A Few Days of Indulgence

Trip Start Jan 29, 2008
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Trip End Feb 15, 2008


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Where I stayed
Mar Blue Domicil

Flag of Jamaica  ,
Friday, February 8, 2008

Then it was on to Treasure Beach for some R n'R.  We arranged for Sonics to drive us to Treasure Beach for $37 US.  En route we stopped at Lover's Leap to see the ocean view.  The story goes that "Tunkey", a slave, and "Mizzy", the slave owner's daughter, jumped to their deaths from the top of the hill because their love was forbidden.
 
Treasure Beach, a string of fishing settlements, is a snoozy little place along the south coast of Jamaica.  There are no all-inclusives; many of the local establishments are owned by locals.  The Santa Cruz mountains provide a spectacular backdrop, protecting the area from rain clouds coming from the north.  As a result, Treasure Beach has one the driest climates in Jamaica.  There are plenty of cacti and succulents growing in the area.   You also see vegetable crops and, as most places in Jamaica, lots of goats and dogs.
 
We discovered our travel guide was a bit out of date when it came to prices of hotels at Treasure Beach.  We checked out a few, then decided to splurge and stay at Mar Blue Domicil, $139 US/night plus 15% tax, including breakfast.  At the time, we weren't so sure about our decision, but we enjoyed our time there immensely.  The room was spotless and very tastefully decorated in blue and white (Mediterranean style) and opened on to a private patio/sitting area right by a small swimming pool. There were clean, white, cozy bathrobes to laze about in.  The food was fabulous.  It was sunny and about 30C every day.  We felt spoiled and we loved it.
 
Mar Blue Domicil is a small beachfront hotel owned and operated by Germans Andrea and Reinhard, and home to their dog, "Taboo".  They moved from Florida a few years ago to set up shop at Treasure Beach.  Reinhold is a retired engineer and architect (it's obvious that their designer friends helped them decorate) who now spends his days helping Andrea run the hotel and his evenings cooking for guests.  Dinner our second evening there consisted of smoked salmon, tomato bisque, mixed green with vinaigrette dressing, coconut curry shrimp/fresh wahoo (fish) and guava ice cream.  Yum, yum, yum!  Goodies for two foodies!
 
The day we arrived was Bob Marley Day.  We heard Bob Marley everywhere, songs such as "One Love", "No Woman, No Cry" and "Redemption Song".  He is heralded as a hero here.  Music is considered one of the only ways of beating poverty Jamaica and there are many aspiring Bob Marleys.
 
The hot spot on the beach in the area is called Jake's, about a ten-minute walk from the Mar Blue.  This is where the younger crowd with money gravitate. The rooms are funky and chic, the music plays all day long and the bar is never dry.  Beside Jake's is Jack Spratt's, a popular pizza hangout located on a public beach where Jamaican families were enjoying the day.
 
Treasure Beach is a very safe place, largely due to a non-profit organization called BREDS, short for "bredin", Jamaican slang for friend.  The brainchild of American Jason Henzell of Jake's fame, BREDS was established in 1998 to promote awareness of Jamaican culture, the environment, sports development, entrepreneurship and healthcare. BREDS has constructed some thirty homes for local people who couldn't afford housing, provided computers and office equipment for the local school and has been very active in keeping Treasure Beach  a clean and safe area.  Even though it was a dark walk back to our hotel the evenings we were out and about, it was reassuring not to have to worry about safety. There's a story told here about a local man who stole a wallet; he was caught by people from the neighbourhood and soundly beaten.  There hasn't been a theft since.
 
After three luxurious days at Treasure Beach, Martin and I promised to always take a few days like this on future trips.
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