Jamaica: Seven Mile Beach at Negril 牙買加七哩沙灘

Negril Jamaica

A friend of mine stayed for two months in Kingston, Jamaica’s capital city. I asked him for recommendations for my trip. Jerk chicken and Negril were the two must’s that he suggested. Negril is about 40 minutes in driving distance from our hotel, Grand Palladium Jamaica. It is a beach resort town known for its Seven Mile Beach and night life. Ian Fleming wrote a number of his novels here, and some of the parts in James Bond books and movies took place in Negril.

出發前問了一個在牙買加首都Kingston住過兩個多月的朋友,他說一定要吃jerk chicken跟去Negril海邊。Negril離我們的飯店Grand Palladium大概40分鐘車程,以這個七哩沙灘和夜生活聞名,Ian Fleming有幾部小說是在這裡寫的,007有幾部小說和電影也以此地為背景。

The light blue pin is Negril and the yellow house is Grand Palladium Jamaica.

Our trip was booked through Apple Vacations so we booked our day drip to Negril through them as well. This “Negril Sunset” day trip takes you to the Seven Mile Beach in Negril, some shopping centers and then Rick’s Cafe to watch sunset. Our tour bus picked us up at the hotel at about 11 a.m. and was scheduled to drop us off at about 7 p.m. This outing cost $27.5 per person. Later on we talked to people who booked a cab to go to Negril. It seemed that if you had a group of four or more, taxi was probably the way to go. If it was for only two people, booking a trip through a travel agent, though not ideal, would be cheaper.

我們的旅館和接駁車都是透過新郎交由Apple Vacations訂的,所以也順便找他們訂Negril之旅。這個行程包括Negril沙灘、幾個購物中心和Rick’s Cafe看夕陽,巴士大概早上十一點接我們,預計晚上七點把我們送回旅館,一個人$27.5美金。後來跟幾個也是來參加婚禮的人們聊天,他們透過旅館大廳安排了計程車去Negril,聽起來如果可以湊四個人以上,和運將談價錢包車比較經濟實惠,如果只有兩個人,還是參加旅行社行程比較划算。

Negril beach Jamaica

Azure and turquoise water, white sand, and palm trees. This allegedly seven mile stretch (some say it’s actually four miles) of white sand has been voted among the top beaches around the world. Huts and bungalows along the beach made the scene that much more relaxing and exotic. The tour bus dropped us off at a small B&B inside a compound of souvenir shops, one restaurants, a shower and changing facilities. We had three hours at the beach.

碧海藍天白沙加棕梠樹,Negril的七哩沙灘(有人說其實只有四哩)在全球最美沙灘常常榜上有名。巴士把我們放在一個小旅館前面,可以在這裡待三個小時,這個旅館有餐廳、廁所、更衣室、一個室外的蓮蓬頭和好幾家紀念品店。

Negril beach Jamaica

Go Big or Go Home

On the second day when we were spending one entire afternoon at the main pool of the Grand Palladium, Aaron ordered a rum and coke at the poolside bar. A bartender went on and on and on pouring rum, and then added a splash of coke. That was a solid triple. Looking at the non-stop stream of rum, Aaron commented on how strong this rum and coke was going to be. The bartender replied with a big smile, “Yah mon! This is Jamaica. Go big or go home!”

Go big or go home. That seems be to the philosophy that things in Jamaica follow. In Negril, we walked around in the ocean, in its warm and crystal clear water. I saw a sea urchin that was just as big as my face and two orange starfish that were even bigger! One of them was lying in the shade under that gigantic yellow trampoline. Those ginormous sea urchins moved fast! We left for lunch for less than an hour. By the time I came back to this area of water, I could not find the sea urchin anywhere nearby.

Locals catch conchs near the coast. They slam those conchs hard on the ground and force conchs out in order to sell the shells.

Negril beach Jamaica

第二天下午在飯店的游泳池,我和Aaron走到游泳池中間的酒吧點飲料,他點了他的蘭姆酒加可樂,沒想到酒保倒了一整杯的蘭姆酒,再拿出可樂的噴嘴輕輕壓一下,差不多是三個shots,Aaron很傻眼,酒保笑著說 “Yah mon! This is Jamaica. Go big or go home!”

