Jamaica Installment 1

I was incredibly productive yesterday so I decided that for my good behaviour I will reward myself with some blogging time. Since I’ve been back for a week and still haven’t written about it, I thought I should get at it and share Jamaica with you, so here goes…

Day 1 – Sunday
Chris and I flew from Port to Miami. We were so grateful for not having a connecting flight for probably the first time ever. Good thing because it took almost an hour for the one bag that we checked (I can’t help it! I’m female and it’s in my genes to pack for every possible situation). I’ve lost my luggage a couple of times now, but I wasn’t too worried because there was about 40-50 people standing and waiting just like us when they stopped the baggage carousel. There were so many flights coming in at the moment that they had at least three on each carousel. After a bit the thing started up and we got the bag, then went on our merry way to find a ride to our hotel. After a bit of confusion we got where we were going, ordered pizza and hung out watching tv in our room.

Day 2 – Monday
We headed to the airport on the early shuttle and met up with Katy and Matt, our friends that were getting married, at the gate. It was actually the first time that I had met Katy so it was nice to put a name with a face. We had a good flight into Montego Bay and hunkered down at a restaurant just outside the airport to wait for Barb and Paul who were arriving about 4 hours after us. When they hadn’t walked out of the airport about an hour after their flight was supposed to land we started checking things out, and thanks to a garbled message on Matt’s phone and a very nice American Airlines guy that wasn’t allowed to tell us if the people we were asking about had arrived on the flight, but could tell us that no one of that name had boarded the flight, we made alternate plans. After catching a cab and going up the road the lovely (read: not that expensive) Hotel Gloriana and getting a couple of rooms we decided to walk down the “Hip Strip” to find some dinner. I had always heard about how much crime there was in Jamaica. Ha! Come live in Haiti and Jamaica really will be like paradise. I felt really safe walking around at night knowing that Chris had lived there and knew what to watch out for.

Looking for that perfect souvenir for the person who has everything? Try a little “Hip Strip” shopping.

Day 3 – Tuesday
We ate breakfast at a local restaurant called “The Pelican” where we, along with one other table, were the only white people which is a good sign if you want good local food. We headed back to the hotel and got stuff packed up, then the guys walked to the airport (yes, we were that close) and found Barb and Paul who had arrived on the 11:20 flight. They came back with the rental van, we loaded up and headed out. The drive to Treasure Beach was great and I would like to give my husband props for his lefty driving skills. We took the scenic route through the mountains and I was amazed at how beautiful Jamaica is. There are so many trees and beautiful plants. It kind of made me sad because I got an idea about what Haiti must have been like at one point. Actually, Haiti used to be considered the most beautiful island in all of the Caribbean at one time. We stopped along the way to take pictures, buy fruit and buy peppered shrimp. Yum! One of those special treats that you have to try in Jamaica. We stopped for lunch in Black River at the guest house known for being the first house in Jamaica with electricity.

Definitely not Haiti.

The Great Morass. Those are all small mangroves and white ibises.

We arrived at Jake’s in Treasure Beach around 5 and were warmly welcomed and toured about as we got our very cool rooms, which are actually all little, or parts of little cottages. Chris and I had a cottage that had a deck right on the rocks overlooking the ocean. We also had an outdoor shower and could lay in bed and watch the water. It was almost like having a second honeymoon. Jake’s is a quirky little boutique resort that makes you feel relaxed the minute you walk in. Looking around the property was so fun and it made me want to tile random things and grow all sorts of new plants.

Welcome to Jakes!

The patio restaurant by the pool.

Take a wander down the steps for a dip in the ocean.

Sunrise from our deck, looking back at Jake’s.

Day 4 – Wednesday
Our first adventure day. After breakfast with everyone Chris and I went for a walk along the beach. It was beautiful. We actually covered two beaches because they all connect. We found a path and wandered back on the road, stopping to take some pictures at the tiki hut fruit stand on the way.

Treasure Beach

In the front are soursop (korisol in Haiti) and sweet sop. On the right the red pear-like things are Jamaican apples, and they’re yummy. We made everyone give us their seeds and now have a bunch planted here.

We headed out with everyone around 10 am and went back to Black River where we did a Black River boat tour. We went up the river on a pontoon style boat and saw all sorts of interesting things like birds, mangroves and crocs! It was really interesting and again, fun to see a different landscape. After that we headed up the road further and went to YS Falls. It’s a beautiful water fall in the middle of an old ranch. We got taken up there by tractor and spent a couple of hours wandering around and enjoying the different pools of the waterfall. When we got back to the hotel Katy’s brother Greg was there, as was Matt’s brother Ben. We let them visit for the evening and Chris and I enjoyed dinner together and an evening on our deck.

One very real croc.

Matt, Katy and I in one of the pools at YS Falls.

Check out the next post for installment two.

This entry was posted in travels and adventures by Leslie. Bookmark the permalink.

About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

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