Salton Sea

California USA, 1 October 2016

With Jeni Bate of Skyscapes for the Soul.

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This day we drove clockwise around the Salton Sea.  This post show the journey from Salton City to Bombay Beach as well as comments on the history and current fortunes of the Salton Sea.

(Click on any image for a larger view).

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

As you read the account that unfolds  below, you may wish to come back to this map occasionally.  Note the Salton Sea at the top, the American Canal that is now the main source of water diverted from the Colorado River at just above the border, Canal Central (the diversion from the early 20th century) below that in Mexico, the Colorado river flowing from top right and the Gulf of California (or the Sea of Cortez) at the bottom.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The Salton Sea at the north-east corner.

Most readers will be aware of the long peninsula below California in Mexico which is the Baja California Peninsula.  The body of water between that and the rest of Mexico is the Gulf of California.  The peninsula and gulf are a consequence of seismic activity along the San Andreas fault, a part of which runs under the Gulf of California and along the valley to the north of it, including the Salton Sea.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The ecology of the Salton Sea is also highly connected with the Colorado River.  Five million years ago, the Colorado River was much more minor or did not exist as such and there were massive glacial lakes in the centre of North America, held there by glacial ice.  There was a catastrophic collapse of the ice wall, like a giant dam collapsing, and huge amounts of water were released along the Colorado River, carving out the Grand Canyon in a relatively short period of time.  Around 600,000 years ago there were also several episodes where the canyon was dammed by volcanic lava and after a time spectacularly broke though.  This creates lots of sediment which has to go somewhere and the Colorado River comes out at the Gulf of California.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Once there were palm trees, planted in the 50s or 60s.  Now few survive.

So the end of the Gulf of California is also the delta of the Colorado River.  Even with water in it, the Salton Sea is below sea level, so the delta of the Colorado River has blocked it off from being part of the Gulf of California.  The Salton Sea is not thought to have previously been part of the Gulf of California though.  Rather, the whole valley it is in sunk as a result of seismic activity along the San Andreas fault.

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Tombstone for a palm tree, now in the desert.

The course of the Colorado River at the delta is very changeable since it flows though loose alluvial soils.  The area below sea level in the Salton Watershed is also much larger than the current Salton Sea.  In the last thousand years water from the Colorado River has poured in to fill this area four times, forming a body of water called Lake Cahuilla, and then receding.  The last time it dried up was around 1700.

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Salt, water, mountains.

The Salton Sea is an historical accident.  In the nineteenth century it was dry.  From 1900 Charles Robinson Rockwood constructed a canal to divert water from the Colorado River to enable irrigation of potential farmland in the Imperial Valley below what is now the Salton Sea.  The canal initially ran parallel to the river.  The mouth of the canal silted up so he cut another.  This silted up too so he cut another, larger opening.  But this time, cutting financial corners, he failed to construct a gate to regulate floods.  And in 1905, there was a massive flooding of the Colorado River.  It changed course to flow along the canal and poured into the Salton Sink unchecked for two years, creating the Salton Sea.

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Dead fish on the salt.

Eventually, after massive expense and remarkable effort, Edward Harriman of the Southern Railroad Company plugged the gap but the Salton Sea was born.

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Lots of dead fish on the salt.

In response to fears of flood and drought, and to avoid canal water sourced from Mexico, there was a massive project in the 1930s to build the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River and a new All-American canal north of the Mexican border to irrigate the land between the border and the Salton Sea.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

This and earlier images are Salton City and surrounds.  Here we have a resident who has managed to retain and water their palm trees.

There came to be a successfully irrigated agricultural industry but the modified flow of the Colorado River affected Mexico as well as the US.  An international agreement short-changed Mexico which only received one third to one half of the water that went to the Imperial Valley.  The magnificent delta lands at the mouth of the Colorado were also greatly compromised.  Previously it had been a wetlands paradise for wildlife.

