In May 2021 the 16-acre Harmony Beach Park was opened to public in Montego Bay Jamaica. It was built at a cost of 1.3 billion dollars. It is a flagship project by the Urban Development Corporation. It was opened by the Prime Minister, Most Hon. Andrew Holness. Harmony Beach Park is located along Howard Cooke Boulevard and entry is free for all. I visited the park in July, the wide-open green space, the shady trees, the cool breeze, the clear blue waters and the clean beach was very, very beautiful.
There is a trail built for anyone who would like to jog in the park and this jogging trail is made of special recycled rubber. The beach at the park is a big plus. The early morning view and sun sets are great.
There are good rest rooms also and locker facility for visitors to store their belongings. The best thing is that there are enough of security personnel and I know am safe. No vendors are allowed into the park. I saw some new shops also constructed but they are not yet let out. I guess soon the shops will also open.
There is a special play area for children and a basketball court also. I have been to the park a few times to take either an early morning walk or an evening walk and it was very relaxing. The Park is well lit in the evening and during the day there are lots of trees that provide shade from the heat. Due to the pandemic, I could not visit the park as often as I would like to.
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.
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).
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
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.
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.
The other day on my way back from office,
I was travelling by bus. As with most public transport, you encounter different
people with differing perspectives. They are sometimes weird, funny and
sometimes offensive. But, mostly they are entertainment for me. This particular
conversation, however, rubbed me the wrong way. It got me thinking and feeling
guilty and rebellious at the same time.
whole discussion started between an elderly couple, who were returning from a
housewarming party. From what I gathered from their conversation, a newly
married couple built an independent house with all comforts and luxuries in an
affluent area of the city. The elderly couple felt it was a waste of money and
an unnecessary expense at such an early stage in life. They were of the opinion
that the young couple should have built a commercial complex thereby earning
rents and thus saving money.
As their conversation progressed, they
started to include the other passengers into the fray. The conversation soon
veered into stories of personal struggle and hardships faced. Each person told
about the struggles of their parents to give them a comfortable life and how,
one should save as much as possible. The general consensus was that since our
parents braved all hardships to give us a comfortable life, we owe it to them
to struggle just as much for the next generation. Most of them felt that one
should not waste money on lavish homes, vacations or other leisurely
activities, unless you can make money out of them.
On the face of this reasoning, it seems
quite logical that one should not overspend. However, the argument that
building a beautiful home that you dreamed of, going on vacations, spending
money on pampering yourself is an absolute waste of money, does not sit well with
me. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it is never a good
time to take a vacation or pamper yourself unless you take a stand for
yourself. If you don’t live life now, then you won’t have the health or the
faculties to enjoy life in your old age. One can never stress enough on the
importance of relaxation and stress release in the fast paced world today.
As Indians we are always taught to save first and hopefully enjoy life after retirement. But, it doesn’t work that way in reality. Do we really owe it to our parents to save more and enjoy later? Tell me your thoughts on the comments section. Disclaimer: I do not own any of these images. They are sourced from Google and Pinterest.