May 31, 2010

Negril, Jamaica: Sea, Sand and Fun

We have been in Negril, Jamaica for nearly a week now.

We are staying in an inexpensive cottage called Silver Star. It is located a fifteen minute walk from the famous Seven Mile Beach and a five-minute walk from a smaller beach that is great for snorkeling. As someone who loves to be able to walk to the beach and on the beach, this is fantastic.

The accommodations are quite modest, but they are clean and comfortable, so we are happy. The small size of the cottage just means that we have to make sure and keep it tidy and keep everything in its place.

It is very hot here in Negril so we take advantage of the relatively cool mornings to do work and do household tasks. I spend my mornings writing in my office (whish is just a separate hotel room) and the children are doing their schoolwork in the mornings. We have hired a tutor to give the girls lessons, and that is working out great so far! After lunch, we are all free to spend the afternoons as we like.

Of course, most days we go to the beach. If you can believe it, some days the kids complain about going to the beach. Mostly, they are not keen on the 15 minute walk in the hot sun. However, once we arrive at the sea, they have a blast.

The first day we got to Negril, the sea was amazing. It was absolutely transparent, even up to about 30 feet deep. Snorkeling in that water was fantastic. However, the next day it rained and the water has not been the same since. There are two reasons for this. One reason is that when it rains the sea gets more turbulent and brings the sand up into the water, making it less transparent. The other, less pleasant, reason, is that the rain means that the muddy, dirty river water gets into the sea, turning it a brownish color.

We have found thus far that we can walk or take a taxi about another mile down the beach - away from the river - and get to the clean part when the river comes into the sea. Hopefully it will not rain much and we can enjoy the transparent water once again. Honestly, this year, after seeing so many amazing beaches, we are getting harder to please!

None of the beaches we have seen so far in Negril have any waves to speak of. The girls complain that this makes it boring. However, it also makes it easier for us as we do not have to worry about the girls being pulled out to sea. Yesterday, I went snorkeling with Tatiana and Soraya - my nine-year old twin daughters - and we were able to get pretty far out without me being worried. However, as it was our first time, I did not stay too long. I was worried they (or I) might get tired.

I am looking forward to spending the next two months in Negril, and, slowly but surely, getting to know the rest of the Seven Mile Beach.

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