Meeting local Jamaicans while exploring Bluefield Bay

DAY 4 — Twice a day,  50 year-old   Delta Spence totes two big jugs of water up Blueflields Mountain a mile and a half from

Lloyd cooking jerk chicken at Bluefield Bay

Bluefields River to her rustic home on the mountainside above the town of BLuefields Bay in Jamaica.  She has no running water, electricity or indoor plumbing.

Marvin Furrest, the houseman at the Bluefields Bay Villa where we are staying has led us on an early morning hike up the mountain, past baby goats, cows, pigs and small villages with names like Belvedere, Retirement and Aldyr. We meet Dallas along the way and she invites us to see her home. “This is a traditional old Jamaican home,” Marvin tells us.

He is also a pig farmer and says like others, he walks up and down the mountain to work. We pass others leading donkeys with big jugs of water. Would Dallas want a donkey? “No,” says Marvin. “This is her way.”

I can’ t stop thinking about Delta when we return to our Bluefields Bay villa overlooking the sea served breakfast—a traditional Jamaican concoction of saltfish with  vegetables cooked in coconut milk called Rundown.

I’m here for a girlfriends getaway with my three oldest friends from grade school. It’s as relaxing as the most luxe resort –from my canopy bed and drop-dead views of the sea in every direction to the private beach and three-person staff that dotes on you from morning to night.

I’m so glad they are willing to share their heritage and history.  A short walk away up the mountain , we encounter traditional Jamaican villages and a shy little girl named Martina who proudly was showing off the baby goats she cares for.

Later, while my friends lounged at the beach, I opted for a massage overlooking the sea, the breeze rafting, hearing the waves lap. The masseuse, Nicholas Ridguard was terrific.

Now I’m waiting for Marvin to bring me a frozen concoction from the latest fresh fruit in the house and watching Lloyd James ready our Jerk chicken for lunch.

The secret to the jerk, Lloyd James, the jerk master tells us, is the pimento—he uses pimento wood, uses the leaves in the fire and also in his marinade. We passed Pimento trees on our hike and men toting the leaves to be used to make oil.

What a lunch! Jerk chicken with spicy and non spicy sauce, lobster salad, fried breadfruit… we eat and eat till we can’t eat anymore.

And then go for a walk down the beach.  I’m still thinking of Dallas.

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