The popular route follows the new North Coast highway that now runs all the way from Negril to Port Antonio. Smooth as a baby's bottom and fast as a greyhound this road covers half the distance to Kingston in sartorial splendour before offering several options to cross the island.
The shortest route will leave the highway at St Ann's Bay (stop at Scothies at the turn off if you have time) and head via Chalky Hill to Moneague and on into Kingston. (If you didn't stop at Scothies it may be time to pull in a Faith Pen) Other wise you can continue to Ocho Rios and drive up the beautiful Fern Gully by way of reaching Moneague - although at this time this route is closed for while.
Of course if you are loving the highway you can continue all the way down to Annotto Bay before you take the twisty and potholed road that brings you to Stony Hill. The bonus on this route is the chance to stop above Castleton for the best red pea soup on the island or fried sprats at Aquarius.
Whilst the North Coast Highway is salubrious it has by passed many of the prettier towns along the coast such as Duncans, Rio Bueno and Falmouth leaving one bereft of road food options other than the occasional roadside fruit vendor.
Linval Malcom started me off with a Carrot and Ginger drink, which definitively proved the point that these potions are "fi real"
Whilst Otis began stoking up the big grill out front and selecting his fish Jennifer was already hard at work over the the coal fire preparing fried Chicken and festival for the beach goers who would soon arrive in droves.
1cup cows milk
1teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
½ teasppon coarse black pepper
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Ginger powder
2 lb chicken breasts and thighs
3/4cup all-purpose flour
1teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 scotch bonnet
Oil for frying
Method In large resealable food storage plastic bag, mix all marinade ingredients. Add chicken pieces; turn to coat. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight to marinate. Coating:.In pie pan, mix flour and all remaining chicken ingredients except oil. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Prick the pepper and add to the oil. Remove chicken pieces from marinade a few at a time, allowing excess to drip off. Roll chicken in flour mixture until well coated. Add chicken to hot oil in skillet, a few pieces at a time until all pieces are in skillet. Cook over medium-high heat 10 minutes or until deep golden brown, crispy, cooked through but juicy!!.
After opening up the cavity and cleaning it out he mixes Scallion, Celery, Thyme, Scotch Bonnet and peppers together in a flavourful, finely chopped melange and stuffs the fish. Damping down the fire he slides a heavy metal plate over the coals and greases it with coconut oil. When the plate has gained some heat the Stuffed Turbot go onto the grill and begin to sizzle.
Watching the fish with a careful eye Otis begins to prepare Conch and Lobster Curry, Run down and fried fish ensuring they will be ready for the lunchtime rush.
Leaving the wonderful aromas behind but with some of Jennifer's fried chicken tucked in my pocket I continue on down the road less travelled