We started day 2 of our Portland Getaway in worship at Janice’s church, the Port Antonio Open Bible Church.
I did not pack church clothes so I ended up going to the service wearing capris which is usually unheard of in Jamaica’s very traditional churches. Luckily for me, Janice’s church appreciated the “render your heart not your garments” sentiments and I had no issues.
Portland is one of the most amazing parishes in Jamaica. The view from the church door alone was absolutely breathtaking.
The church is located across from the Folly Ruins so we took a stroll there after service.
I have longed to visit the Folly Ruins for years but never got the chance to until this trip.
The ruins is located behind the Folly Oval which after quite a few visits to the oval I did not know was actually there.
The walk through the oval was really nice though. I think it would be perfect for a stroll with friends or your significant other.
We passed a few persons just lounging on the concrete benches.
I have always been fascinated by the story of the Folly Ruins.
The Story I heard about Folly…
The great Folly Mansion was constructed by a rich American man to impress his sweetheart and convince her to move to Jamaica with him. However, corners were cut in the construction and cement was mixed with saltwater rather than fresh water. When his wife came to inspect the property it had already begun to crumble and she exclaimed “What a Folly” and flew back to America, never to return. The Folly Mansion was then left to crumble in to the ground.
Much like the story of the White Witch (here) this story was the result of the very active Jamaican imagination. The true story is much different.
The Folly Mansion was actually built in 1905 by a retired mining engineer, Alfred Mitchell, for himself and his wife, the Tiffany heiress, Annie Tiffany. The Mansion was a grand structure in its heyday, styled on a Roman Villa with 60 rooms spread over 2 floors.
The mansion was equipped with all sorts of modern conveniences for it’s day, including a wind-powered generator which pumped seawater in to an indoor swimming pool, its own power station and independent water reservoir.
Alfred died in 1911 and Annie continued to live at Folly Mansion until the outbreak of World War One, when she returned to the USA.
The minute I stepped into the ruins, my imagination started to run wild!
I couldn’t help but start to envision how beautiful it was after its completion.
Though it is somewhat an attraction in its current state; It pains my heart to know that successive governments officials allowed such an architectural gem to fall into such disrepair.
On your next visit to Port Antonio I recommend a visit to the Folly Ruins. It is free.
My only advice is not to venture there alone or in a pair. Go in a group or with a local you trust.
Frenchman’s Cove Beach
Our final stop on our getaway was Frenchman’s Cove Beach.
This was my first trip to the beach & it was spectacular. I definitely see why so many Kingstonians venture here for a beach day.
It is a very unique beach in more ways than one. It has a fresh water stream which flows alongside the beach which allows patrons to choose to enjoy the river or sea or both!
The river also has a swing which provides a perfect photo op! I am still due my cliche Frenchman’s Cove Instagram swing picture LOL.
The beach also has WIFI access. So if you are a Snapchat addict like myself you will appreciate this unique feature.
There is a small admission fee of only $800 for locals and $10 for tourist.
The beach is private & owned & operated by the Frenchman’s Cove Hotel.
Check out the website here for more information.
Portland Jerk Centre
We had grabbed a bite before we headed to Frenchman’s Cove Beach at the Portland Jerk Centre Restaurant on Harbour Street.
It is a nice spot which offers not only jerk at very reasonable prices. They also accept Credit & Debit cards.
It was so hard to leave!
Port Antonio is filled with so much character that you can’t help but appreciate it.
The rich history of the town which is quite evident seems to fit perfectly with all the modern amenities.
The entire weekend was filled with nothing but positive vibes. The locals were filled with warmth. I would trade Kingston living for Portie any day.
Here are a few tips from my trip
- Check out the store Essie on West Street for affordable trendy clothing. I bought a cute floral shorts there which will be making its debut at a fete.
- The African Culture show at Great Huts cost only $300.
- Prices at the Cliffhanger are in US, gratuity is 15% of your bill & paying it is actually optional.
- The Devon House I Scream shop at the Errol Flynn Marina does not accept credit cards
- Entrance to the Errol Flynn Marina is free.
Thanks for trekking with me…
Until next time