Today is Labor Day in Jamaica, so many places are closed. No matter – we chose a self-guided golf cart adventure around the Tryall Club grounds. Amir has a knack for finding quiet special places, usually off the beaten path, that feel like they were meant just for us. He claims it’s hours of Google research, I think he just has a natural compass for discovery.
In the 1700s, this 2200 acre property was a sugar plantation. There’s a three mile aqueduct still functioning that carries water from the Flint River to the water wheel. Back in the day, the water wheel supplied the energy for the sugar cane presses.
There’s a large chimney still standing which was the boiler room where the cane was boiled down to form the brown sugar of the area. The rest of the building is long gone, but you can appreciate the bustling activity that used to take place at this site.
If you do visit, just a heads up about the local craftsmen. They must have a security camera focused on the wheel, because before you even unload from your golf cart, there’s someone there peddling handmade woodcrafts. Like most places, you can certainly haggle on price. We travelled without cash today, so we were either SOL or lucky depending on your tchotchke stance.
Next stop after the water wheel, search for a secret grotto just off the golf course. At first we weren’t sure if our gas-guzzling golf cart was allowed on the golf course (we didn’t want to disrupt the serenity), but a friendly security guard assured us we were fine.
We followed the path towards the Caribbean blue water, over a rickety wooden bridge and towards the shore. There we discovered Sandy Bay, a rocky beach with clear blue waters and a refreshing breeze.
After Sandy Bay beach, we hopped back in our Sea Glass golf cart and set out for stop #2. We parked the cart next to a fresh water river emptying into the Sandy Bay.
The water was crystal clear and shallow, with round rocks and spiral seashells, perfect for exploration by little hands.
Some of us in the crew opted to wade in the river while others made friends with sand and hermit crabs.
The stream is fresh water, collecting all of the rain water from up in the mountain downward. Today was a bit dry, so much if the river bottom was exposed for our view.
After exhausting ourselves at the golf course grotto, we reloaded the golf cart and made our way back to Sea Glass Villa. Lunch was served at 1:30pm at our request, and we were past due.
Back at Sea Glass, we enjoyed an Asian chicken salad with fresh oranges, crispy straws and citrus dressing. As a bonus, the chef made us strawberry mango swirl smoothies with pineapple and grapes. The kids (and who’s kidding, the adults too) loved it all.
This afternoon the pool time was cut short by thunderstorms, but we enjoyed watching the rain out on the patio. It also became a great time to work on combing #1BigSister’s hair, as 3 days in the pool with no washes in between essentially created dreadlocks. Egem and I spent about 20 minutes trying to detangle her hair and eventually admitted defeat. With scissors borrowed from the kitchen staff, I performed her first at home hair cut, fully expecting a meltdown.
Much to my surprise and relief, she was delighted to have lighter hair that’s easier to comb and braid. Somehow I became a hero in just a few quick chops. There’s certainly some leveling out that needs to happen, but life just got a lot easier for everyone.
Today felt like a long day. Tomorrow everything is open again, so we’ll likely try snorkeling, kayaking or some other yet to be discovered water sport.