看來牙買加真的堅守go big or go home的原則。我在Negril海邊看到的海膽跟我的臉一樣大!橘色海星大概是我的臉的一點五倍!其中一隻海星一直待在照片的黃色跳床底下乘涼。海膽不只很大,還很會跑,我們吃個午餐回來他就不知道去哪了。

當地人會騎水上摩托車在近海抓法螺,找到之後,就把法螺往沙灘上重重摔,摔到法螺本人掉出來,再把殼洗一洗拿去賣。

Negril beach Jamaica

$40 Lunch

When we took out cash for the day from the save in the morning, naively I said we should just get something cheap and simple for lunch since we had spent so much on the tour itself. So wrong. A restaurant at the small resort where we were dropped off was our one and only option for lunch. Lunch was about $14. I ordered a jerk pork. Aaron got a quesadilla. Food was okay and certainly was not worth this tourist robbery price. Their quesadilla came with shredded carrots in it. Two meals, a water and a Pepsi cost $40.

早上出門前討論要帶多少現金的時候,我天真想說,既然這個行程花這麼多錢了,中午隨便買點便宜小東西吃,晚上再回飯店吃晚餐。我又錯了。被丟在Negril這個小渡假村,他們的餐廳是我們午餐的唯一選項,打開菜單,隨便點什麼都要美金$14左右。我點了牙買加煙燻香料豬,Aaron點了墨西哥烤餅quesadilla,他們的quesadilla竟然夾紅蘿蔔絲。兩個人的午餐都蠻普通,兩個餐加一瓶水和一罐可樂,這樣就花了四十美金。

jerk pork

We found that Jamaican Pepsi tastes really different from American Pepsi.

牙買加的百事可樂喝起來跟美國的好不一樣。

Jamaican Pepsi

Check out My Pharmacy!

After lunch, we decided to take a walk along the beach. This part of the Negril beach was lined up with one resort or family-run hotel after another. Pass the hotel area, it was finally just beach and occasionally, some nudity.

吃完午餐,我們延著海灘散步,前面一段都是旅館或B&B,過了旅館群之後,偶爾會看到半裸或全裸的人們在游泳。

Negril beach Jamaica

Locals were very skilled at high pressure selling. One guy stopped us and tried to sell us a pack of homemade ginger infused coconut drops. Coconut drops are made of diced fresh or dried coconut, ginger, and brown sugar. Very gingery and sweet. Hardened sugar holds everything together. It is a very common dessert in Jamaica.

Those homemade coconut drops were way too gingery for Aaron. I ate most of them but could not finish it. The combination of ginger and brown sugar was the exact opposite of what I needed under the 1 p.m. sun. I felt like these candies were something that could cure a cold. I needed coconut water or aloe drink to fight that heat and dehydration.

A cop walked toward us after we bought a pack of coconut drops to check how much the vendor charged us. It was a dollar or two. From the cop’s expression, that was a reasonable price.

coconut drops

小販們實在很會逼大家買東西,一個大男人向我們迎面走來,原來是要賣椰子糖coconut drops。coconut drops是用切丁的椰子加薑和黑糖煮成的,涼掉之後,焦糖把所有東西黏成一塊一塊的椰子糖,是牙買加很常見的零食。Aaron吃了一口差點沒吐出來,薑味非常重,又很甜,我吃了大部分,但實在吃不完,超重的黑糖加薑吃起來像是可以治感冒,很不符合這個曬太陽的大熱天,這種天應該要來點椰子水或蘆薈才對,吃薑糖越吃火氣越大。

剛買完椰子糖,一個警察追過來問我們花多少錢買這包糖,記得是一塊或兩塊美金,警察點點頭跑走了,看來沒有被騙。

As we were strolling in shallow water, some hawkers tried to draw our attention on some handcrafted necklaces and conch shells. What caught Aaron’s attention were a couple of Red Stripe bottles cut and reshaped into wine glasses. He had to walk over and check them out.

Aaron is horrible at saying no to people. Here we ran into a situation where we needed that cop and he was not around.

我們走在淺淺的水裡,沙灘靠草地的一頭有幾個小販在叫賣,桌上擺了幾個用Red Stripe啤酒瓶做成的高腳杯,Aaron無法抵抗這個誘惑,硬是很好奇地走過去看。

Aaron向來很不會拒絕別人,接下來我們真的需要海巡警察了,但警察都不來。

This old man showed us conch shells that you can blow into, while Aaron looked at those Red Stripe glasses. Aaron told him the conch shells might be something that he could considered and that we would come back later. Right when I looked down as this old man started putting one coral reef bracelet after another on my wrist, Aaron followed some young guy and walked away. They disappeared in this jungle nearby. I was still on the beach so did not fear for my safety, but I became uneasy when trees completely blocked Aaron from my sight.

