Monday, August 09, 2010

Jamaica story in the Garden: A day with Jackie

Good Morning, as promised a story of our day in Jamaica and our driver Jackie. When we arrived we flew into Montego Bay, but we were staying in Negril, which is about an hour away. We had arranged for Kenny's tours (I recommend them highly if you're visiting) to pick us up at the airport. Jackie told us they also offered tours of the island. We made the arrangement before he dropped us off that night. My birthday was the Monday after we arrived, so we decided to go that day.

We stayed at the most wonderful place on the cliffs called The Rock House. When you see the pictures below with the storm, remember the waves are up over these cliffs.



Here's the pool up on the cliff, overlooking the ocean, it was awesome.



We expected Jackie (to the left) to pick us up in a small van or car, since we were doing a private tour. No, he picked us up in a bus, much bigger than the ones on their web site. We sat at the front behind Jackie, who gave us a running commentary of the island as we toured.

He also stopped at every little outdoor market. No, not for us, he was shopping for his family. He picked up some fresh fruit at one, vegetables at another. And it's not like he knew where they were because he'd spot them and slam on the breaks. We had no seat belts, yes we were holding on for dear life.

Talk about a colorful day and one neither one of us will forget. He took us to Black River where it is not recommend to swim because of the crocodiles, her didn't need to tell me twice.

After that we headed to the Appleton Estate, can you say Rum? We had a tour, then a tasting (See all the bottles?) YUM. It was toward the center of the island so we were able to see a lot off the beaten track.

On the way to the rum factory Jackie stopped at the Meat Pattie Factory called Juici Patties just outside of Black River. (I had to look through all my pictures to find the name. LOL) I found a very good (if complicated) recipe on the food network.

We were able to catch glimpses of children playing soccer and other sports. I had the best day.

Jackie gave us some lessons about the plants along the way also. Ackee was one of them. It's beautiful, but as I said last week, he warned us about the 'nut' inside. Don't eat!

Again, Jackie slammed on the brakes, this time for lobster. We waited, he brought the bag to the side of the bus. My window was down and he and the lobster retailer (local fisherman) negotiated what the lobsters were worth in... Pot, yup marijuana or in Jamaica it's called Gonja.  I kid you not. They settled on how much and we left. We chided Jackie for not sharing his stash with us. 

It began to rain as we headed for Negril and our hotel. And no the fun didn't stop there and neither did the excitement. The wind kicked up and so did the waves. Up and over the road, we were worried we may not make it back. When we did it was a sight to behold. And that night we mopped water out of our room.


The waves were twenty feet or more to come up and over the cliffs and into our pool. In the morning it was filled with sea urchins and had to be drained.

I know it looks like it's waves on the ocean and not up and over a cliff. I know when you think of cliffs you think of BIG, but never-the-less the hotel is up on the edge of the cliff, if only 20 feet high, over looking the ocean.
 







We spent the rest of the week at Negril Margaritaville instead of pool side. Or at the bar! LOL.





I'll leave you with a beautiful Jamaican sunset.


And that was only one day of our adventure!

4 comments:

Lindsay said...

My late wife and I went to Jamaica twice.. Both times we stayed at Samdals resorts. Didn't do much sightseeing since there was so much to do at the resorts-waterskiing, scuba diving (that was me), sailing. Then there were all the weddings we watched at Sandals Montego Bay.
I think you'll agree with me Mary, the sunset photo is great but nothing beats seeing them firsthand.

Mary Martinez said...

Nope you can't beat it in person. Staying at an all inclusive resort takes all the fun out it for us. We are explorers. We like to eat a nice dinner or grab a quick something from a roadside vendor. Or test the local Cafe's. We tried The Dolphin Cafe the first time we went. We've been three twice also. We stayed the first time in Montego Bay and walked to the cafe. My sister in law wouldn't eat the eggs because they were orange.

We had a blast both times and saw a lot of the island. I'd love to go to Kingston, but too much crime. I'd be afeared (intentional misspelling) for my life.

Lindsay said...

The crime was the primary reason we stayed within the compounds and took only select transportation.
Heck, the first day, first time we went I got us a couple of Red Stripes from a street vendor at the airport. He asked if I wanted conga with it. Being an American on foreign soil-NO.

Mary Martinez said...

Oh we can't count how many times that happened. We just said 'no' cause we didn't want to land in jail. We were careful, but had a grand time exploring. If you look at the Rock House you can see how beautiful it is. I would love to go back.