Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday Travels: Rhapsody of the Seas, Montego Bay

What the Western Caribbean lacks in scenery, it more than makes up for in fun! Jamaica is no exception. There are so many excursions and activities to choose from that it makes an excellent port to revisit. One of the most popular excursions is a trip to the Dunn's River Falls near Ocho Rios.

The falls are a national treasure in Jamaica, and climbing the cascading falls is an adventure not to be missed. I am so glad I had this opportunity before my back became such an issue, it would be impossibility for me now. It is not an easy trek up the falls, nor is it without some risk, but oh so much fun!

The climb begins on the beach, where the falls spill into the ocean. The climb is a total of 600 feet...all on very slippery rocks with ice cold water cascading down on you!

A human chain is formed in order to assist one another in the climb and guides are positioned along the way to help with the more difficult areas. Not for the faint of heart, many people turn and climb back down after the first 20 feet.

We had lots of picture ops and enjoyed the climb greatly. What was unexpected was how enjoyable the bus ride to and from Montego Bay was! This was a ship excursion and we filled an old school bus easily.

 Our guide on the bus ride was a woman who insisted we answer everything with "Yes, Mon" and "No worries, Mon." We sang Jamaican music, especially that of Harry Belafonte, and learned a great deal of the social, government and education structure of Jamaica. 

Along the way back we stopped at a roadside eatery for local food. This was NOT a place you would find in a Frommer's travel guide, but man it was good! Jerk Chicken fresh off the grill, Jamaican Meatloaf (more like a meat pie), and Rum Punch. Truly one of the best meals I have ever had!

They also had the bus pull over to buy some fruit from guys dangling the stuff from their hands along the road. No fruit stand...just guys waving fruit alongside the road! It was an odd fruit called guinep. You peeled back the thin green peel to expose a slightly gelatinous fruit. You basically suck this off until all that is left is the pit. They bought enough for everyone on the bus to try it...and those of us who actually enjoyed it were able to eat several.

Despite our local food foray, none of us suffered from any form of food poisoning or even indigestion. I will try the local foods anytime I get a chance on a cruise...after is an adventure!

Bon voyage ~Marla 

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