The Island of Jamaica is in the North of the Caribbean Sea, and is about 90 miles south of Cuba.
It has a well documented history, Columbus arriving in 1494 and claiming the Island for the Spanish was the beginning.
He arrived in what is now called Discovery Bay and there is a statue to commemorate this.
The British arrived in 1655 and kicked out the Spanish in Ocho Rios. There are a crop of stones heaped in the sea which supposedly mark the spot of landing.
The main history of Jamaica is one of sugar crops and slavery.
Jamaica became independent in 1962.
One of the more famous landmarks is the Dunns River Falls located just outside of Ocho Rios on the north of the Island.
The beach at the bottom of the falls is surreal, the way the waterfall just cascades into the sea with a shop next to it!
The falls themselves are an image to behold, not something you can readily see anywhere.
You are allowed to climb up them, it’s about half a mile, and harder than it looks!!
But the imagery is well worth the effort.
There are pools where you can just immerse and cool off. It’s freshwater, and a lot cooler than the sea and very refreshing.
The birthplace of Bob Marley is another popular tour. The Marley family have retained the family property and turned it into a shrine, Bob is buried here, along with his mother and other family members.
So, all aboard the Zion bus!
The village where the Marley family live and grew up is called Nine Mile, that’s because it’s nine miles from the nearest town St, Ann! Hilariously the village before is called 8 mile. You’ll spot this because of all the American tourists there with the maps on the car bonnets. (There’s only the one road…;-) )
The journey gives you a chance to see the amazing greenery in Jamaica.
Entrance to the family home at Nine Mile.
You’ll be taken around by a guide, he may well claim to be a distant cousin of Bob, he might well be! Our guide called himself Captain Crazy and he was a scream, kept stopping all around and signing snippets from Marley songs, there was one obviously well rehearsed part where local children popped their heads up over the wall and sang the chorus.
Bob had a ‘thinking stone’ where he conjured up the lyrics to many of his songs, and we sat here and had our photo taken with Captain Crazy.
Part of the tour was going in Bob Marley’s bedroom.
This was slightly unreal as just three weeks before Myself and Mrs had been to Stratford upon Avon and had stood in William Shakespears bedroom!!
The South East of the Island is home to the Blue Mountains, where some of the world’s most expensive coffee is produced. It’s a long trip (3 hrs each way) as the roads are just single track, but the scenery on route is good. The beach where Ursula Andress came out of the water in James Bond film is here
And some of the houses near here are very expensive (film star league) and are in odd designs.
The final few miles up the mountain are perilous with extremely dangerous bridges!
We visited a coffee plantation and were given a brief guide and watched some coffee being traditionally roasted
We then went to the summit of the mountain and saw the rows of coffee plants on the sides of the mountains.
More spectacular scenery.
The idea then was that we cycled (freewheeled) down the mountain, so we got kitted up
And down we went! I couldn’t take any photos on the way down as it was too precarious!
At the bottom where we picked up the coach again there was a rock pool with waterfall where we all had a cool dip before returning.
It all sounds fun, and it was true enough, but daytime escorted trips in Jamaica are completely safe and enjoyable, but going out at night is completely out of the question for white tourists. It’s simply not safe, end of subject.
I wouldn’t go again, been there, done that, there’s always another Caribbean Island to see, but just because I wouldn’t go I wouldn’t put anyone off going.