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The end, but of what?  The end of Time?  The end of Western Civilisation?  The end of Life as we know it?  The end of Memory? The end of speculative development projects? The end of water?  The end of the Salton Sea?  The end of words?  Or is it just where Jim Morrison came when he wrote “This is the end …”?.

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The level of the sea has not always remained constant though.  Notwithstanding the Hoover Dam, there were floods in the seventies and eighties that raised the level for a while and then subsided.  The level now is lower than it was in say the 1960s.

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In 1958, M Penn Phillips launched Salton City to replace the desert as “the Salton Riviera”.   There were to be 250,000 lots with roads, electricity, sewage, a golf course and a marina.  Nine thousand fan palms were planted.  Lots were sold on the never-never where buyers didn’t own anything until all payments were made.

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Once a Marina, perhaps.

Phillips bailed out in 1960 and by the end of the 1960s the bubble had deflated.

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Still a jetty and a boat though the water has receded from the original jetty.  This is probably at Desert Shores.

As early as 1927 there was fishing, boating and waterskiing on the sea and for a while there was an edge of glamour with this.  During the sixties and seventies the Salton Sea was a fisherman’s paradise and a refuge for large numbers of migratory birds.  From the 90s it has become a poisonous ecological disaster.  Millions of fish died at a time.  There were massive epidemics of seabirds.  Bad odours have wafted from the lake, especially during die-off events.

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We left the lake for a while to walk in a nearby valley.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Ever left your car and not sure you can find it again?  Especially a rental car?

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The key didn’t seem to work and I couldn’t get the motor to turn over.

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There seemed to be something wrong with the car but there was no mechanic nearby.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Lone pelican on a pole.

(For this and the next seven images, we are at or near North Shore Beach and Yacht Club).

The Salton Sea is a sink.  It is below sea level.  There is nowhere else for the deposits of the water to go.  The water there is saltier than sea water but that is not the problem because other salt lakes can be much saltier and still support abundant bird life.  It also has concerning levels of metals such as selenium, washed down the Colorado, but this is not the problem either.  It received agricultural runoff mainly from the US and also sewage and industrial waste from Mexico, which builds up year by year.

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A few surviving palm trees.

Corvina (cilus gilberti), a large seawater fish from Central and South America, was introduced to the sea in the 1950s.  Then tilapia, mainly freshwater fish from Africa, were introduced to the sea in the 1960s to the great delight of the corvina.  The salinity of the lake at that time, about the same as seawater, was not a problem for the tilapia and the level of nutrients from the agricultural runoff meant that they flourished.  Consequently, the population of corvina skyrocketed to an extraordinary extent.  It was easy to catch 20-pound corvina (9 kilos) and 30-pound (14 kilo) fish were also available.

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Pelican on the wing.  Perhaps the rared brown pelican rather than the white one.

From the eighties and especially from the nineties, the sea started to become too salty for the tilapia and the excess nutrients continued to build up resulting in excessive blue green algae, bacteria and parasites.  This came to include selenium-contaminated pile worms, cyanobacteria, botulism spores and amyloodinium gill parasites.  This produced die-offs of millions of tilapis in single events.  There was a bird sanctuary at the south of the sea.  Then came mass bird die offs, principally grebes, pelicans and cormorants, from eating the poisoned fish.

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Lots more dead fish again.

Given that the Salton Sea is a sewage sink, this problem is going to get worse.  The fish are largely or entirely gone now and fish-eating birds are scarce.  The sea is on their migration routes but continuing loss of habitat means there may not be somewhere else for them to go.

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The fisherman seems to have stepped aside for a smoko.  Perhaps there were no fish to catch anyway.

There have been studies on how to effect a solution and two main alternatives emerged.

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One was to physically divide the sea in two, half for “fresh” water and the other half for an evaporative sump.  In the long term though, nutrients and salts would continue to come in and this would not work.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Tyre and rust.

