Aruba, Jamaica, Ooh I Wanna Take Ya...
Trip Start May 04, 2011
110Trip End Feb 20, 2014
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Where I stayed
What I did
Beach, Bars, YS Waterfalls
Prior to touring the Bob Marley Museum, I had very limited knowledge of this musician and his life other than his passion for marijuana and reggae. But now I know he died at 36 from a melanoma on his toe that spread cancer throughout all his vital organs; his biggest sales came after his death; he was nearly assassinated in his own home and the 2 bullets remained in his body; he believed that an Ethiopian Prince was the second coming of Jesus; his speaking voice is barely understandable; he is half white – his Mum was 18, Dad a 55 yr old English army captain; and I know many more songs of his than I thought I did
I felt a bit on edge walking around the Kingston streets. I’d heard there were parts to definitely steer clear of. But I didn’t know what these parts were and I couldn’t be bothered researching. So for my only night in Kingston, I ate in the decent hotel restaurant and watched an MTV marathon of 'Ridiculousness’ which is one of my fav tv shows – a bunch of clips of people getting hurt playing pranks or doing stupid things. Next morning I was on the Knutsford Express coach bus for 5 hrs heading around the north of the island country to Negril on the west coast which would be my Caribbean getaway for the next 5 nights. The bus trip included free wifi and I was able to forward Amy her flight check-in email from United Airlines. She replied with a somewhat confusing statement about really looking forward to our trip next week. I replied asking if she realised that this flight was for tomorrow morning to which I received numerous whatsapp messages declaring her slight panic cause she had thought it was for next Saturday
I arrived Friday 1st March and Amy flew in from Houston the next day as planned. I picked Negril as it was highly rated on Trip Advisor because of the 7 Mile Beach and relaxed atmosphere. Our hotel was perfect – nice part of the beach, not too big or small, beach bar, central, great food, and a rain shower. The beach is not as nice as I’d imagined...but I guess after Provo my standards were sky high. But the water is warmer! The weather turned bad on day 2 & 3 and not good for swimming with rain in the evenings. But we didn’t let this deter our nights out to places along the beach with live reggae bands. Rick’s Cafe in the Cliff’s area was definitely worth the taxi trip to relax, eat Jerk Chicken (a local dish with a humours name), and watch people jump off the cliffs into the sea below. A place that has been wiped out twice by hurricanes...you can understand why they keep rebuilding in this fantastic location.
I had originally booked 4 nights here and left 1 night open for Montego Bay where we both fly out from. But we both enjoyed Negril enough to stay in the one place that extra night. Plus our limited exposure to Montego (me on the bus trip, Amy via airport transfer) was not that impressive
Our flights out of Jamaica were scheduled 9 mins apart in early afternoon, so it was a beach breakfast and then shared shuttle bus for the 90 minute trip to Montego Bay airport where we said our goodbyes as Amy headed back to Houston and I to NYC for my connecting flight back to Accra. This time I was all within the same terminal and I again paid $120 extra for a Premium Economy seat. I now type this last paragraph in a random hotel in Accra (the company guesthouse was booked out) where the internet connection is slooooooooooow and the tap water has stopped flowing. And so after 3 very different countries, 7 flights, and 4 hotels, my 12th break comes to an end with a medley of Bob Marley songs swirling in my head and memories of great beaches, Mayan culture and fun nights out.