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 Post subject: Recommended Reads for a Trip to the Carribean
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:21 pm 
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My fiance and I will be honeymooning in Jamaica. I was hoping to get a few book recommendations from you all that would go well with this environment.


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 Post subject: Re:Recommended Reads for a Trip to the Carribean
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:51 pm 
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Treasure Island. While this might seem cliche, I still remember reading the book and loved the fact that it had such vivid imagery; I actually felt like I was in the Islands.

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 Post subject: Re:Recommended Reads for a Trip to the Carribean
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:46 pm 
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Jordan,

I lived in Trinidad and Guyana for a while and stocked up on localised reading material while there. Port of Spain (Trinidad) had some decent book stores, while Georgetown (Guyana) had a very limited selection.

Dr. Eric Williams was Prime Minister of Trinidad from the early 60's to the early 80's. He wrote "From Columbus to Castro: The History of the Caribbean, 1492-1969" which provides an excellent background to the region.

Anything by V.S. Naipaul (Trinidadian Nobel Prize winner) is worthwhile. I especially enjoyed his first work "The Middle Passage" which is a travelogue through Jamaica, Martinique, Trinidad, Guyana and Surinam roundabout 1960 or so. "A Bend in the River" and "A House for Mr. Biswas" are other favourites.

Naipaul's brother, Shiva (now deceased) was also very talented. "Love and Death in a Hot Country" gives a very accurate account of life in Guyana, where he spent time researching "Black and White", the background to the Jonestown Massacre.

Former President of Guyana Dr. Cheddi Jagan wrote very prolifically, albeit from a leftist point of view. His early history, and his country's entanglements with the CIA, make for very interesting reading, should you be interested in the topic. His wife, a white American, later became President of Guyana.

I have many more titles on the shelves, but these are the ones that stand out in my mind.


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 Post subject: Re:Recommended Reads for a Trip to the Carribean
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:47 pm 
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^ Thanks, trip. Certainly an option. I have never read it.







The more I think about it, a pirate tale would be perfect.


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 Post subject: Re:Recommended Reads for a Trip to the Carribean
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:24 am 
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Jordan,
Have a wonderful honeymoon

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 Post subject: Re:Recommended Reads for a Trip to the Carribean
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:20 am 
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pallas,

Thank you for the suggestions. For some strange reason I am only just now able to view your reply--weird.

I am most intrigued by The Middle Passage. Hopefully it is a title that is easy to find.


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 Post subject: Re:Recommended Reads for a Trip to the Carribean
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:21 am 
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mcarthur wrote:
Jordan,
Have a wonderful honeymoon
Thank you, Mac.


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 Post subject: Re:Recommended Reads for a Trip to the Carribean
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:33 am 
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Perhaps it's odd recommending a book I havent read, but Dr. No is based in Jamaica.

Jamaica is an odd place. Beautiful country. Big bucks vacation spots fenced off from squalor. If you havent been to any third-world countries it might be interesting for you (or not, particularly if you're in an all-inclusive resort, in which case you wont see any rough stuff by design). You flying Air Jamaica?


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 Post subject: Re:Recommended Reads for a Trip to the Carribean
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:41 am 
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Speas,

We will be at an all inclusive.

I consider myself an outdoorsman, I enjoy adventure and would love to take a trip to see the mountains and jungles of this beautiful country, but I do not have plans to venture out unless it is an excursion sponsored by the resort.

We will be flying Delta.

I would love to hear about your experiences, Speas. Good and bad.


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 Post subject: Re:Recommended Reads for a Trip to the Carribean
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:54 pm 
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My wife and I honeymooned at Sandals Dunns River. The resort was all inclusive and great, but it's as Speas said - gated splendor surrounded by poor locals. We did take 2 trips "off campus" which were totally run by the Sandals folks, which were interesting, but real touristy excursions. We did not feel comfortable exploring on our own.

I ate about 200 "jerk burgers" from the grill by the pool. Mmmmmm! I think I read a Larry Bond (war techno-thriller Tom Clancy disciple) book that week.


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 Post subject: Re:Recommended Reads for a Trip to the Carribean
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:35 pm 
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Jordan - Glad to hear you're not on Air J. My last 2 flights were delayed by 6+ hours due to FAA required 'pilot rest'. I refuse to fly them now - they dont have $$ to maintain their fleet either.

