Travel Writing

The sun beat down on my forehead. It was incontrovertibly hot here, the south cost of Jamaica. The golden sun was at its strongest with its strongest with its hot rays beaming down on the little village of Jenena. ‘Jenena’, or in Greek, the place of searing and glow’, certainly lived up to its meaning. The temperature was soaring increasingly higher as the day grew.

I fanned myself with my left hand, and created a cool breeze that slipped away and was replaced by the intense heat almost instantaneously. I then glanced around and took in my surroundings. Beautiful. Absolutely stunning. There were few words that did Jamaica justice; it was simply indescribable. I’d been for here for almost a week now, the area still seemed refreshingly new – each day felt like a new opening. I didn’t want to leave; instead I had decided I could quite contently stay here in this paradise for eternity if it were not for the intense heat that often left me feeling smothered and breathless.

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Around me, on several of the walls, were some pots that hung from silver chains. Inside each one was a striking arrangement of flowers; there vibrant colours of effervescent pinks and vivid purples against the creamed walls. Not like England, I reflected with amusement, where the buildings were dark and dreary, often matching ominous sky that appeared even more undesirable the more I thought of it. The memories seemed only dull in comparison to the surroundings of this seventh heaven.

Jamaica was a simply place. The hours that passed were always peaceful and calm. The sun would reach its peak in the afternoon, and at that time outside gathered to the shade or indoors. Gradually, the temperature would decrease slightly, and would be replaced by the dark moonlit sky and the cooler breezes. However, the nights were still heated and therefore uncomfortable. It was so predictable – unlike Britain and its weather – and therefore so much more tranquil.

“And to da left of yuh is da St. Costa,” my guide announced, waving to the side of me as she led me on the warm sands. She had a proud, mellowed expression as she showed me one of Jamaica’s many beautiful spots. Most Jamaicans did have a mellow look on their lives and I had decided it was due to their relaxed, laid back attitudes to everything. Many a times had I heard a Jamaican person explain that ‘life was too short’. I had to say, on whole, the Jamaicans were very much more chilled than any other people I had encountered. It was somewhat infectious also, as I too felt so much more relaxed.

St. Costa happened to be a popular beach amongst the country. And, as I examined the coast, it was obvious as to why the stunning beach was loved. It was the way that the ocean appeared to be a sparkling pool of diamonds, glistening softly against the vast land of which it covered. The sea was inviting with its cool waves and fresh aroma. I dipped my ankle in to the tip of the sea once I had edged closer to both rake a closer look at the ocean and cool down. The water was a lot hotter than I had expected and I gasped slighted as I withdrew myself from the water. I was aware that it might be warm from the sun, but the water was practically boiling. My foot throbbed slightly for a second. I had not assumed that was why there was practically no one in the sea; instead I had guessed that they were just tired from the weather.

I let out a sigh as if this was the final push I needed to feel fed up. I loved to swim and my hopes of relaxing in beautiful seas had just been shattered. It had been something I had been looking forward to.

I put all the factors of the weather together. This island, yes, was an absolute paradise. But it wasn’t perfect – though I normally could endure hot climates, this was just too hot.

I led back on the sand, each strand of sand felt almost blistering against my skin after a few minutes. I picked out a towel from my small bag that contained only essentials for the day and led on that. I then closed my eyes and heard the soft murmurings of the ocean like delicate whispers in my ear. I could feel the welcoming heat on my body, relaxing and pleasurable. Except even then, after five minutes, the sun became too much for me – and I was in a shaded part of the beach at that too. I sat up, feeling dizzy and light headed.

“Yuh been here often?” my guide asked. She was a friendly woman.

“No, this is my first time,” I replied.

“Enjoyin’ yuh self?”

“It’s very nice,” I smiled. “I love sunny hot weather but to be honest, I’m finding it difficult to live with the heat.”

“Ya no’ da only one,” she laughed. “Compared to yuh country, yuh travellers find dis too hot.”

I could see what she meant. Weather like this would have been unheard of in England. That had been the attraction when I had come to the island; the thought of such heat had once appealed to me. Now however, the reality was that it really was too much. Maybe Britain did have a certain advantage over this little village after all, I reflected with a slight smile.

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