Port Royal, Jamaica.

Port Royal village, Jamaica is located at the end of the Palisadoes at the mouth of Kingston Harbour, in south eastern Jamaica. Founded in 1494 by the Spanish, it was once the largest city in the Caribbean. It was the centre of shipping and commerce in the Caribbean Sea by the latter half of the 17th century.

It was also the one of the ports that allowed us to dock in the midst of the Covid-19 situation, albeit docking was tricky in the strong cross winds

The local authorities had laid on a festival in the port area for our visit, which included food, drink and souvenir stalls together with a main stage for bands and dancing.

Walking around the village outside the port was a whole different story. It was a local village, not a tourist town by a long shot. Small, hot and dusty, with an air of sleepiness about the area, people went about their daily lives. Cats and dogs slept stretched out in the sun. Children were coming out of school, washing hung on the lines and men lazed outside houses and the local bar. The atmosphere was sultry and vaguely intimidating. Police cars crawled slowly up and down the main street and side roads. We wandered around the historic fort and the church. Locals were in turn indifferent and welcoming. It felt the true Jamaica, away from the bustle of Kingston and the false environment of the holiday resorts. In a strange way it equated with a middle class English village that doesn’t especially attract tourists and belongs only to the people that live there. It even had a local football team!