Love Nature, Love Jamaica, One Love (patois accent)

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I’ve just returned to the snow from the beautiful Island of Jamaica and yes its definitely a shock to the system but I feel OK. Am happy to be back to London after having a much needed break and am definitely feeling refreshed after stuffing my face with local delicacies (see me at one of my happiest moments with my Jerk chicken cooked the proper way on a  wooden grill), and chilling on the beach and at my grandparents quaint bungalow.

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One of the numerous traditional family meals above; Ackee and Saltfish (the Jamaican national dish), Calaloo, steamed fish and potatoes- probably the lightest dinner in the two week period.

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I tried to ensure I still looked healthy despite scoffing copious amounts of fried food;eg plantain, fried dumplings, fruit punches and sugary milk drinks (craving peanut punch right now), by using the natural wonders of my grandparents garden. Its full of fruit and vegetable trees, cacti, herbs and flowers that can cure all ailments and are good for you inside out. And since they don’t use pesticides its all organic. My fave concoction was lime leaves from the tree mixed with leaves from the decent sized mint bush- twas my daily medicine before I gave up trying to be healthy and succumbed to rum punch! However I mitigated the effects on my skin using Aloe Vera from the garden on my skin at night. I even did a hair rinse with Aloe Vera and another cactus – Tuna pronounced Toona – don’t know the English name but it left my hair so soft!

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Jamaica is a place full of natural beauty and jaw dropping landscapes. I loved driving around taking in the vast amounts of open green spaces, hills and mountains. I think I’m a hippy deep down so tried to connect with nature as much as I could. I used sand on the beach to exfoliate, gargled with sea water when I had a sore throat and cold- it really does work  and the sea is big enough for it not to be gross. Plus even swam in a river with alligators (under professional supervision!).

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Alligator at Black River Safari doing what I did for most of my trip- digesting food!

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Jamaica is also full of other types of wildlife like lizards and birds. I’m very much an amateur photographer and have mainly photographed fashion so was well chuffed with my snap of this bird that was flying above the river- no idea what it is though. Was gutted when I didn’t have my camera to hand when I spotted a black and luminous green humming bird in my grandparents garden (Jamaica’s national bird) but this snap of the random bird makes up for it!

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Not quite wild animals but too cute (cousins ‘guard dogs’)

We had a few days of ‘bad weather’ where there were some clouds, a strong breeze and the sea was quite rough- too bad for me to swim in and I consider myself a fairly strong swimmer. This didn’t stop the super human divers at the famous Rick’s Cafe who made diving into giant waves perilously crashing on onto huge jagged rocks look easy!

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Jamaica undoubtedly has some f the worlds best beaches and I tried my best to make the most of them before returning to the cold. I visited the world renowned 7 mile strip in Negril but thought the much smaller beaches in Montego Bay were just as amazing!

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Sipping on a Daiquiri in Negril.

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A quieter paradise in Montego Bay.

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The vastness of the sea made me feel how tiny and vulnerable us mere mortals are!

Despite the awes and wonders of the landscape and ridiculously tasty food one of my main highlights was receiving some vintage shirts from my grandad to be shared between me and my sister plus these dapper brogues. Grandad was baffled at me wanting mens clothes and asked my nan if me and my sister are ok in the head (he also said I looked like a ghost in my nans oversized black 80’s style dress)- in jest – but kindly agreed to part with his gear- which I will treasure for life! I was also honoured to donate a decent amount of clothes including blue poker dot dress pictured to my Mums charity shop raising funds for a children’s home in my other mother land St Lucia- God willing ill be there and blogging about it next year! Check out the Vieux Fort Childrens Society!

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Handmade croc effect shoes!

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