Guineps

These fruits commonly grow in South America and Caribbean countries. They are called Guineps in Jamaica, and elsewhere they are known as quenepas, Spanish lime, honeyberry etc., in different countries. 

Guineps are seasonal fruits. When they are in season, you can find them sold on street sides by vendors. They are very inexpensive and sold in bunches. 

The fruit looks like a small size green lime. Gently bite the fruit and crack open the thin rind, and you will find fresh fruit inside.

Be careful not to bite deep into the fruit as the outer fleshy part is not very thick. Just beneath the sweet and tangy flesh is the hard-shell seed. Suck the sweet juicy pulp and discard the seed.

Guineps grow on tall trees that grow to a height of about 80 ft. The flesh of the fruit is nutritious; even the seed is said to be beneficial. The ancient people of the Caribbean region roasted these seeds and consumed the pith. It is said to be similar to a cashew nut

The pulp of the Guineps is used to make juices, jams and sauce for desserts. 

Otaheite Apples

When I came to Jamaica two decades ago, the Otaheite apple was one of the exotic fruits that I came across. But ever since I tasted them, I have been in love with this delicious fruit. 

Yesterday my husband brought a dozen of these apples. Otaheite apples are soft and juicy like a plum. There is a small seed inside it that can be pulled out easily. The white flesh inside the fruit is sweet and has a tangy taste. One bite of this fruit fills up your mouth with the sweet juice, as the red colour from the skin slowly seeps into the delicate white fibrous flesh. The darker the colour of the skin, the sweeter is the fruit.

It is also known as the Jamaican apple, and it grows on tall trees that generally bear a lot of fruits. It is a seasonal fruit. The previous house where I lived had a lot of space in the yard. So, I planted a seed of this Otaheite Apple, and it grew to approximately three feet tall. When I moved from that house, I left the tree there. My current residence has no space for trees.

Just like any other fruit, these apples are rich in vitamins and minerals. They work wonders for our body and prevent or cure a variety of ailments. The best part is that they taste great and are surprisingly inexpensive. 

I enjoy eating them raw however, they are used to make jams and juices. It can be stewed with brown sugar and ginger to make jam. You could even run it in the blender with water, sugar and a tiny bit of ginger to make an excellent juice. 

All this talk about Otaheite apples has worked up my appetite. Bye for now, see you all on my next blog.

Göteborg – Sweden

The first time I heard of the port city of Göteborg , it was concerning the Volvo headquarters and the car manufacturing unit. My father, an engineer, was very interested in the place and went to Göteborg to visit that factory. Sadly, my knowledge of the place was limited to this single fact. This Nordic city is steeped in a rich heritage and history. I give you a small glimpse of the vibrant sights and sounds.

The first thing that captures your attention is the network of waterways and canals around the city. They offer tours around the place on these canals. The city’s tram service is another fascinating way to views the sights and sounds of the city.

The city hall or the Gustav Adolf’s Torg is a majestic building that houses the main government administrative offices.

Göteborg has many outdoor cafes, bistros and eat-outs where you can enjoy a lazy brunch while you appreciate the weather.

History enthusiasts have many places to visit in and around Göteborg. One of them would be, the Tjolöholms Slott, which is a magnificent castle that located is south of Göteborg. Another incredible place to visit would be the Bohus Fortress which is over 700 years old. The Gunnebo House and Gardens is an 18th-century manor. Regrettably, we were not able to snap any good photographs of the place.

I have sourced a few photographs from the website: https://www.goteborg.com/en/

There are many more hidden gems that Göteborg has to offer. Hope to visit the place to catch up on all the amazing sights that it offers. Oh!! I almost forgot to mention about the nature reserves and gardens that Göteborg has to offer. There are many beautiful gardens to visit like the Rose Gardens, Jonsered Gardens, Gothenburg Botanical Gardens and many more. If you are interested in the place, carefully plan your trip to many time for all this and more.

Chill Out Hut

Hello everyone! How are you all doing? Since my childhood, I loved food and enjoyed eating different kinds of food. I experimented with food and recipes in the kitchen but, that story is for a different day. Last week, I went to this place called ‘Chill Out Hut’. Here I am to talk about my experience.

Chill Out Hut is located on the A1 highway at Long Bay, Jamaica. It is open from 10 am to 11pm. On the menu, they have pizzas, burgers, fries, meats etc. We ordered fries with cheese and bacon, Parmesan chicken with rice and peas. The food was delicious. Since the food is not pre-cooked, it took them some time to prepare our dishes. There was a bit of waiting time after the order was placed. But the place was so beautiful that we did not mind waiting.

Chill Out Hut hosted many events like Calypso nights, Reggae nights, Karaoke nights, and even mud-wrestling. Since I visited the place at lunchtime, all we experienced was good music playing on the speakers.

