John's Town Road


Just west of Port Antonio, there's a tiny gap in the dense jungle which lies between the road and the sea. We slip through, machete at the ready, and chop our way into the incredible intense green aroma of fruit and freshness, through the bamboo, past jackfruit trees and coconut palms, and out onto the wild, windswept, beach.

The sand, banana-pale elsewhere, is an elegant charcoal grey which turns to black under the bright white surf. Lucky tides must keep the plastic from this beach - instead, it's strewn with driftwood, battered soft by the sea - small smooth branches, and logs as immense, curvy and sensual as Henry Moores.

With skinny sticks, we scrawl our boys' names, and our writing finds black sand beneath the grey and comes out looking like velvety ink. Then we dive into the sea - darker and cloudier here than the turquoise we're used to, womblike and warm. As the sun melts westwards, the silhouettes of palms and almond trees turn black and we float in the dark water, listening to the waves rushing over the clinking pebbles.