Before I left home, I was excited to learn that two major events would happen in Treasure Beach on our first full day: Jake's Off-Road Triathlon and the TB Sports Park's first international boxing event. The Treasure Beach Sports Park is an amazing facility and exists largely because of Breds, the area's major charity/non-profit organization/get-er-done group of folks in the area. I was excited to see both.
Without boring you with many details, Delta messed up and we arrived in Jamaica a day late. Note to self: don't fly Delta again. Delta not only canceled our original first flight (incoming pilot missed the runway in Columbus and landed in the mud - no one hurt but plane grounded), they made no effort at all to get us on a flight that would have gotten us on our connecting flight from Atlanta to Jamaica. After missing our first night and day, our carefully arranged ride and all, they sent a voucher for $125 and only did that after several angry emails from me. Delta - you suck.
Anyway, we missed the triathlon which was that morning. We arrived in TB on a Saturday afternoon and spent the first few hours just relaxing, swimming, connecting with our friends who had arrived on time the day before (on USAir, just saying). We could have easily just relaxed at the villa all evening and gone to bed early.
But Treasure Beach doesn't normally have stuff like international boxing. This was a first for the entire community and EVERYONE was talking about it and EVERYONE was going. The Sports Park is a 10 minute walk from Mar Blue so despite the fact that not one of us are boxing fans, we all set out to see what was going on anyway.
We walked along the road as far as Doc's on the Bay (a small hotel), and turned onto the lane of the Sports Park. Cars were lined up for a quarter mile, I'd say. We walked along and got to the gate where we paid $300JA (about $3US) to enter.
What a scene, it was amazing. Truly everyone in the area and apparently quite a way beyond it were there. Many hundreds of people, perhaps more by the time it ended. Families with small children, groups of young people, older folks...black, white, Asian, Indian and everyone in between. Everyone enjoying the vibes.
We walked along the periphery of the crowd to check everything out, and settled near the bar and jerk chicken grill :D I was there for maybe 2 minutes before I heard someone call out "Lizzie!". It was my old friend Dennis (Shabba), aka Captain Dennis. I first met Dennis in 2003 and have gone out on his boat with my friends and family perhaps 8-9 times since then. Dennis is very active in Breds and was there working the boxing match. I'm in TB for a few hours and already run into one of the 5-6 people I know well there - it's a small town. A little later I ran into Duke who took care of one of the villas we stayed in back in 2008. Honestly, EVERYONE was at the party.
The bar was serving beer and soda, we got a Q of Smirnoff and some pink grapefruit Ting and shared. I didn't try the chicken (we'd had a late dinner at the villa) but it sure smelled good.
The boxing match featured several matches between Canada and Jamaica. The matches were fairly short, and in between there was music. So everyone would watch the boxing and cheer, then take a little dance break, then watch, then dance, chat a bit in between...it was really fun. I think everyone agreed that the best match of the night was between two women...they were so quick and fun to watch. We didn't stay for the whole thing as we were pretty tired, but the couple of hours we were there we certainly enjoyed. Everyone agreed it was a great first night in Treasure Beach.
Here are more pictures taken by Jason and Rebecca's nephew Paul.
And these are photos of the triathlon courtesy of treasurebeach.net.
I have to say one more time before I close this post, how much I love Treasure Beach. In some other parts of Jamaica, locals might not welcome tourists to such an event, and in some areas tourists might not feel comfortable mingling with a lot of locals. This event was SO not like that. Everyone was having a good time, and friendly, and comfortable. I think everyone shared in the excitement of the evening.
If you're in the area, check in. There are always things going on there to watch - tennis, cricket, soccer, basketball.