We got up around 10:30, and could hear the wind still blowing like crazy outside. The rain had stopped, at least. I had a pretty intense round of paranoia when I saw a dead cockroach under the bed (there’s no avoiding them in tropical places, but you still prefer to not see them), and discovered that we both had bug bites all over our legs. I inspected the bed for bedbugs, and found zero evidence of them. It was probably just mosquitoes.
We made crappy instant coffee and headed down to the pool while K&O and the kids went to breakfast. The pool had a wall around it so the chairs were somewhat protected from the wind. The staff was gathering up everything that could possibly fly away from the entire patio area, because the weather was apparently expected to get worse.
I started reading Islands in the Stream by Hemingway, which is basically the absolute perfect book to read on an island. It was good distraction from the Euro guy across the pool who was proudly showing off his taint to the world.
The waves were getting higher, splashing up over the cliffs and pouring onto the patio. It was really entertaining to watch.
Kris and Orsi showed up with beers, so we hung out drinking them with our feet in the pool. The kids were napping in their bathing suits so they’d be ready to swim right away when they woke up.
When they woke up, we all went to swim for a while, then spent time in the hot tub watching the crazy waves. Around 2:30, we climbed out and headed to our room to shower and change so we could have lunch and/or dinner.
(Our room was in the back right, with the hammocks out front.)
Because nobody would want to hurry right to a meal, we went to No Limit first.
We inspected some of Jamaica’s many roots drinks, and had beers at the bar. I took a bunch of pictures of Bally hanging out there, too.
We met Nav, and got her advice on good vegetarian options in the cliffs. The kids hung out with her, playing with stuff on the front porch. Ziggy was sitting up in the tree napping.
The four of us were sitting at the bar talking to a couple from Maryland who were cycling around Jamaica, when we heard a loud rumbling coming up the street. It was the One Love bus, a weekly pub crawl (and the reason that No Limit was open earlier in the day than usual). We grabbed our beers and headed out to the house in back as all the (mostly Canadian) tourists from the beach started to pour in.
After a while they wandered out back to visit Ziggy. The bus driver got out a mop and held the handle up to him, and he climbed on board. They took a bunch of pictures, while being warned to not touch him if they wanted to survive the day. A couple people asked if we lived there, which was kind of confusing.
After the bus left for the next place, we played dominoes out front for a while. Kris got the chair in the street.
Finally, it was time to head to dinner. We went next door to Lance’s shop, and K&O’s friend called a cab for us. We all piled in and headed up into the hills to a place called Just Natural. It had moved recently from along the road back into the rainforest.
The place was unreal. There was a small building with the kitchen and some tables up front, and then trails leading back into the forest with other tables scattered around. Everything was very makeshift and fascinating.
There were fruit trees everywhere, and potted vegetables and herbs all over the place.
We picked a table under a shelter, which turned out to be a good decision later when it started raining. We alternated between hanging out at the table and wandering around on the trails looking at the plants.
The bathroom was made of bamboo and tarps, with an open top. The toilet was a normal commode, but they had also fashioned a urinal out of an upside-down gallon bottle. We took turns visiting it just because it was so awesome.
There was a bowl of tamarind on the table, and a bunch of homemade hot sauce. We ordered drinks first, then food.
One of the owners showed us the kids’ play area she’d built out of logs and a half-pipe. At the bottom was a mattress so the kids didn’t hurt themselves. It was great.
We had an excellent meal. I ordered callaloo and cheese pasta, and drank rum and mango juice. Toward the end of dinner it started raining, so the other diners out in the rainforest had to scramble to find a sheltered spot. After we were done, we headed up front to the little shop; Matt bought a bottle of their hot sauce, and Orsi got earrings. We hung around waiting for our cab for a while, and headed back down to the hotel.
The bar had a karaoke night with a wandering reggae band, and the very drunk Canadians were enjoying the hell out of it. We sat outside the bar again and watched the waves slamming into the cliffs, even more intensely than they had that morning. Once the bar started closing down, we went to our room to play cards on the patio. Kris wore the awesome cap we’d brought him from home; Matt had had it since he was a kid, and wanted to pass it on to a true Michigan State fan. The kids hung out in our room watching movies on the iPad, then fell asleep.
We switched to dominoes after a while, and then K&O headed back to their room. Matt and I watched Jamaican music videos for a while, and the highlight of that was seeing a reggae version of Phil Collins’ “One More Night”. Seriously amazing.