Chasing Monkey Island – Part 1 – San San Beach
Monkey Island eludes me.
I didn’t start frequenting Portland until maybe two years ago but the more I go and the more I familiarize myself with this parish, is the more I fall in love. Portland is located on the northeast coast of Jamaica, and for me it has the best beaches on the island. Last Friday night I went to two bars with some friends for a drink & I had such a bad experience that I had to calm my nerves with some fried chicken from Popeyes. I personally think the best ideas begin with chicken, because by the time we left at 10:30PM, a question was posed and subsequently with the answer a decision was made.
Q: CAN WE GO TO THE COUNTRY TOMORROW?
A: YES WE ARE GOING TO PORTLAND IN THE MORNING!
Fast forward to the next day and our plan is set. This week’s adventure would be a trip to San San Beach, get a boat ride over to check out Monkey Island, then upon our return head over to Frenchman’s Cove. Now in my few years going to Portland I have always heard about this Monkey Island. A quick Google search tells me that the island gets its name from the colony of monkeys which Alfred Mitchell‘s explorer son-in-law Hiram Bingham brought to Jamaica. Rather than keeping the monkeys in his mansion (the now ruined Folly Mansion), Mitchell let them live on the island. These monkeys by now are all long gone (I think), but the island remains a key attraction for visitors who go on raft tours through the Blue Lagoon and Rio Grande, as well as visit the Folly Great House.
Based on my research there’s really not much to do on Monkey Island itself because it’s completely covered in vegetation, but there is a small white sand beach, and the waters are shallow. We arrived at San San beach & were having a grand time, but let’s just say the rain had other plans for us. The boat did come for us but by the time he touched the beach a random hurricane decided to come down. I won’t take anything away from San San beach because it really is a nice spot to visit in Portland, but I did leave feeling a bit incomplete.
Fret not though I always have a plan. My next adventure will be a trip to Blue Lagoon for some rafting, and Monkey Island will be on the itinerary.