The other was to pump water from the Gulf of California to the Salton Sea, restoring the sea to the level of say the 1960s.  At the same time, there would be a controlled outflow the other way.  This could extract pollutants using the mothballed Yuma desalination plant, which was completed but never used because a flood destroyed the canals that would supply it.  The flushing is necessary because otherwise there would still be a buildup of pollutants.  In time fish could be introduced again.  However, this would require the cooperation of Mexico which would require special treatment since it has received the raw end of the deal so far.

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More dead fish.

Neither of those options eventuated.

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My guess is that this was a boat and what pokes up is the mast.

The Salton Sea is drying out and must have deteriorated significantly since I was there in 2016.  In 2003, measures were taken to improve efficiency of water usage in the Imperial Valley, including moving from flushing the soil with water runoff to drip irrigation.  The unanticipated effect of this though was to reduce the excess water flowing into the Salton Sea.  At the same time, there was an agreement to transfer large amounts of water from the Imperial Valley to San Diego.  An “easement period” in which it was assumed that relief measures would be taken for the Salton Sea, expired in 2018.  Nothing had been done for the sea in the intervening period.  From 1st January 2018, 40% less water flows into the Salton Sea.  That must be having a significant effect.

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Former pleasure craft or fishing craft.  Not currently much in use it seems.

Some remedial action is occurring but not much.  It follows a solution for another problem.  Owen’s Lake, inland from San Francisco and Los Angeles, was drained for Los Angeles water in the early 20th century.  By the second half of the 20th century it had become the single largest source of dust in the US.  From 1997 they replaced the dustbowl with a series of shallow ponds, which solves that problem though requires continuing maintenance.

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The shore has receded.  We are at Bombay Beach, once a celebrity destination.

A similar proposal has started for the Salton Sea.  However, it only affects a small area at the southern end of the sea.  For the rest, the sea will continue to recede and give rise to dust clouds laden with insecticides and other toxins.  In due course this will probably become a noticeable problem for LA as well.  Already there have been very high levels of asthma for decades in people living in the Imperial Valley south of the sea.  Conditions south of the border in Mexico are likely to be worse.

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There is another solution that Nature itself may provide.  Seismic activity along the San Andreas fault could open a fissure so that water rushes in and the entire Salton sink becomes part of the Gulf of California.  That may not be a desirable solution for the many people that live or farm there.  It may even be inevitable.  But even if so, it may not happen for maybe even millions of years.

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… and the population has receded too.

It’s easy to look at this as a severe problem in an isolated obscure area that nobody much has heard of or should worry about.  But it’s also part of an ecological crisis in the south west of the US associated with twenty years of drought in the Colorado Basin.

More generally, it is a metaphor for what we are doing to the environment and how urgently our action is required.  Climate change, over-consumption and overpopulation are rapidly undermining our world.  This calls for well considered action.  Solutions are expensive but so is ignoring the problems.  Pretending there is no problem and doing nothing will not work.

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My primary source for this account has been Salt Dreams by William de Buys and Joan Myers.  I have also made some reference to Ancient Landscapes of the Colorado Plateau by Ron Blakey and Wayne Ranney, A history of water — and the Salton Sea — in Imperial by Neal V Hitch, Salton Sea: California drought could soon see the state’s largest body of water sleeping with the fishes by Tim Walker and Dust Rising by Michael Zelenko.

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(I have usually been posting once a week but this post has been delayed by the time required for research.  The next post has infrared images and that is also likely to be delayed because they are time-consuming to process, and also because I have some other tasks including preparing, printing and framing three images for an exhibition.)

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Encounters with Megafauna

Galleta Meadows, Borrego Springs, California USA, 30 September 2016

With Jeni Bate of Skyscapes for the Soul.

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A few days before, we saw the remains of prehistoric megafauna that had been trapped in the La Brea Tar Swamps.  There are still a few places you can see them though such as here at Galleta Meadows.

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Their brown colour is an evolutionary adaption for living is a desert environment.  Indian and African elephants by contrast are grey because they evolved to live in black and white forests before the age of colour. You can see this in old films and nineteenth century photographs.

