When I think of Jamaica, I think of the Muppets singing Kokomo, the vibrant green hills, rum punch, pina coladas, my feet in the aqua blue water, the Caribbean sun, the delicious local food, and Bob Marley and the Wailers.
I visited three parts of the six main areas of interest in two trips. The first trip I took in June 2010 with my boyfriend at the time, who has since been promoted to Hubs. The second trip to Jamaica was during the second leg of our honeymoon. This post will cover my first trip and the next Travel Tuesdays post will cover my second trip that I took this year.
I visited Ocho Rios in June 2010 with my boyfriend, now Hubs. We flew into Montego Bay (Mo’ Bay). We stayed in Jamaica for 5 days and 4 nights. Although we stayed at the Couples Resort in Sans Souci, unlimited alcohol did not keep us from leaving the compound. Actually, we knew from the start we wanted an authentic Jamaica experience. We wanted first-hand inhalation of the culture, the food, and the people. My Hubs found KnowJamaica Tour and the owner, Marva on Trip Advisor. After speaking with her via e-mail, he booked a few excursions and tours to Appleton Rum Estate, Dunn’s River Falls, YS Falls, Black River, Fern Gully, saw Carl the Spice Man, and Bob Marley Mausoleum in Nine Mile on three excursions.
Our tour guide ended up being Javia, Marva’s son. It was an awesome surprise and value-add that Javia stopped by local food joints where the food was delicious and the people were smiling and friendly. Marva called us while we were on the first trip to check in with us and make sure we were having a wonderful time. Javia, her son, gave us details about each city we were driving through and they were not just fun facts, but details about history and how people live. We stopped by local eateries and had yam, ackee, and fish, ox tail and rice and peas, and jerk chicken at the Ocho Rios Village Jerk Center. You might get Jamaican food at the resort, but the authentic food is outside those walls and barbed wire.
Since my Hubs loves photography (the images are his work), Javia allowed us to stop to take pictures of the countryside, bulls, ox, goats, and the local scenery. It was absolutely beautiful. The first day was so awesome, we decided to book a second day with Javia in visiting the Fern Gully and Bob Marley Mausoleum in Nine Mile, a village in Saint Anne Parish. To top it all off, Javia was an extremely safe driver and always makes sure his clients are well taken care of. I truly feel that I would not have gotten to know Jamaica without Javia and Marva. We had an irie time in Jamaica!