“What are they doing over there?” I asked the old man. “Oh, he’s just showing your boyfriend things he made.” Slowly and politely, I took off those bracelets off my wrist, afraid to break any, thanked the old man, and decided to walk over to Aaron and get out from this uncomfortable situation. Just as I got closer, Aaron and this young man slowly walked out, being in the middle on a conversation. As soon as this guy saw me, he said, “I was showing him what I use to catch lobsters. Look!” From Aaron’s expression, I knew the lobster cage was not what it was about. He came up with excuses and we walked away.

擺攤的中年人一直叫我們看一堆項鍊和可以拿來吹的法螺,Aaron推拖說法螺看起來蠻酷,我們待會會原路回來。接著老伯拿出一疊用珊瑚做的手環,一邊介紹一邊往我手上套,才一低頭一閃神,Aaron就被兩個小哥帶到旁邊的樹叢,越走越遠到他整個被樹擋住。

lobster cage這時候我還在沙灘上的攤子前,倒是沒有擔心我的安危,但看不到Aaron讓我有那麼一點點不安。

我問老伯說,他們在幹嘛?老伯說,喔他只是要給你男朋友看他做的東西 (!?!) 我辛苦慢慢把不知道會不會斷的珊瑚手環一個一個拿下來,跟老伯說謝謝一邊倒退閃人,決定走近樹叢看看Aaron被帶去坐什麼,才一靠近,小哥看到我,和Aaron一邊講話一邊走出來,小哥說:「喔我在給你男朋友看我抓龍蝦用的籠子,妳看!」用膝蓋想都知道是騙人的,但反正他要炫耀,我就大方照了他。

“Can we take a different route back? Can you walk through the jungle barefoot?” Aaron was serious about finding an alternative way back as he separated our money by pulling some cash out of his wallet and kept some in his other pocket.

It was the ocean on our right and a road on our left. Tall grass, trees and a wire fence separated us from the road. There was no other way back besides turning around. I thought, what was the big deal? Aaron did not tell me the entire story until later that day.

Apparently those vendors used a common technique of separating us by trapping me with putting bracelets on my wrists and pulling Aaron away. The young lobster cage guy grabbed Aaron’s arm hard with his fingers pressing into Aaron’s forearm. Just as Aaron shook this grab away, a bigger guy pushed Aaron in his back, coercing him into walking toward the direction of the jungle. At this moment, Aaron saw a machete lying on the ground nearby. I had no idea that he was threatened by a harsh grab in his arm and a machete.

A million things went through his mind: They have a machete. We’re gonna be robbed. Worst case scenario, they take the $30 in my wallet. Sabrina is still in the open space on the beach. I can see her. She should be all right. If we run, how fast can I rush to her and drag her to run? How am I gonna get us out of the situation?

This whole time I was happy in my la la land, having zero clue about this machete and weed episode.

離開攤子走遠之後,Aaron一直東張西望想要找別的路回去,又掏出錢包把錢分成兩堆放,我一直想說有這麼嚴重嗎?右邊是海,左邊是一大片樹叢跟草地,再來是公路,中間有鐵絲網隔著,除了原路回去之外真的沒辦法。

到那天晚上我才知道原來我不注意的時候發生了真多事,我沒看到這些,整個都不知道要害怕。

小販們用了常見伎倆把我們兩個人分開,老伯往我手上套手環,另一邊一個小哥用力抓住Aaron的手臂把他拉走,就在Aaron不爽然後掙脫的時候,另一個壯小哥從 Aaron背後用力一推,同時Aaron看到地上有一把開山刀,兩個人一推一拉把Aaron帶到樹叢。Aaron腦子裡閃過一百件事:他們有開山刀;我們要被搶了;大不了就被搶這三四十塊;Sabrina還在路人都看得到的沙灘上應該還好;如果要跑可以多快跑到她旁邊把她拉走;我現在是要怎麼讓我們安全離開….

“Welcome to my pharmacy!” the lobster guy said as he unfolded a wrap on the ground, filled with weed, Thai sticks and drugs.

“You should try this. You and your girlfriend can have some fun tonight. How about this? A hundred dollars. No? [Breaking some Thai stinks into half.] Fifty!”

Aaron stopped him from breaking more and told him that we really did not smoke weed at all, trying to walk away. Then I showed up.

We took the same way back. Aaron set aside a twenty. He spent $15 to buy a conch shell from the stand and gave the lobster guy a five, asking him to leave us alone. This guy insisted that he could not take the money, reached for his pocket, and gave Aaron three hand rolled cigarettes (that stunk so bad.)