Though most of my visits have been to Kingston, I have stayed at Half Moon and the Ritz Carlton both which were nice. I dont unfortunately have much to offer regarding recommendations as my travel has been on business.

The all inclusive resorts are a good way to go there given the crime problems. The murder rate is about highest in the world - something like one murder per 1600 people each year. This is in the rough areas which you wont be seeing. The touristy areas are much better but dont go exploring on your own I'd say.

I very much like the food - jerk lambchops are about the best (and hottest) thing you can put in your mouth. I now buy the Busha Brown brand jerk paste, which you can find in the US, and use it myself. Being a tropical paradise and all, the fruit drinks are great and ubiquitous. The local (spiny?) lobsters are tasty as is other seafood (be sure its local). Jamaican blue mountain coffee is great - good restaurants serve it in a french press after dinner. On the other hand, some of the food is horrible as you'd expect - they eat something like collards with saltfish for breakfast - pretty nasty in my book - then again, differences are still interesting if not altogether good. If it were just like the US, we'd all just head to Florida when we want some sun (not Miami though, they dont habla Ingles).

Enjoy your trip.


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 Post subject: Re:Recommended Reads for a Trip to the Carribean
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:21 pm 
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^ Speas, are you thinking about ackee and saltfish? I know it's a popular Jamaican breakfast, and it reminds me of scrambled eggs in colour and texture. I love Caribbean food and drink. Roti and Carib beer on the beach go hand in hand. I don't eat seafood but once I did try pirhana and some sort of orange snake that the rasta man caught in the Essiquibo River.

I have normally flown on British West Indies Airline (BWIA) out of Toronto. The seats were often upholstered in orange vinyl, reminding me of a flying A&W restaurant.

I've never stayed at a gated resort but for a honeymoon, I believe it's the way to go. The bigger cities I was in (Kingston, Port of Spain, Georgetown) can be kind of scary, particularly at night. In Georgetown we were told in no uncertain terms to not go out after dark, but we did anyway. We had spent an evening at the pool lounge at the Pegasus Hotel listening to a band doing cover tunes of everything from reggae to ABBA (that was interesting). Shortly after leaving the parking area, our car was nearly swarmed by a group of about 20 individuals. A hasty reverse and Rockford style U-Turn aided our escape. Most of the time people are very friendly (or at least leave you alone), however on one occasion in a small town in the interior of Guyana someone referred to me as a "honky". I hadn't heard that expression since George Jefferson used it in reference to Archie Bunker.


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 Post subject: Re:Recommended Reads for a Trip to the Carribean
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:47 pm 
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Speas wrote:
Jamaica is an odd place. Beautiful country. Big bucks vacation spots fenced off from squalor. If you havent been to any third-world countries it might be interesting for you (or not, particularly if you're in an all-inclusive resort, in which case you wont see any rough stuff by design).
Back in the '80s someone in the Navy thought that treating our ship to a port visit in Kingston would be a great idea.

Not so much.

But a pal and I decided to take the train to Montego Bay (on a Saturday) to get the heck out of Dodge. That day is still fresh in my mind. A real adventure, but it took ALL DAY to cross over the Blue Mountains. The train was packed and the whole car sang Sunday school songs for hours. We bought and ate fried fish and bammy from a fellow passenger who was selling it from a wash basin. There was a derailment and we had to change trains. It poured rain. In short, a great day. But the next day we got worried we wouldn't get back to the ship in time, so we caught a 15-minute flight back to Kingston. Third World life is interesting, but it's nice to have a Plan B. Haven't seen Jamaica since.

Scott


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 Post subject: Re:Recommended Reads for a Trip to the Carribean
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:50 pm 
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ds23pallas wrote:
^ Speas, are you thinking about ackee and saltfish? I know it's a popular Jamaican breakfast, and it reminds me of scrambled eggs in colour and texture.
I looked up the greens - its callaloo. I love collards and turnip greens but not for breakfast. I once saw them unloading crates of it off of an AJ flight at JFK so it must be a must have in Jamaica (Queens, that is). Ackee is odd too, but I'll eat it in a pinch.


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 Post subject: Re:Recommended Reads for a Trip to the Carribean
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:53 pm 
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Naval Gent wrote:
Back in the '80s someone in the Navy thought that treating our ship to a port visit in Kingston would be a great idea.
I almost laughed my drink out my nose at reading that line!


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