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This appears to be a small group of gomphotheres which are usually very hard to find in the wild.  Not sure of the actual species though.

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Getting up close and personal with a gomphothere.

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A very large locust or grasshopper and a scorpion.  Quite a bit larger than a human.

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They were just sitting there sizing each other off, hardly moving at all.  Well if they were moving at all, I didn’t notice it.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have got quite so close.  I understand scorpions can move quite quickly when they have a mind to.

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Desert, Galleta Meadows, Landscape, Megafauna, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Grasshoppers and locusts are essentially the same but they are locusts when they swarm.  Younger readers may not remember bygone decades driving through a plague of locusts when they would hit your windscreen like hail.  These days the thoughtful agricultural chemical producers have solved this problem by eliminating something like 90% of insects world-wide in the last forty years or so.  Before long they could well take this wonderful profit-based progress even further and eliminate all flowering plants.  Then we will all be able to experience the extraordinary privilege of living in a desert.

In the meanwhile, Californian residents must have interesting times in locust plagues.  Having one of these coming through your car window could make quite a difference to your day.

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Desert, Galleta Meadows, Landscape, Megafauna, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

There was also a group of agricultural workers.  They are protesting about low rates of pay for agricultural workers in an insufficiently regulated economy and involved in a form of industrial action known as a go-slow.  They are taking this very literally.

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You will notice that behind to the right is a tall thin sculpture from the prehistoric era before wifi.  It is called a telegraph pole.  No-one is sure what a telegraph was.  Some kind of precursor to wifi, it seems, using fender telecasters and some kind of drawings.

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Desert, Galleta Meadows, Landscape, Megafauna, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Here are a couple of ground sloths but they were too preoccupied to notice me.  When photographing wildlife you have to be quite sensitive to the situation and not for example wander right up to a ground sloth or a bear to take a selfie.

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Desert, Galleta Meadows, Landscape, Megafauna, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The largest ground sloths come in at four tonnes and six metres long (20 feet).  I’m not sure how big this one was and I didn’t weigh it.

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Desert, Galleta Meadows, Landscape, Megafauna, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

You might think it is surprising to see a Chinese dragon in California but their range has been increasing.

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You can see it is shimmying along through the desert sand and this is because it has burrowed through all the way from China.

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I didn’t see it breathing any fire but if you sneak up behind it and touch its skin, you can see that it can get very very hot.

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Desert, Galleta Meadows, Landscape, Megafauna, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Some say that the Chinese Dragon is casting a larger shadow these days but I didn’t really notice that while I was here.

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That massive tongue looks almost like the trunk of an elephant so perhaps  dragons evolved into elephants.

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This looks to be just an ordinary elephant. Perhaps it escaped from a zoo.

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Desert, Galleta Meadows, Landscape, Megafauna, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

There were also a couple of locals here, who appeared to be having navigational difficulties with their vehicle.

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Desert, Galleta Meadows, Landscape, Megafauna, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

I asked them what they were doing there but they didn’t want to talk to me or even acknowledge me so I went off in a huff.  (A huff is a somewhat impractical motor vehicle that is a cross between a Hummer and a Fiat 500).

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Borrego Palm Canyon

Borrego Palm Canyon, Salton Sea, California USA, 30 September 2016

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This is a map of our journey to LA, the Salton Sea and Joshua National Park.  You may need to click on it to see more detail (all images are larger if you click on them).

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Dawn at the Salton Sea.

We drove from LA 160 miles (260km) WSW to Salton City on the Salton Sea.  We were guests of Jeni Bate who I had met online through our respective WordPress sites.  She showed us around the Salton Sea area and we had a great time.  I highly recommend you visit her Art Website:  Skyscapes for the Soul.

(More on the ecology and history of the area in a later post).

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

We headed west from Salton City in the morning.  This is a view from the side of the road, perhaps at Montezuma Valley Road Lookout.

