Surf n Skate

Trip Start Oct 01, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Jamnesia Surf Camp

Flag of Jamaica  ,
Wednesday, May 7, 2008

It's been a while since I the last entry, having filled my time watching a ton of pirate DVDs, a few beach days and getting drunk whilst witnessing Arsenal throw away their season, apart from the latter its been enjoyable here but also been feeling a bit like a caged bird resulting in packing and repacking of my backpack, reading every single page in my central America lonely planet twenty times and have marked out my excact overland route to beunos airies on an atlas. My flight out of Jamaica is ready to book any minute now.

Recently I've been looking at making up a Jamaica FAQ (soon come) to help out budget minded independant travellers with tips and tricks I've learnt over the last year , I've nearly finished it but unlike that lonely planet colombia writer i wanted to check out a couple of places before making a recommendation. The Jamnesia Surf Camp is a place I've wanted to stay at since I first arrived.. This week I moved my lazy arse down there to try a get more profecant catching waves before I leave for El Salvador.. Anyway the place is run by a local celebrity/surfing legend and rasta Billy 'mystic' Wilmot with his family, on arriving I fell in love with the place.. It is on the beach with a mountain backdrop, a communal patio to meet other travellers, the rooms range from 25usd an up, a bowl to skate and a whole heap of DVDs and magazines for when there are no waves and when there are, you can get surf instruction on the beach at the backdoor.

I later found out the cheap meals prepared are delicious and there was going to be an open mike jam on the Saturday, there were a couple of Japanese staying in adjacent rooms and a pro skater from Argentina, Mariano Gonzalez, who arrived to film some skating in Jamaica.. According to the kids that I was skating with, a lot of surf and skate proffesionals come through jamnesia whilst staying on the island. During my stay the sea was quite flat but I still managed to get about three good sessions in which saw me improve my confidence a bit, the one lesson with billys son 'Icah' saw me learn a lot and was worth the $20us..

I spent a lot of time with my skateboard on the bowl they have built.. The local kids are all pretty good and skate and grind the thing up bare foot and with their worn out boards, I made a lot of friends with them and was invited out to skate some spots in Kingston one day, it was a great experience as now instead of hiding my board to limit myself from standing out in the crowd I was now part of a crew of a dozen skaters, weaving inbetween traffic, jumping kerbs and stairs and basically having fun turning the capital into a skate park..

My highlight were these two perfect transitions that are at the base of the arches of the new halfway tree transport centre, the place is busy but I had a quick test of them anyway, one drunk resident huslter saw me skate up one and was making enough noise for me to go again, the crowd was split in two allowing me a clear aisle to skate my run up, i thought we would be here for a good half hour so hit the ramp looking concrete block and spun round at the top to come down again.. as I was speeding through the crowd of curious onlookers and big hand grabbed my wrist which pulled me off my board, there were now about a hundred people watching me getting a telling off by this giant policeman, all u could do was keep my head down, agree that I wouldn't do it again and skate away as quick as possible.. There was no way I was going to answer back as apart from him being three times the size of me, I have a lot of respect for police walking the beat in Kingston as surely everytime this guy gets home safely he must thank his lucky stars, the death rate is probaly larger than the British forces in Afganistan..

Jamnesia is definatly one of the coolest accomodations on the island and I wish I'd turned up there a lot earlier, I hope get back before my visa runs out in a couple of weeks, until then I want to check out the luminous lagoon in Falmouth and maybe rent a 4x4 to get to the morant point lighthouse that I failed to do last time..
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