「歡迎來到我的藥局!」龍蝦籠子小哥說,一邊打開放在草地上的破布,裡面包了各式各樣的大麻。「你應該試試看這個!這樣你跟你女朋友今天晚上可以玩很開心,這把三十塊!什麼不要?[把大麻折一半] 那這樣,十五塊!」Aaron一邊解釋我們真的不抽大麻,一邊試著脫身,然後我就出現了。

原路走回去,Aaron準備好二十塊,用十五塊跟老伯買了一個法螺,塞給小哥五塊美金,叫他不要再纏我們。小哥說這怎麼好意思,從口袋拿出三根自己捲的(很臭的)香煙給塞Aaron。

kayaking

Our street robbery stories did not end there.

On the day of our friends’ wedding, we rent a double kayak at the Sunset Cove of our hotel in the morning. Kayaking on this tranquil blue water was very relaxing. It was so nice to not have to worry about splashing water on me, unlike kayaking near the Key Bridge on the Potomac in DC. I always tried to be as careful as possible to not splash any dirty river water on myself. Quite the contrary here, it actually felt good to splash some clean and cool sea water on the kayak and me under the sun. It would have taken me forever to get so far from the beach. With Aaron rolling the kayak, I could go wherever I wanted in a second! That was awesome!

I was in my own little world again. Aaron was steering: let’s go over there; let’s turn this way. Then I realized it was all because there was this guy following us around in a tiny wooden boat with a motor. We had gotten rid of him, and next thing we knew he was 10 feet away following us again.

I saw this tiny private beach with Little Mermaid style reef. I wanted to go take silly pictures, posing in the “part of the world” style. We pulled over. I took off my live jacket, threw it on the beach along with my oar, and started taking pictures with Aaron’s phone. All of a sudden Aaron kept his voice down and said really fast, “Put on your life jacket. Grab your oar. Get in the boat RIGHT NOW!”

It was the motor boat creeping in. We had no idea whether he just wanted to sell us some weed or….what!?

I grabbed everything and jumped in our kayak. Aaron was ready to sprint. This guy said…”Yah mon! You want to go fishing? I can take you out miles and miles away in the ocean!”……to kill us and throw us into the sea!? He had a tiny wooden boat which I would not trust out in the sea. Besides, why would we want to go way out into the sea alone with a stranger!?

Aaron told him we were in a hurry to attend a wedding and asked whether he would be there the next day. “I’m here everyday. Look for Michael. Yah mon!”

See that little boat in the back? That was Michael. Yah mon!

See that little boat in the back? That was Michael. Yah mon!

Aaron可能臉上有寫我很不會拒絕別人,整團沒人遇到這種事,我們倒是不只一次。

婚禮那天的早上,在飯店的Sunset Cove租了雙人kayak去泛舟,海水很涼很乾淨,kayak可以用力隨便滑沒關係,不像在華盛頓喬治城的波多馬克河kayak,一直很小心不想把髒水賤到身上,在牙買加海上划船,海水濺起來反而很涼很舒服。雙人艇是個好主意,想運動的時候認真划,懶得划的時候男人會負責,而且我一個人慢慢划不知道要多久才會到這麼遠的海中央,男人認真起來沒有在開玩笑,我們一左一右前進超快。出海之後,我一直在我的世界裡,Aaron突然說,我們往東邊划,他講了我才發現有個大叔開個電動馬達小木船一直跟著我們,好不容易轉向擺脫他,沒過多久他又出現。

我看到一片有小美人魚礁石的小小沙灘,開心說要划過去停下來在沙灘上裝part of the world照相。我們滑到小沙灘,我跳下船,脫掉救生衣,把槳丟一邊,用Aaron手機在照相。突然Aaron壓低音量快速跟我說:把妳救生衣穿起來、槳拿起來,快點上船!

原來是電動小木船大叔逼近,不知道是要賣我們weed,還是別有用心!?

我乖乖抓起所有東西跳上船,Aaron馬上進入戰備狀態要開始猛划逃跑,這時候,大叔說,Yah mon! 你們要不要出海釣魚,我可以帶你們出海去很遠很遠的地方!….滅屍嗎!? 大叔的破舊木造小船超級小,坐這艘船出海看起來一點都不安全,再說,沒事上這個小船出海,是要被帶去當肉票還是被丟到海裡!? Aaron十分禮貌回說真不錯,但我們要趕去參加一場婚禮,你明天會不會在?大叔說喔我每天都在,找Michael就對了,yah mon!

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One thought on “Jamaica: Seven Mile Beach at Negril 牙買加七哩沙灘

  1. Pingback: Jamaica: Cliff Diving and Sunset at Rick’s Cafe 牙買加跳水和夕陽 | Near and Far

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