to do it! I made plans for a rental car as you all may recall, but the owner of the company went to Sumfest, was away for that weekend, and so I didn't have access to a car. As any great motivator will tell you..."If want to get to a destination, you will find a way to do it!" So find a way I did.
In a very grassroots, but determined way...I took the shuttle from Half Way Tree, to Port Antonio and cost about $4.00 each way per adult. The journey takes about two and half hours. I left Kingston at around 9 30 am, so was in Port Antonio by midday. When you arrive in Port Antonio, you feel like you're in a piece of Spain. Jamaica is a former colony of Britain, but we do have a heavy Spanish influence. The Spanish culture is heavily felt in Port Antonio, especially where the buildings are concerned. I have vlogged the journey, and aim to have that posted by my next post. This blog post is the picture tour. Once I left the bus terminus...I went to the Errol Flynn Marina.
Since Jamaica is an island, at various locations, you will find a port. In the image above, is one of the docks where the yachts are docked upon their arrival to the island. The Marina does have various amenities for those who want to be stationed here. These include:
a) A Hotel (this is the first scene in my upcoming ratchett vlog...pardon the wind...lol)
b) Restaurants on site inclusive of Devon House I Scream (that's how they spell it...I did almost make it to the Spelling Bee) Don't judge...they rival Haagen Daaz for about half the price and the nation flocks to them every Sunday.
c) Park for the children
Since I was travelling for a while. I decided to have a Strawberry Swirl ice cream, and sat there for about half an hour. I started my vlog here. In the image above, you will notice an island to the right of the image. This is Navy Island. My family actually stayed here for several trips when I was younger. A boat will take you across to the island from the Marina. The property is now privately owned so we no longer have access...but it was the perfect place for a getaway. The place is perfectly tucked away in the trees, and you feel like you're in a tropical sanctuary. It was absolutely divine.
I then started my trek to the beach. There is one long stretch of road from Port Antonio to the really nice private beaches. There are beaches readily available all over the coast, but in terms of a nice standard that isn't open to everyone, it is ideal for one to travel to one of the following locations:
1) San San Beach
2) Frenchman's Cove
3) Winnifred's Beach
As you leave Port Antonio, you approach the resort stretch of Portland. One thing you must definitely look for is the Trident Castle. This beautiful structure, is in the initial image of this blog post. Ideal for both general relaxation, or weddings, this is a location that one can look into if you're interested in having that feeling of luxury and sophistication. The inside of each room has a modern yet medieval feel. As a former guest of this location, I highly recommend either castle, or the rest of the Trident Hotel. For the vlog, I did attempt to go in, but there were some guests viewing the property. I ended up doing the grassroots version of the vlog...and vlogging on the road. Interestingly, that picture of the castle was taken on the road...lol. Here she is in her glory. The things I do for you all!!
I was actually there...lol. I'm sure in every vlogger/blogger's experience, there is always that one person who thinks that you actually didn't do what you said you'd do...or you're making up your life story... So there's the proof!! I couldn't make up my life if I tried to...lol. It is magical and I am blessed!
Walking around Port Antonio was a nice vibe. The sun was out...and it was the most picturesque day. It was nice adventure I must say!! Let's continue walking along the road.
As you pass the castle, and walk in the direction of Frenchman's Cove, there are several places that you'll pass along the way. I recently discovered that there is a new place where people can enter and do things like Water Sports. As I was approaching the enterprise, I discovered the following. The artshop below is the blessing that I found in not having a car...for this one day. You all know she loves to drive!!
As I was walking along the stretch, I discovered an artist's shop on the main road. The man's work is world class. Since we were by the sea, I did notice that he made a lot of marine related natural figurines...which one expects. As you can see from the above, the colours are such that you can actually choose the one that matches your home's decor. If you want that authentic Jamaican feel, then you can simply purchase a figurine such as the rasta man to the top right. Additionally, since he was so multi-talented, he also seemed to have paintings, which you can see inside his art cottage. Since I want my own apartment, it was really refreshing to see art that I'd probably have somewhere like in my kitchen. It was a lovely experience to have witnessed.
By this point gentle folks, it was about 2 pm, so I decided that I'd head to the beach. I vlogged the majority of this segment. I spent about an hour at the beach and then headed back into Kingston. Being in the sea, was like allowing myself to restore. They say that the sea heals. The interesting thing about San San Beach is that it is live. I've never not been there and not seen any fish as I was swimming. Interestingly, one seemed to have taken a liking to me, and I found myself being gently nudged ever so often as I was in the water! It was surreal! After my dip, I headed back to Port Antonio.
Word to the wise, the shuttles leave the town around 5 pm latest, so if you take this route, ensure that you're back in time. If you want extra time, leave Kingston earlier.
If you're local, or international, and you want to spend a few days somewhere in Jamaica, Portland is definitely one of those locations that you'll enjoy. From a local yet touristy perspective, the following locations are a must for you to see:
Errol Flynn Marina
San San Beach
Enjoy life! It is there for you to explore! The No Excuses Life is in full effect!! I challenged myself to do this...trust me! I find that when I set an intention, there will be challenges, but somehow...life will bless you when you persist! When you want something, you'll find a way to get it done!
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