The weather was pleasant and not as hot as it mostly is. The sky was overcast though there was no rain. The soft breeze made for enjoyable view and weather. The meal was delightful, and I was relaxed. Later, we took a little walk around the place to click a few snaps. I wanted to remember the place and share my memories.

This was where we were seated and here is the view from my seat:

This was another seating area a little away from ours. The view from there must have been great too. Unfortunately, I did not go up there. I walked around and took snaps in every direction.

And finally, I will leave you with the best picture (in my opinion). The sky was like a painting and the silky, deep blue waves dancing under it. You have to come here at least once to experience it.

Historic Sam Sharpe Square In Montego Bay

Nested in the centre of Down Town, Montego Bay, is the popular Sam Sharpe Square. This historic place is bustling with pedestrian and vehicular traffic. It was originally called Charles Square.

Sir Charles Knowles was the governor of Jamaica from 1752 to 1756. James Lawrence who was the custos of the parish in 1755, laid out the parade in the town of Montego Bay and named the square as “Charles Square” in honour of the governor.

Charles Square was renamed as Sam Sharpe Square in the year 1976 to honour Jamaican National Hero Samuel Sharpe. He was from Montego Bay and was executed in the market place for being the main instigator of the 1831 Slave Rebellion at Kensington Estate nearby.

Here are a few images of what the square looked like then based on the images sourced from the National Library of Jamaica .

Today, Sam Sharpe Square boasts of several historic monuments such as the Sam Sharpe Monument, the Cage, the Civic Centre and the Freedom Monument and a fountain.

The cage, a wooden structure was originally built in 1806. It was used as a jail for runaway slaves, unruly seamen and vagrants. In 1822, the Vestry replaced the wooden structure with a stone and brick structure you see in the picture above. In later years, it was used for other purposes. Today, it is a place where they sell phone cards and other things.

Sam Sharpe Monument

Kay Sullivan designed the Sam Sharpe monument and it depicts Samuel Sharpe standing with a Bible in his hand and talking to the slaves. Samuel Sharpe was instrumental in the abolition of slavery in Jamaica. He was a Baptist Preacher and a great leader. Through his religious meetings, he communicated with other slaves and encouraged political thinking.

The Montego Bay Cultural Centre formerly called as the Montego Bay Civic Centre is a majestic structure that catches your eye as soon as you reach the Sam Sharpe Square. This facility has undergone major refurbishing by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and involved a cost of $109 million. This place now houses an art gallery, a museum, space for the performing arts, a bistro, an artisan village and a gift shop.

It is a collaborative effort of the TEF, the St. James Parish Council, the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Urban Development Corporation (UDC).

Originally, this building served a different and grim purpose. It was the Old Court House and was built in 1774. This is the place where many African slaves were tried. Samuel Sharpe was also tried here for his involvement in the Emancipation War on 19 April 1832 and he was sentenced to execution by hanging.

By 1959, the court offices and local government offices had become too large for the building to accommodate them and the court offices were moved to new premises on St. James Street. A fire destroyed the courthouse in 1968. In 2001, the Urban Development Corporation restored the building with funding from the Venezuelan Government through the San Jose Accord. It was reopened as the Montego Bay Civic Centre. It is a multi-faceted facility with provision for a museum, art gallery, performing arts and conferencing facilities.

The Freedom Monument was erected in 2007 to memorialize the enslaved persons who participated in 1831-32 war of emancipation.

In this picture, you can see what the Old Court House looked like in the early 1900s.

Here are a few more pictures I clicked at the square.

View of the back of the Montego Bay Cultural Center. While I was clicking these snaps, the bystanders told me that there were prisons here too.

A patty shop to snack at if you are tired or you could buy a few fruits at this pushcart.

When you visit Montego Bay, don’t miss a trip to the Sam Sharpe Square in Down Town.

Image Source: National Library of Jamaica and Jamaica National Museum. Click on the images to go to their website.

Father Bull On The Road To Falmouth

Last week we went to Falmouth, Jamaica. It wasn’t a pleasure trip, we had some work to do (my husband and me). We wanted to get over with the work by 11:30 am, however it stretched on until 2:30 in the afternoon. I was starving by then, and barely had any energy to even sit up straight. We decided to have a quick bite on the way home. I was ready to eat anything, so my husband took me to Father Bull restaurant. What a strange name for a restaurant, I thought. Anyway, all that matters is the food. It is located at Greenwood on the main road.

They are located right on the waterfront. Literally, you can walk up to the backdoor and find yourself looking at the waves crashing on to the rocks. I fell in love with the place. The cool sea breeze was heavenly. I could easily fall asleep in my chair, had it not been for the fact that I was famished. It was a great place to unwind and sit down with some hot Jamaican style pumpkin soup and meditate on the happy things in life.

