The Richness of Jamaica
by Ann Treacy
I am fortunate enough to have visited the island of Jamaica 15 times in total over the past 25 years!
My first trip was to Montego Bay, near Doctors Cave, just before Christmas.
There was something magical about the place, that made me want to learn more. The crickets(peniwallies) at night were and still are something that will always remember. That sound is Jamaica to me....
After a week of fun and sun, and good ole Jamaican "no problem" hospitality, i kissed the ground at the airport in Montego Bay, asking god, or jah, depending on what you believe to bring me back safely another time.
My prayers were answered in many other trips.....
I stayed several times at the Sunset Jamaica Grande in Ocho Rios, which was incredible.
I loved the crafters market, and will forever remember the "Christmas tree man". Danced the night away many times at Amnesia nightclub, where the music was irie, the Red Stripe cold, and the dancing HOT!! !!!!
Three couples had the pleasure of a week at Couples Resort in Ocho Rios. A place i highly recommend for R & R in luxurious grounds complete with private hidden hot tubs for two scattered around the grounds.
No kids, on the resort, which was a welcome change from our busy family filled lives back in Canada. A day of deep sea fishing brought us a beautiful Blue Marlin. Or pamper yourself with a massage or spa treatment......bliss!!!
Enjoyed a couple stays at the resort next to Dunns River Falls, cannot recall the current name of the resort. It was a short walk into town, the market, and lively night life, and great places to try steaming hot jerk-chicken from night street vendors, or a cold mixed fruit blended drink. A great family resort that is low key, but close to all the amenities of Ochie.
A group of us had the pleasure of renting a home for a week just outside of Ocho Rios, complete with a gardener who made sure the grounds were neat and tidy each morning. He also doubled as a driver to pick up ice cold Red Stripe when we ran low. Our house mother Dorothy Beckford was an angel in disguise. She cooked up the most delicious meals, and soon became part of our family. (If anyone knows her current whereabouts, i would love to reconnect with her). She truly made our vacation amazing!!!
Six stays at Pointe Village in Negril.....what keeps us coming back?? The family atmosphere, the village type feeling...and if you have little kids, a babysitting service included daily at the play house.
Or if your kids are a bit older, the secure grounds are so huge that they can wander around all day, and never leave the resort. A favourite and magical spot is the "rock pools", where the ocean water fills a natural pool overlooking the sea, and Booby Cay. Go there to watch the sunset over the Caribbean sea....
The staff is awesome, and i find, as with all my trips to Jamaica, if you show RESPECT, you get it back 100 fold!! We are on Jamaican time mon, no rush, no pressure, savor the moment. Stop, look and listen.
Many evenings were spent at the water sport area watching in awe as the stingrays glided by as though flying effortlessly in the water.
Mr Rose and Karen run the jet ski operation, a must if you like to go fast, feel the wind, and smell the salt water air. I highly recommend spending the money for this incredible ride. Or sunset cruises are available if you like to slow down......It is truly the people that make the experience, thank you both today, yesterday and always.
Take the free glass bottom boat cruise, very informative, and relaxing....just watch for the "naturalists" frolicking in the water at Hedonism next door.
The food at Pointe Village is served buffet style, and has lots of variety and flavour. Enjoy the many fruit the island has to offer, or sip a hot Blue Mountain coffee, simply the worlds best!!
In my humbled opinion.....we call it grabbing a Jah Hortons...LOL The beach parties, candle light dining, bands, entertainment, Reggae dance classes, are a definate must if you truly want to get into the Irie Vibe!!
The Jungle night club gets going a bit later at night, but worth the wait....Jamaicans start late and end LATE!! Dont expect the dance crowd to get jumpin until almost midnight!! The roof top terrace is a nice retreat if you like the hot humid nights...dont forget to order a Dirty Banana, Red Stripe or locally brewed Tia Maria liquor. A popular spot amongst tourists and locals.
Ricks Cafe is a thrill for all ages!! Watch the cliff divers plummet several feet into the icy blue Caribbean sea...listen to the band...order a meal and cold drink...or...watch the worlds most beautiful sunset...!!! An experience that is truly beyond words....
My daughters and i had the pleasure of coming across a couple of Rastaman who had just finished fishing in Bloody Bay, and were cooking up their fish and lobster right on the beach under a majestic palm. They invited us to share in their catch....yes, the Rastaman is a good man of the earth!! Much Respect.
Rock House is the place to dine over the cliffs of Negril...or stay if you want a getaway that is unhurried, and full of pampering by Joy. I have had the pleasure of meeting this wonderful lady many times. For real, and true you are my friend. The grounds are absolutely gorgeous, and you cant help but exhale........
I have seen men with no shoes on their feet, walk by me on the street, smiling, and cheerfully as they pass, say "good morning"! I have shared Christmas sorrel, and New Years Eve celebrations that have touched the core of my soul. I have witnessed the legacy of Bob Marley at Nine Mile. A beauty pagent in a small hilltop village in a field, a childs beach birthday party, flora and fauna of gods creation....
Leave the resorts, venture from the pool bars...see the REAL JAMAICA....the real people who are so much richer than we!!!
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