We stopped for lunch in the small town of Borrego and saw an exhibition of Jeni’s paintings at the Borrego Art Institute.

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

This whole area is desert of course.  We’re now heading towards Borrego Palm Canyon in Anzo-Borrego Desert State Park.  This appears to be at the Borrego Palm Canyon Trailhead.

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

In the canyon now.  This is a barrel cactus.

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A hummingbird feeding on an ocotillo (fouquieria splendens).

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

We met other walkers who had seen bighorn sheep up on the rocky sides of the mountains but we didn’t see them.  (Borrego is the Spanish word for these sheep).

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Our destination is a grove of Californian Palms (washingtonia filifera), fed by spring water.

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The palms can grow up to 20 to 25 metres (60 to 80 feet).

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Heading back.  An ocotillo in a barren landscape.

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Desert cacti, perhaps clavellina cholla.

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Jamaica Monochromes

26 to 30 September 2016, Jamaica.

Links go to colour posts (for more information and context). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies.

Click on any image to see it larger.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Arriving at Treasure Beach.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Appleton Rum Refinery.

Treasure Beach.

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Early rum still.

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Treasure Beach.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Sunrise at Treasure Beach.

Black River.

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From Treasure Beach to Black River.

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Floyd’s Pelican Bar.

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Undermined house at mouth of Black River.  Notice the front stairs as well as the angle of the house.

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Passing boat.

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Passing canoe.

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Black River.

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Crocodile.

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Captain Ted, our skipper.

Floyd’s Pelican Bar

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Floyd’s Pelican Bar.

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Continuing on…

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Treasure Beach.

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South West Coast.

Treasure Beach to Montego Bay

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Roadside refreshments and shells.

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Yellow-faced Grasquit, female or immature male.

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Jamaican Mango.

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Bananaquit.

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The red-billed streamertail (Trochilus polytmus), also known as the doctor bird, scissor-tail or scissors tail hummingbird, the national bird of Jamaica.

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Antigua Monochromes

18-22 September 2016, Antigua

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Links go to posts with the colour versions of the images (where there may also be more information and context). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies. (Click on any image to see it larger).

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife

English Harbour.

Antigua – Morning at English Harbour

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife

Turk’s Head or Barrel Cactus.

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife .

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife

Fish at dockside.

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife

Maybe a tuna.

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife

Fort Berkeley

Antigua – Fort Berkeley and Shirley Heights.

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife .

Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife .

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife

Galleon Beach from Fort Berkeley.

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife .

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife

Dow’s Hill.

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife

View from Shirley Heights.

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife

English Harbour.

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife

Royal Military Guard House at Shirley Heights.

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife

Hummingbird and cacti.

Antigua – Half Moon Bay and Devil’s Bridge.

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife

Half Moon Bay.

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife

Devil’s Bridge National Park.

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife .

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife

St Peter’s Anglican Church at Parham.

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife

English Harbour.

Antigua – West Coast.

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife

Inland, perhaps Swetes.

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife .

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife .

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife

Carlisle Bay Beach.

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife

Morris Bay.

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife .

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife

South west coast.

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Antigua, Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Wildlife

Martello Tower, Fort Barrington National Park.

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Treasure Beach to Montego Bay

Jamaica, 29 September 2016

 

We drove from Treasure Beach to Montegho Bay, in order to catch a plane on the following morning.

Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Along the way we stopped at several remote beaches.

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

On the way we visited Rocklands Bird Sanctuary.

 

Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Our GPS initially sent us up a precipitous four wheel drive mountain road until a local turn us around and sent us on the right direction.

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Yellow-faced Grasquit, female or immature male.

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Bananaquit.

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Jamaican Mango.

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

For the bird sanctuary, high in the hills, a view over Montego Bay.  The airport is past the far point.

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

The red-billed streamertail (Trochilus polytmus), also known as the doctor bird, scissor-tail or scissors tail hummingbird, is the national bird of Jamaica..