This place is not a fine dining restaurant; it is a casual, informal place. The food was served in a Styrofoam container. That was one down-side; I hope they change to something healthier. The ambience is very relaxed and casual.

You can see the Caribbean Sea from every window. It is a sight for sore eyes.
The food was hot and delicious. We ordered Curry chicken. My husband used to get food home from this place several times in the past. I tried Curry Goat, Pumpkin soup and Manish water. All of them tasted great.

It was a very hot day and the cold water was a welcome relief. But if you like to try some of their alcohols, they have a tie-up with Appleton Rum. You can try some at the bar. I forgot to mention that the place is not exactly quiet. There is music playing all the time.

I wish I could have some more right now. Even looking at these pictures is making my mouth water. Their cuisine is authentic Jamaican and they have dishes like oxtail, jerk chicken etc. In fact, you can smell the jerk chicken in the air the moment you enter the premises and it’s hard to resist.
I sat by the window and clicked a few pictures. I notice that there were a lot of fishing boats on the other side.

What more can I say, it’s a good place to eat. Take a local Jamaican with you and pay in Jamaican dollars for it to work out cheaper. That way, you can avoid the tourist prices ;-). I leave you with some more pictures to enjoy.

View of the highway road.

You can see the phone charger on the black table. While you charge up, your phone can get charged too.

View from the window by my table.

The place is very well maintained and every window has a wonderful view. Even though it was 2:30 in the afternoon and very hot outside, it was pleasant and cool inside. They don’t need fans with the breeze they have.

Take one step out of the restaurant and you will be swimming with the fish in the sea. Hahaha!

I did not go out the back door. I just stuck my hand out of the window and clicked this one. There seems to be a little space to walk but I think it’s better to be safe than sorry. Not trying to scare you or anything. Just saying that I am over cautious.
That’s it, guys. Mi see yuh likkle more den (Jamaican Patois for – I’ll see you later then. I am trying to learn the language).

Kemmangundi Hills: The Hill Station Of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV

In the Chikkamagaluru district of Karnataka, there is an idyllic hill station located at 1434 meters above sea level. This hill station is Kemmangundi hills or KG hills, as it is commonly called. The place is located in Terikere taluk in Chikkamagaluru district. It is close to 250 km from the capital city of Bengaluru.

There are many places to visit in Kemmangundi hills and the surrounding locales. With rolling hills, thick forest cover and the many waterfalls, KG Hills is unmissable. Here are some of the more popular spots I have visited in KG Hills:

  • Trek to Z Point
  • Trek To Gorilla Point
  • Hebbe Falls
  • Kalahatti Falls
  • Shanti Falls
  • Mullayanagiri peak
  • Baba Budangiri peak etc

The weather is also quite ideal all-round the year. The highs always stay within 30 degrees Celsius and the low goes up to 10 degrees Celsius in winters. I have included pictures of the foggy mornings and amazing view from the peaks.

Unforgettable Vacation at Munnar

Last year in the month of July, I was finally able to take time out to visit the hill station of Munnar. It has been on my bucket list for a long time and Munnar is famous for being a beautiful and picturesque hill station that was reserved for the elite of the British Raj in colonial times. Due to the monsoon season, we expected wet and rainy weather with thunderstorms. The place kept up its promise and offered more in the form of foggy mornings that gave a chance for great photography. It felt like the best time to visit Munnar as the weather was conducive for enjoyable treks and pleasant walks.

I am sure you want to know more about this place and what we can do there. Munnar is a famous hill station in the Western Ghats. It is located in the southernmost state of Kerala in India. This hill station is famous for tea plantations, and a national park with an abundance of wildlife. The town of Munnar is located at the confluence of 3 rivers namely the Muthirappuzha River, Chanduvarai River and Kundale River. There is also the Mattupetty dam that is a concrete gravity dam and is used to produce hydroelectricity.

For all nature lovers, the Eravikulam National park is a must visit. It is home to diverse flora and fauna. Visitors can view leopards, tigers, jackals, deer, Mongoose and a wide variety of monkeys. You can also have seasonal visits from elephants at the national park.

If you are an adventurous person, you have many hiking and trekking paths and boating clubs. The Anamudi peak is located here and it is the highest peak in the Western Ghats in South India. You can also go camping at the Munnar Tent camp. I am not much of a camper, especially since I am scared of creepy crawlies in the monsoon. I, however, enjoyed my hiking trip to Pothamedu – Aanakkal viewpoint.

My trip was only for a few days and I did not get to visit all that was on offer at Munnar. But, I promised myself to come back and take another look at all that I missed here in the form of the tea museum, the spice gardens, topiary flower show and the old Roman Catholic Church. I leave you here with more of the pictures we took here.