Apollo Fields Destination Wedding Photographers | Negril, Jamaica | Honeymoon Adventures
Jamaica – Day 3
Sunday, November 4th, 2018 ~7:35 am, local time
Another morning waking to the ebbs and flows of the Caribbean Sea. There’s something about the sound of waves crashing that lures your mind into the rhythm of nature, reminding you that everything that comes will also go. The whitewater that sprays into the air, jettisoning from the sharp rock face, shows no concern for my presence, or for any of the other creatures that cling to their cratered homes on this violently-formed beautiful façade. Yet it’s these wall-dwelling sea creatures — these Jamaican mussels and crabs — that taught me that we need to carve a small niche for ourselves, where we can brave the onslaught of life’s elements, if we want to survive in this otherwise unforgiving world.
We took a right out of Sundown Villa this morning for the first time on our Vespa, passing Rick’s Café among the other horribly named Americanized resorts like ‘The Palms’ and ‘Lover’s Paradise” as the wind whipped around our bodies on our way to a place called “Barney’s Hummingbird and Flower Sanctuary.” Heather clung to my back like a baby koala as we veered off the pavement onto a dirt road, her lips stammering through the worried words of her mind like mental pot holes. We passed a man walking down the road, sharpening a machete and were reminded of our cab driver who told us that all the goats that roam the island are owned by someone — and if you were to say, pick one up — you will find yourself on the wrong end of one of those blades. We swerved around the man and slowed as we approached two large, faded green doors that hung on rusted hinges.
“Hello!” Said a thin pale-skinned old man donning a worn trousers-and-suspenders outfit as he swung the gates open. “Welcome to my hummingbird and flower sanctuary. I am Barney, the proud German-Jamaican-English owner of this place,” he added. As he led us through the narrow walkways of his garden, the flutter of hummingbirds moved all around us, kind of like the sound of tiny handheld toy fans. Palms and large leaves hung down as geckos and other insects fed from the vibrant pink, red, and yellow flowers that boomed in contrast to the blue sky. Barney gave us all tiny bottles with punctured red caps that dripped with sugar water to lure the hummingbirds in. We held our outstretched arms in the air, mimicking the branches that reached over the garden’s pathways, hoping that the birds would come feed from our “flowers.” Patiently walking around, the birds began to trust us one at a time, holding fast in midair right in front of our faces, mother nature’s natural helicopters, hovering in place, wings effortlessly flapping seventy times a second. Barney grinned a grin that only a hummingbird expert could grin, or maybe it was because of the six-pack of Red Stripe.
Eager for local cuisine we stopped just up the road at a place called Just Natural Veggies. Simple enough, I thought. From there we ordered rum punch, a vegetable plate, lobster salad, sweet potato and plantain, and a bean and rice burrito. As we walked to the side of the restaurant we followed a path into the jungle, tables and chairs scattered about like a diner inside the woods. There were checker board tables that used plastic bottle caps and Red Stripe caps as checkers and each table had an orange bottle of locally made hot habanero hot sauce. We ate our freshly made dishes in the middle of the jungle, no one around but the smiling faces of the restaurant, who laughed and joked as they set down our plates. They could’ve been feeding us fried gecko for all we knew as we sat mesmerized in this restaurant that made rustic concepts back home look like four-star hotels. In the jungle and of the jungle, we walked out of there happy and full.
There are niches to be carved, if only we are wise enough to see them. These experiences will stick to my heart like the geckos on the flowers and the mussels on the rock wall. As the trip continues, I can only hope to unearth more things that I can learn from and grow closer to carving out my own crater I can call home.