Winnifred Beach - Another piece of Jamaica’s island paradise
If you plan on visiting Winnifred Beach in Portland, here is a word of advice: Keep your mouth shut. This will prevent you from biting your tongue as you make the bumpy journey along the road to the beach, which is located in Fairy Hill.
In seeking to get to the beach, we asked questions along the way, and we were given several directions to the public beach (several of which were soooo wrong). But once we left the main road and turned on to a narrow, dirt road which headed towards the ocean, we knew that the magical spot was not far away.
In addition to its crispy, clean turquoise-blue water which gently washes up on the glistening white sand, Winnifred Beach is an awesome destination which seems to attract beautiful souls. One of them is a Rastaman, who gave his name as Shakazulu.
Shakazulu as acted as one of the caretakers for Winnifred Beach for more than three decades. He has even erected his Rasta Vibe chill spot on the beach, which gives visitors the opportunity to overnight and eat an authentic Jamaican dish, cooked on a wood fire.
"They like to see when we cook, and no one hassle or harass anyone here. I think the tourists like the fact that they can see us climb a tree and pick a breadfruit and cook it, and everyone is just friendly with them. It is a nice place and this beach is one of the cleanest," he said.
Close to Shakazulu's chill spot is a rope which hangs from a tree. If you are adventurous enough, you can swing on it and jump into the ocean.
As I stroll along the white-sand beach, behaving like a 'dry land tourist', I came across several talented craft vendors, a few of who put on 'accents' as they offered to sell me their wares.
Germany natives Paula Starcke and Phillip Osmers were both visiting the island for the first time.
"Out here is paradise, and is much better than Germany. There are lots of sunshine and we wanted to enjoy Jamaica and not stay in a five-star hotel, so we just choose a dwelling on Fairy Hill and we loved this beach. We have been here every day since we got here," Paula said.
The water lovers would enjoy swimming to Singles Rock, which, ironically, is a favourite spot for couples. Singles Rock is also a go-to spot for divers, who would use the opportunity to dive to the other side of the beach.
There are no electricity on the beach, but that doesn't not prevent the captivating reggae/dancehall music from blasting from the speaker boxes. If you are a seafood lover like myself, Winnifred Beach is the perfect spot to catch a bite or wait on one of the many fishermen's boat to make a purchase.
"I have been here for years and I have seen a lot of people return here countless times, and this is because of how we treat them. Everything is authentic, and that is what tourists come here to see. They feel really safe and they go back and tell their friends," Shakazulu said.