A Jamrock Funcation
“Welcome to Jamrock” were the words that greeted 33 Road Trippers as we boarded our tour buses! We were about to spend 4 fun filled days in Jamaica during the Emancipation weekend.
From the Norman Manley International airport we headed straight for some authentic Jamaican food at Sctochies in Kingston. At the end, the group pretty much tried everything on the vast menu; from jerk pork to festival to bammy and ground provisions.
After an ice breaker at Scotchies that helped us get to know each other better, we made our way to the Bob Marley Museum for our first tour. The guides were very engaging and it was a thrill to walk through the halls of where Bob Marley once resided. Next we were off to Devon’s Great House for what many described as “the best ice cream they ever tasted”. A scenic drive through the valleys and over the mountains, lead us to the northern coast of the island, Ocho Rios, where our hotel was situated.
The following morning we were greeted with warm smiles and hugs by our drivers and tour guides, definitely a great way to start the first full day of our Funcation. It began with an aerial tram tour at Mystic Mountain where on the left was a picturesque view of the Ocho Rios Bay and to the right and below us, lush Jamaican flora. To get on the tram we had to stand in place, wait for the tram to come around behind us, then sit back and enjoy the ride. Outbursts from those that were afraid of heights could be heard ahead and particularly when it was time to come off the tram. At this point we were at the hub of the activities.
Heading straight for the Bobsled ride memories of watching the movie Cool Runnings resonated with everyone. As we waited for the green light some persons started to repeat the popular chant the team will recite before every race. “Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, it's bobsled time! Cool Runnings!” The ride was a sure thrill.
The zip lines awaited us next. There’s nothing like zipping through a canopy of trees at top speed. After getting our adrenaline flowing it was time for a cool down at the Dunn’s River Waterfall after our lunch stop. It was also Emancipation weekend in Jamaica so locals and international visitors alike flocked to this magnificent falls. The translucent water was refreshing and after every few metres that was climbed, waiting was a reward of refreshing pools to soak in.
On our return to the hotel most persons headed straight to the beach not knowing it would be the meeting place to plan our night out on the town. Three hours later we took to the streets for a taste of the Jamaican nightlife.
The panoramic view from the Ocho Rios lookout, our first stop, was incredible! It was a full 20 minutes of selfies, wefies and many poses. A local DJ who was setting up sent us off with some Soca as we shuffled back into our buses. While leaving, we were pleasantly surprised by a talented young man determined to entertain. He performed one handed backflips down the hill as the bus followed. Of course he received some Trini love with tips for his amazing feat.
Next we headed to Yaaman Park. The memories made here will certainly be long lasting. The tour guide Donavan who took us around the plantation had everyone hanging on to his every word as he entertained us with his sarcastic sense of humour that we all loved. The buggy rides through the winding dirt trail gave us a rush of excitement, while the Segway ride which took some getting used turned most persons into the perfect mall cop. The camel and horse rides were also for many the highlight.
Next was the “cool Ddwn! River Tubing was just perfect for this Trini posse that looked more like a Jouver’t band since we were covered in mud from the buggy rides. With life jackets and inner tubes in hand we made way to the start of this wet adventure. The shouts of “Ooh’s, “ahhh’s” and it’s cold” were heard in between the therapeutic sound of the rushing sky blue waters while we sat in our tubes. The river had a strong current that propelled us along. Although some found it a bit scary, it was very exhilarating riding the rapids and sliding down the various levels in the river. Some even wanted to go again! It was definitely a day well spent. But the day didn’t end there. Once again we took to the streets of Ocho Rios to unwind on our last night in Jamaica.
The return drive to the Kingston the next day w