This was the choice for our "mandatory" experience in a bamboo raft down a river.
There are many other alternatives locally announced in the hotels, and they may be better than this - we had a calm descent for about 45 minutes, in what turned almost in a "botanical parade".
Nice, calm, relaxing, but without the touch of emotion providing by a section of fast running waters.
- Jungle and Rain Forest
"Down The Way, Up The Slopes...No Problems Mon"
Just returned home after a short 5 days stay in Montego Bay, Jamaica. First time there, stayed at the all inclusive "Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Hotel & Spa" with a group of 200 plus women from all over the United States (attending the For Women's Only ( FWO) conference. I say that we were off the beaten path because of the 45 minutes to one hour distance from St. Lucea to Montego Bay, however, it gave me an opportunity to see the beautiful foliage landscapes and pristine beaches along the route between both places.
Hotel Accommodations: on a scale of 1-10 I would give it a seven (7) only because the lack of attention to some of their infrastructure (loose,uneven stones on the road from hotel room to main lobby; bathroom flooding from upper unit, recycled food from day before and never served hot but lukewarm, reports of cockroaches), otherwise my room accommodations were decent, friendly staff, hotel maids prompt in cleaning rooms.
Disappointed in the first night entertainment in the lobby stage. The music and DJ were extremely loud...the show was all about young girls dressed in skimpy shorts "booty shaking, bumping grinding" boys on stage. I was appalled at such a "theatrical mess" put on to entertain tourists. I personally wanted to pull the plug.. it was disrespectful of women and continued to perpetuate the mindset of many " that women are only sex objects on display for the pleasure of everyone".
This, in my opinion was NOT entertainment. As a matter of fact, many members from my group left in disgust.
Tours: Although I didn't have much time to explore the many options available, I went to "Dunn's River Cascading Falls", climb all the way successfully. The guides were filming everybody during the climb and then try to sell you a recorded DVD video...I fell for it...BUT refused to pay the $40.00 asking price and negotiated to $30.00...poor quality, upside down pictures...lesson learned...priceless.
With all due respect I must give credit to those guys who lead tourists up the fall, they are energetic funny, laughing, singing and inspiring you to "push your limits up the climb". I lost a pair of expensive sunglass while posing under a waterfall downpour, and one guy dove under to retrieve them for me...skillful!
In addition, my friend, Mary and I went into Montego Bay for a half day shopping trip lead by the tour guide, of course we were deposited in shops where they get a commission... I had "NO Problem" with that, my only complaint was it was not enough time. I appreciated the stall vendors friendly nature and non-aggressive attitudes. Purchased a hand painting Jamaica dance figures stomping on a boom box"
Overall, I would definitely go back to vacation and include more tours ( Bob Marley childhood home, swim with the dolphins,Catamaran snorkeling sailing, Rose Hall haunted house). I really like the people and the natural beauty of the island. I felt safe, yet remained alert to my surroundings) at all times.
A Highlight Of My Trip: Medical Discovery": The hotel lobby tour lady told us about the "Moringa Tree" and how the island people went wild and stripped many of the trees, after the rumor spread about a tourist from Africa who told his cab driver the medicinal benefits of the tree leaves. She said people ran out and stripped the trees of their leaves and started drying out the leaves using them to brew tea. She also said that many people reported "healing results, i.e; lower blood pressure, reduce arthritic symptoms, diabetes, weight loss: and many other benefits. I researched the Moringa Tree when I got home and found a wealth of information, even FDA approval...Interesting.
- Women's Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Chuka Blue Horse Back Riding
This is kind of an off the beaten path but you must try this! Not for the handicapped, or old broken people. This is a long ride and could make you stiff if you haven't jumped on a horse and ridden 2 1/2 hours through the tropical hills and rain forrest, ruins, villiage, beach (complete with wet in ocean ride). You get your money's worth and then some. Horses are healthy and tame. Guides are friendly and expert at their craft.
- Family Travel
- Horse Riding
Away from Tourist Madness
To get a taste of real Jamaican life, away from the touristy feel of Mo Bay, check out the tiny town of Zion. It is on a mountain top just above Montego Bay. Have a taxi driver that you trust take you up there. It is quiet and clean, there is the church and a little square there. The people are quiet but friendly. You can have a cold Red Stripe Beer and some jerk chicken as well. Go in the day time. There is a good jerk chicken shack called Scotchies on the way to Zion.
- Budget Travel
- Arts and Culture
GANJA IS MARIJUANA
Marijuana Ganja) is grown in Jamaica . It is illegal.
AT our hotel there were four construction workers from Toronto. They were having a great time. They told us that they had asked some locals to take them up to the ganja farms. The locals arranged a trip . The four lads were blind folded and taken to the fields up in the mountains . The guards at the fields were carrying automatic weapons. The four lads returned to our hotel and told us about their adventure. We do not know if was one hundred percent true but it led to a truely interesting discussion around the hotel pool.
- Road Trip
- Arts and Culture
You have to wear a life jacket, flippers and no skin products, or jewelry.
No pregnant ladies allowed, too dangerous for baby. Dolphins can sense pregnancy.
They have everything you need there, but take a towel and a change of clothes for the ride back to your resort.
Dolphin Cove Ltd.
P.O. Box 21, Ocho Rios P.O., St. Ann
- Family Travel
- Luxury Travel
The Craft Market......Ironshore
This craft market is situated right opposite the Holiday Inn on the coast road to Falmouth, about a 10 minute drive from MoBay.
The photo. shows only about one third of the street and it will probably take you around two hours to have a quick browse in all the shops!
It's worth a drive if you have nothing else to do. The prices may be a little more than in town, but you may find a few things you haven't seen on the Hip Strip, and don't forget to haggle.
- Arts and Culture
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