Jamaica 2013 – Day two

I awoke to the sounds of the sea and meows. Also to the realisation that I had left my waterproof mp3 player at home. I need more exercise, and whilst I can happily do a swim session listening to podcasts, otherwise I find swimming too boring. I’d have to find out if there was anywhere to buy one locally once I was online.

These were still days where in many places you’d be very happy if an internet signal could crawl over a pipe to you. I got out the mifi and powered up. No signal. Dammit. It looked like my cunning ploy to avoid having to pay hotel wifi prices wasn’t going to work. It was extra annoying as the work iphone had a good 2.5g signal, but I couldn’t run up roaming charges on that.

Breakfast was a fair selection of porridge, fruits and heart attack foods. I decided to be good, and have some fruit. Then I had sausage and eggs as well. All the more need, I think, for the swimming.

After breakfast we went to the front desk. The young lady said she would ask the housekeeper about another room and let us know. She also told us that the wifi wasn’t working. At that point my crabbiness factor went up a notch or two as the first stages of internet withdrawal set in.

We had a quick scout round. The hotel is fairly small, with a pool and a bar/terrace area flanking the main building, which houses the restaurant, shop, lounge area and disco. There’s also a bar by the pool, and one at the end of a short pier. This is all fronted by some small separated beach areas, one of which is for nude bathing. We are unlikely to partake of this.

We decided to set up by the pool. In search of a quiet holiday I had emailed the hotel before I booked to ask if there were quiet places during the day. I have never understood the rationale for playing obtrusively loud music that people dislike in public recreation areas. The response from the hotel was that the pool was quiet during the day. However, as we approached, we were welcomed by the regular beat of reggae once again. Something had been lost in translation, obviously. It wasn’t too bad down the far end though, so we settled down.

After a morning of experimental cocktails we went for lunch, where I had a traditional Nick combination of spaghetti with curried chicken. Lovely, although I could hear that pool exercise calling me. Helen had some bird seed.

We went back to the front desk to enquire about the room. We were shown an alternative honeymoon room, which was lovely. A great big light airy room with more modern furnishings, and a balcony literally at the waters edge. We jumped at it. If I’d got married here and had the first room, and then discovered this one, I’d be a bit narked. There’s no door to the bathroom/toilet, but it’s round a corner, and I suppose honeymooners prefer that sort of thing. The porter helped us move our bags.

We stood on the balcony of our new sanctuary, drinking in the atmosphere, the sea, the calm.

And then the beeping started.

At first we weren’t sure if it was the squeaky floor, but it happened even if we stood still. It went off about every 20 seconds or so. I progressively tracked it down to the smoke alarm. It was obviously telling us that it wanted a new battery. Isn’t there a schedule for this sort of thing? It wouldn’t have been good if it had gone off in the middle of the night. I called the desk, who sent a man, who said the smoke alarm needed a new battery, and he went off to get one, while Helen went back to the pool. It took him half an hour to find a battery and come back to fit it.

Despite being told the hotel wi-fi still wasn’t working, I tried it in an idle moment, and it worked! Joy. My guess is that the hotel’s definition of ‘not working’ relates more to their inability to charge for it.

Back at the pool, the weather was quite windy and overcast, and Helen felt cold, although she can feel cold in a sauna. The sun came out for about five minutes, just five flippin’ minutes, but in that time I managed to get quite decent sunburn on my legs, which haven’t stopped burning. There ought to be a pill for it.

Early evening we retired to the room, safe in the knowledge that there would be no cats in the roof. Instead, there was now a high pitched whine. Was this some sort of outlandish sanity test? I’ve little enough of that to spare. I tracked down the noise to a machine room on the ground floor, and decided there was little to be done about it. Fortunately it had stopped by bed time.

Dinner was uneventful, although preceded by the sight of a drunk American projectile vomiting into the flower bed a couple of tables down from us. His companions appeared to regard it as quite normal.

Neither the easy listening band nor the prospect of a staff and guest talent competition could keep us from our bed, and so we retired to thoughts of finding out where I could get a waterproof mp3 player on the morrow. The holiday was beginning to settle down nicely.

< Day one                                                                                                                                                                                 Day three >