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Hibiscus.

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

On the next day, from Montego Bay to Los Angeles with a stopover of a few hours in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Next, though, some monochromes.

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Floyd’s Pelican Bar

Jamaica, 28 September 2016

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach

Captain Ted, our skipper on the journey back to Treasure Beach.

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach

An interesting array of boats and dwellings at the water’s edge.

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach

And here we are, approaching Floyd’s pelican Bar again.

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach

It started up in 2001, originally just for Floyd and his fisherman friends.

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach

Boat attached to the bar.

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach

Continuing on the way back and we’ve picked up a hitchhiker.

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach

Back at Treasure Beach.  We saw this boat at the start of the previous post.

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach

Back on land now.

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .;

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Black River

Black River, Jamaica, 28 September 2016

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Up early in the morning for the sunrise at Treasure Beach.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

And somewhat later we’re heading off on the water for Black River (that’s the river, not the town, though we go past the town).

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Coastal views along the way….

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Dolphins.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Beachside shack, not a dwelling.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Floyd’s Pelican Bar.  We’ll drop in there on the way back.  Next post.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Serious subsidence problem, maybe due to a hurricane.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

We’re about to pass by the town of Black River.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Friendly locals.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Cattle Egret.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

It’s a little like the Louisiana Bayous.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Oncoming traffic.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Crocodile.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Traditional water craft.  Whether there is any cultural link to the Arawak is doubtful though possible.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Returning.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Another crocodile.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

A fan of Vladimir Nabakov, it seems.

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Treasure Beach

Jamaica, 27 September 2016

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We went for a drive inland in the morning but spent most of the day at Treasure Beach.  The next six images are from the drive.

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Appleton Estate Rum, Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife

A boat and wharf at Black River.

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Appleton Estate Rum, Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife

At a guess, this is the remains of a boat deliberately sunk for a breakwater at Black River.

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Appleton Estate Rum, Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife

We visited the Appleton Rum Refinery.  Appleton rum dates to 1749.  It is the oldest Jamaican rum producer and the second oldest in the Caribbean, and remains Jamaica’s leading rum.

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Appleton Estate Rum, Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife

I’m not sure how old what we see is.  It’s clearly not new but doesn’t date back to 1749.  Since the rum is based on sugar, grown on the estate, there would have been a close association with slavery in the eighteenth century.  I suspect that tourists, on their expensive estate tour, don’t have their attention drawn to this.

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Appleton Estate Rum, Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife

Successive still stages:  Low vine, high vine and rum.

What I can read of the plaque says:  “Pot Still:  This is essentially a kettle used in small scale batch production.  Steam is applied to the pot and the vapour given off is condensed and collected in three separate containers.”  The last paragraph is illegible.

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Appleton Estate Rum, Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife

Rum barrels.

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Appleton Estate Rum, Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife

Back at Treasure beach and going for a walk….

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Appleton Estate Rum, Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife .

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Appleton Estate Rum, Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife .

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Appleton Estate Rum, Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife .

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Appleton Estate Rum, Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife .

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Appleton Estate Rum, Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife .

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Appleton Estate Rum, Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife .

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Appleton Estate Rum, Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife .

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Appleton Estate Rum, Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife .

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Appleton Estate Rum, Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife .

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Appleton Estate Rum, Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife .

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Appleton Estate Rum, Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife

Sunset closes in….

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Appleton Estate Rum, Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife .

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Appleton Estate Rum, Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife

From the right angle, the dying light is dramatic on the water.

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Appleton Estate Rum, Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife .

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Appleton Estate Rum, Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife .

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Appleton Estate Rum, Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife .

