TEN REASONS WHY...
10) You get all the basic facilities you need (telephone, satellite tv, great kitchen, showers in all three bedrooms, amazing pool) and still feel like you’re at a friend’s house, not a “rental”.
Going through the cd and book libraries, as well as soaking in the local art throughout the house, you know you are sharing the house of a real Jamaica lover. AC?? Who needs it when you’re on top of the world???
9) The food. If you’re curious about or already familiar with jamaican food, you’ll find the best and freshest fruits, veggies an’ ting at the weekly markets in Ocho Rios and Oracabessa, while there is also a gourmet circuit that includes a specialty imported grocery, an excellent butcher and you can even buy quality wines at a hotel and restaurant wholesaler nearby. So you have to find out what’s in season and what to do with it; Jerry will help you out with that. Passion fruit time, mango time, sorrel time… you’re hooked up. Make sure you tell the local fishermen down the hill what you are looking for, and if they catch it, they’ll sell it to you gladly.
8) The scenery. Even thought you can easily access that beautiful beach just down the hill at The Golden Seas Hotel by foot, you’ll just have to force yourself to take one-day trips to incredible places like Frenchman Cove and Cranbrook Flower Forest for a well-deserved dip, by the time you get to the cool mountain top creek. Notice we’re not losing time on Dunn’s River Falls, here, are we?? If you can spare a couple of days away from home-base, the South coast is definitely worth a trip-within-a-trip to Treasure Beach. Or a stay-over in one of Port Antonio’s throw back to the 50’s old Errol Flynn’s hangouts.
7) The people. When travelling around and hanging out with George and Jerry, you get in contact with everyday Jamaican country folks. Take the time to have that second Guiness in a local rum bar. As a matter of fact, take that watch off as soon as you land in Mo Bay; You’ll never need to know precisely what time it is, anyway. They might be as curious to know about you as you about them. Not in those all-inclusive places. The barman is too busy flipping bottles and that strange-looking guy in the corner just wants to beat you at backgammon for as much money as possible.
6) The lifestyle. When you stay at Hummingbird Hill, you can really get into the real jamaican lifestyle: Fridays shopping at the Ochi market, Saturday night at Campbell Lawn’s weekly rocksteady and rub-a-dub sessions on their open-roof terasse, lazy Sundays sitting around the pool listening to “big people music” on IRIE FM, blasting over the christian gospel singing coming up the hill loud and strong from the local Baptist church. And sometimes, as a bonus, you get the Oracabessa Saturday night dancehall sessions rocking you to sleep, after a humiliating defeat at dominoes against the still lovable night watchman China Man… Oh.. and if unfortunately, someone dies in the community and you’re invited to the “Nine night” party: by all means, don’t be shy and GO! You’ll feel most welcome and will witness the real jamaican social life.
5) The music. Wether you’re into the old Bob Marley/ Jimmy Cliff sound or making a pilgrimage to feel the real dancehall vibe… music is a way of life in Jamaica. Every yard, rhum bar or shop usual blasts reggae music, which you realize quickly is really the pulse of the island. Nothing as exilarating as trekking a couple of hours into the hills to a (“local” would be an understatement) sound system session, and realizing that you are the first white people most of these folks have ever seen in person!
4) The feeling you get when you awake, here. The smell (the whole garden wakes up with the sun), the sounds (the birds, fowls, dogs, goats… I much prefer these to my alarm clock!) and then you take a stroll around the pool, look way, way out to the Oracabessa Bay and realize it’s gonna be another gorgeous day… and that you’ve got to be one of the luckiest people in the world to be here! And then, banana pancakes and fresh orange juice ah soon come… Let’s call George to make sure he brings up the morning papers…
3) The fact that you are not a tourist at Hummingbird. You feel like you’re extended family visiting long-lost relatives. It’s a village mentality around Gibraltar (that’s the name of the hill the house is on, for the locals) and when you are known as a friend of Angus, you don’t get the usual run-arounds... George will act as your personal driver, tourist guide and “body guard” in all occasions. He knows Jamaica like the back of his hand and his wife Ruthie cooks a wicked curry goat!
2) You can do exactly what you want on the hill. The staff will adapt to your vacation lifestyle as opposed to the other way around. Want to spend a week or two by the pool, drinking Jerry’s world-renowned limeade and doing nothing much else? Or feel like going out every night to all the dances, soundclashes and events in the parish? You call your own shots.
1) That’s where my girlfriend is the happiest, loveliest and most relaxed. And you have to know what that’s worth, mon?