Kingston Again

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Day Six—Wednesday

The next day was an in-between day, with nothing in particular planned. Virginia and Fionn were planning to take charge of us in the afternoon, but we had the morning free. Grace offered to take me out to look for souvenirs. I asked about changing money, so she took me to her bank for that, and then we went to a souvenir shop where I bought a few postcards and a picture book but still wasn’t quite ready for wholesale souvenir shopping.

Virginia and Fionn turned up about 1 and took us to Mother’s for patties. Fionn and Virginia’s original plan for the afternoon had been to go to Lime Cay, a small island on the outskirts of Kingston Harbour. But our Frommer’s guide was disparaging about the beach, there was a charge for the boat ride from Morgan’s Harbour, and the island was described as having “no facilities.” This didn’t sound very appealing, especially given the knowledge that for the next couple of days we’d be going to much nicer beaches in Portland. So we ditched that idea.

We considered several sightseeing options. Our hosts didn’t seem to think there really were any tourist attractions in Kingston, and in fact, we’d already (sort of) seen the major one: Devon House. The other sites of interest noted in our guidebook were rather far away, in Port Royal or Spanish Town. Quite nearby, however, was the Bob Marley Museum, which Matthew really wanted to visit, so that’s what we did. What can I say? I knew next to nothing about Bob Marley before I went and not a lot more when I left. But it was obvious that Marley is a demigod in Jamaica. The rooms preserved a variety of memorabilia, including his stage attire and that of his backup singers, album covers, newspaper and magazine articles, photos, a holographic image, a copy of his CIA file. Even his Land Rover was preserved as a sacred object (not to be photographed, though we were encouraged to touch it). The smell of ganja was quite noticeable (as it had also been at Whitfield Hall, where the managers were all Rastafarians).

It was about 5 when we left there, so we got home with just enough time to freshen up before Evelyn collected us for dinner about 6:10. We’d been told we were going to Gloria’s, a seafood restaurant in Port Royal, but plans had changed, and it had been decided that we’d instead try out Captain Morgan’s Harbour, a hotel/bar/restaurant at the water’s edge, on the basis that its menu offered more than just fish. Ironically, almost all of us ended up ordering fish anyway—at least in part (if I am remembering correctly) because many of the non-fish entrées were not available (I had chicken, however).

When Evelyn left her house, already a bit behind schedule, she thought Fionn and Virginia and their passengers (Gramma and Granny Pat) were right behind her. As it turned out, we waited nearly an hour for them to arrive, nursing drinks from the bar and looking at the menu. When they arrived (having been frantically trying to arrange accommodations for us in Portland, both before leaving the house and by cell phone along the way), we ordered our meal and waited most of another hour for it to be served. By the time it arrived, we were more than ready for it, and it was delicious, but we didn’t get home till nearly 10:30.