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Arriving at Treasure Beach

Jamaica, 26 September 2016

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Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife

We landed in Jamaica at Norman Manley Airport in Kingston.  I don’t think I realised that we were just a few kilometres from Port Royal, the original English settlement in Jamaica.  We could have visited Fort Charles (originally Fort Cromwell) but I had hired a car from the airport, was focused on the drive to Treasure Beach and would not have wanted to finish that in the dark.  I had read lots of warnings not to drive in Jamaica but it occurred to me that a lot of those might be from young Americans who drive on the wrong side of the road.  It seemed too expensive to avoid it and I’d driven in many foreign countries so I thought “How hard can it be?”.  As it turned out I found drivers in Jamaica zippy and a touch crazy but not insane so that was fine.

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Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife

So here we are at Treasure beach looking out to sea and at a pelican on what looks like a pile.  Perhaps there was a wharf there once.

The Arawaks were the original inhabitants of Jamaica from about 2,500 years ago.  Columbus and the Spanish arrived in 1494 and though Jamaica was not very important to them, they had mostly wiped out the Arawaks by 1600.

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Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife

Cromwell dispatched a fleet in 1654 to conquer Hispaniola but they failed to take Santo Domingo (as we saw in an earlier post) so in 1655 they conquered Jamaica instead.  The Spanish slaves then fled inland and formed “Maroon” settlements. The English failed to defeat them so they reached an agreement whereby the English recognised the independence of the Maroons and the Maroons agreed to return any escaped English slaves.

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Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife

Cromwell’s fleet sailed away in 1657 leaving the English with a defence problem.  They solved this by offering sanctuary to English and French pirates holed up in places on the coast of Hispaniola and on the island of Tortuga.  The term buccaneer derives from these people and the Arawak word buccan, a frame for slowly roasting meat.

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Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife

Privateer/ pirate Henry Morgan became Governor of Jamaica for some years but in 1692, half of Port Royal disappeared under the seas in an earthquake.  The settlement subsequently moved to Kingston, though for many years the capital was at Spanish Town, the old Spanish capital a little further inland.

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Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife

The main crops were initially cotton and tobacco but that shifted to sugar and in the 18th century the slave population greatly increased.  A slave rebellion in 1831 was suppressed so brutally it was a factor in the abolition of slavery throughout the Empire in 1833.

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Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife

Marcus Garvey is an important historical figure in Jamaica.  His tomb is also a monument in a Kingston park as a national hero and August 17 is a public holiday as Marcus Garvey Day.  Born to a poor family, he became a trade unionist, editor and journalist.  In Jamaica in 1914 he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA) which became very influential during his time in the US (1916-1927).  It promoted the advancement of black peoples and ran industries and a shipping line.  In 1920 it had over 1900 divisions in more than 40 countries and a 1920 conference was attended by 20,000 people.  Unlike the NAACP, which was open to all and promoted integration, the UNIA was by blacks and for blacks.  It sought to resettle black people in Africa though this never eventuated.  Garvey was controversial in many ways though, not least for talking to the Klu Klux Klan and advocating cooperation with them.

Back in Jamaica from 1927 to 1935, he founded the first political party there, the People’s Political Party (PPP) which advocated an eight hour day, a minimum wage and land reform.

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Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife

Rastafarianism started and grew from the 1930s, partly influenced by Marcus Garvey.  Rastafarianism was in turn part of the influence for many of the forms of Jamaican music, including reggae, ska, rock steady and dub and world-renowned musicians such as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff and Burning Spear.

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Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife

Michael Manley, son of Jamaica’s first Prime Minister Norman Manley, was Prime Minister 1972 to 1980 and 1989 to 1992.  A Democratic Socialist, he instituted many socio-economic reforms and perhaps represents a high point in Jamaican politics, though the potential of his reforms was only partly realised.

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Architecture, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Pelicans, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wildlife

Jamaica has a reputation as a friendly welcoming place with great music.  However, in certain locations it can be dangerous at night, it has a high murder rate and in some places there can be a lot of cadging of people perceived as tourists.  We didn’t encounter any of those potential drawbacks though and had a quiet friendly and relaxing time in Jamaica.

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