Driving along the coast we skip a part of the island, because our next stop will be Kingston. Coming from Spanish Town, you will enter Kingston from the west, driving on Washington Boulevard. Follow this road, and all the way on the end, turn right. The third on your left, right after you passed a gully, will be West Kings House Road. Just follow this quiet road until you reach Kings House. This is where the Jamaican Government houses, just like it was used in Dr. No, where James Bond asked the sergeant to make sure his (dead) driver didn’t get away. The beautiful building is open for public, for free, but only by appointment. If you didn’t make an appointment (nobody seems to know where to make it), you are free to walk around the front yard and shoot some pictures, as long as you don’t come too close. Kings House is an oasis of peace and quiet in a terribly busy city.
Returning to West Kings House Road, you have to take the second road on your left, Waterloo Road. Following it in southern direction, it will lead you pass Devon’s House, another magnificent building. Here you take a left turn, onto Hope Road. After you passed Kings House Park on your left hand, you will see the Bob Marley Museum. A very nice place to stop and have a look at the King of Reggae’s collection of gold records. The entrance fee is about $6 (5,50 Euro) and they offer guided tours every hour. Don’t expect to bring home some nice pictures, because everything seems to be copyright protected. Only Bob’s statue in the front yard is available for photographing.
The museum is located in the Liguanea district, and here’s the location of the Liguanea Club, a meeting place for the rich, that was actually named in Fleming’s book ‘The man with the golden gun’. This club also doubled for the Queens Club in Dr. No. Although there seems to have been some refurbishing during the years, it is still quite easy to find the spot where Strangways was killed and where the Three Blind Mice took aim at James Bond.
Leaving Liguanea behind us, you follow Hope Road until you reach the first big crossing. There is a big gas station at this crossing. Here you turn right, onto Old Hope Road. Now you can start following the signs ‘Airport’, because they will lead the way to the Palisadoes, a small strip of land stretching out in front of Kingston Harbour. The road you will drive, is where Bond and his fake taxi driver are being chased right after Bond arrived in the Caribbean, in Dr. No.
Half way the Palisadoes, Norman Manley International Airport, formerly the only way to reach the island by air, welcomes you to Jamaica. It is here where principle filming of the first James Bond adventure commenced. In the very first scene filmed by Terence Young, James Bond arrives at Jamaica, makes a phone call to check on his taxi driver, and is being watched by Felix Leiter as he leaves ‘with the enemy’. Nowadays the airport is mainly handling inland flights and serves as the home base for Jamaica’s national airline company ‘Air Jamaica’. It is a colourful, crowded area, so well worth a small visit.
At the end of the Palisadoes’ Main Road you will find Morgan’s Harbour, a hotel and yacht club, used in Dr. No. Stopping here is a ‘must’, since it is one of the most recognizable locations in Jamaica. When you enter the open-air restaurant and bar area, you will instantly recognize the wooden dock where Bond met Quarrel and followed him to end up in a fight with Pussfeller. The place also featured in the novel ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’, where Bond and his former assistant Mary Goodnight enjoy a diner. Whether you spend the night here or just enjoy a quick lunch, it is both worth the stop.
When you leave Morgan’s Harbour, don’t forget to visit the old town at the end of the Palisadoes, Port Royal. Driving through the streets of this former pirate capital is truly travelling back through time. Port Royal once was the most notorious place of the Caribbean, housing pirates like Henry Morgan. After a devastating earthquake in 1692, most of the town had disappeared into the sea, leaving only the impressive Fort Charles to survive. Most of the survivors chose to settle on the other side of the bay, and founded Kingston. During the 18th and 19th century, Port Royal served as a marine base for the British Royal Navy, having naval hero Horatio Nelson as its most famous inhabitant.
Driving back towards the ‘main land’, the Carib Cement Works on the slopes of Long Mountain still look the same as in the early sixties, when Sean Connery was briefly seen passing it, on his way to Miss Taro's house in the Blue Mountains.
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This and much more can be found in the chapter 'Underneath the mango tree' in ON THE TRACKS OF 007