The white-sand beach at Morant Point 'Lythous'
St Thomas is not exactly known for white-sand beaches, but we of The Fun & Thrills Adventure Club came across two nice, though deserted, ones there. These are located just west of the Morant Point Lighthouse, Jamaica's most easterly point.
It was Labour Day 2015 and today's base would be the coastguard facility at Bowden Wharf, which is under the control of the army.
We drove to Bowden Wharf from Mona in St Andrew in vehicles piled high with bicycles and keen adventurers. Our plan was to then ride northward from Bowden Wharf to explore the general area.
The first thing we saw was an oyster-growing project right at the entrance of the coastguard unit.
Our cycle ride from the wharf was quite pleasant and safe. We stayed mostly on the unpaved roads that interspersed the sugar cane fields of the Duckenfield Sugar estate.
As a refreshing change for us, these roadways were totally void of motor vehicles.
Soon, we cycled past Breezy Tower in Old Pera, which we were told was a section of an old sugar mill, a solid reminder of the days when St Thomas boomed with sugar plantations.
I stopped nearby to buy water and saw a young man happily in the process of picking hog plums. His name was Odane, and he actually hailed from Kingston but was staying in Rocky Point, St Thomas, for the weekend. He cheerfully complied by getting a stick and picking some more when I begged a few. It seems that us townies lose our standoffishness and become more pleasant and generous when in the country!
We cycled onward to the beaches near to the lighthouse and found the sea there somewhat choppy. The sand was, however, beautifully sparkling and powdery. I understand that two hotels are being planned for this area, but I have not yet heard who the investors are.
Some of us had cycled to the lighthouse on a previous occasion but didn't notice these beaches as they were not on their agenda and are a bit off the beaten path.
There is also a wonderful beach near Rocky Point, St Thomas, although the sandflies there were vicious. When we visited that beach some time ago, the sea was, however, much calmer than at the beaches nearer to the lighthouse and shallow enough for bathers to safely walk out as far as we do at Negril.
On today's return to the area, we discovered that one of the signs to the lighthouse had an interesting twist to it, quaintly written as 'Lythous'. My friend thinks this could be Scottish as he has heard Glaswegians pronounce 'lighthouse' as 'lit-hoose', possibly spelt 'lythous'. A quick search at www.Lingo2Word.com showed it up as web-slang for lighthouse.
With the quaint spelling, everything in this lovely section of St Thomas has remained as beautiful as ever.