So here’s my little post on my Jamaica trip that I just got back from.
Honestly, the only thing I have to say is that if you are the type of tourist that goes to the Caribbean to sit on the white sand beaches, swim in the blue sea and sip rum punches all day long for your entire vacation you are missing out.
The Caribbean is full of interesting and exciting culture and history that you can venture into – a completely different type of vacation if you choose to experience it.
My mother is Jamaican and I have a lot of family and a few friends (from high school) down there, so we didn’t do the tourist thing as such – instead, my little sister, who swore she had never done a lot of these things before (because she was so young when we did a lot of these experiences), wanted to do “different” things. Different things for us, that is.
Like I said, my mother is Jamaican, so we’ve been there a lot and have been to a lot of the features (touristy and not) before.
So we did some different stuff.
We didn’t do a single beach. Not. One.
We did do YS Falls, but I forgot to take photos (sorry, I did warn some of you on Twitter that I wouldn’t remember to take photos) but that was as “typical touristy” as we got.
I spent the first few days playing with one of my BFF’s kiddies (she lives in Ocho Rios), then headed to Kingston to meet my parent and my sis.
At my grandma’s home, I met my Uncle’s new doggie, Boss – and promptly renamed him Squiggledy.
Then as a family we decided to run around Kingston – we went out to Port Royal and walked through the old Fort and the Giddy House.
Then we headed back into town to pick up my sister’s friend who is going to the University there. The same University where my parents met and got married – so yes, we got the same tour we always get – including the “We got married in that chapel”….my sister and I knew every single place they would point out and sure enough…they did.
Then we went to Devon House for lunch, Devon House chocolates, Devon House (world-reknowned) ice cream and Devon House Lobster Patties.
After lunch we headed to the Bob Marley Museum next door and then dropped my sister’s friend back to his dorm while craning our necks to see if Usain Bolt was practicing on the University track across from the dorm. He wasn’t.
My sister’s friend is now on “Bolt Watch” for us. Or at least, he’s supposed to be.
We went home after that, but headed out to St. Elizabeth the day after.
First, we did YS falls which were beautiful, but full of tourists because by the time we reached there it was afternoon and we reached just in the midst of at least three tours. If you are interested, go to YS falls in the morning when it’s empty – and stay for a while. It’s gorgeous there. Seven layers of clear Jamaican river water flowing naturally, and then, a “natural pool” set up for people who find that they are not quite as “natural” as they think (ie. the ones that do not want to swim with little fishes, are scared of rocks or currents etc)…. the natural pool has the same river water in it, but is like a normal pool with pebbles all along the bottom. You’re still in nature, but in a slightly more controlled way.
Then we drove to Maggotty to visit the Appleton factory. That was fun – we learned that Appleton distills their rum from cane sugar, and does so through two methods. The oldest Appleton rum is 30 years old, but that won’t be available again until later this year – so the oldest on the market today is only 21 years old. These are expensive rums, for example, a bottle of the 18 year old rum was $250 US!! There was a lot of little things to learn about the process of making rum and it was not as boring and “primary school field trip”-like as I had previously assumed. It was a fun experience that I would say is suitable for any age.
After Appleton, we drove forever on some really bad roads through the back of nowhere to Treasure Beach for dinner with my cousin and his Mom at Jack Sprat’s. It was a whole new side of Jamaica, the raw, un-polluted, natural country and beaches – unlike the North Coast that is all about the commercial tourist business. It’s very interesting to see the difference all in one island.
We spent the night at my cousin’s in Mandeville and then had a lovely brunch and headed back to Kingston. There we went shopping (we are a family of girls after all) at the nearby plaza and found some spectacular clothes for some awesome (mostly) prices I have to say!!
Anyway, enough talk. Here’re some of the photos from the trip. I hope you enjoy them.