Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Jamaica Mon!

Jamaica. Honestly it was a place I really had no interest in visiting.  The things I had read talked of lawlessness, drugs, and crime. I don't know about you, but I'm good without subjecting my self to any of the above on purpose.  
I had seen pictures of on place on some of the cruise brochures that looked gorgeous.  I decided if ever I did go, the only place worth seeing was Ocho Rios.  It just so happened that the only Caribbean cruise available the week Jeff had off stopped there for a day.

The only weed we actually saw was the stuff our tour guide jokingly handed to Jon from the side of the road.  This is not because there wasn't any, Jeff of course jokingly asked for some a little later in the day and we were told they'd let us know when it was available.  It was about to get real when they told us "ok this is where you can get some" and I had to put an end to Jeff's teasing. 
We had ended up joining our friends Jon and Cindy who we had met the first night of the cruise at dinner when Jeff made up the most insane story of how we met involving a troop of monkeys and a gallon of cream cheese.  They decided we were crazy enough for us to be friends.  
When they told us they were going to the blue hole on our Jamaica day we canceled our original plans and joined them. It was the number one rated place to go on trip advisor and there was good reason!!!
We all loved the tour, and couldn't get over the location! These pools were gorgeous!
We hiked up several falls and then proceeded to jump off the rocks into each pool below!
The water was clear and crisp
The group we were touring with were all such good sports, everyone jumped, even the little kids!
Cindy and I had a great time together
Jon entertained us all with stories of traveling all over for the the DEA I think, but they're from Canada.   Jon teaches the new police officers up there and Cindy is an OR nurse.  Between the two of them they had plenty of fun stories to tell!
This little spot in the picture above was so cool the waterfall behind us was pretty fierce and it was hard to stay in one place but if you could the water massage was awesome!
The Blue Hole is surrounded in the most lush greenery and Jamaica is one of the only caribbean islands with mountains. It was a lot to take in.
I love my underwater Nikon camera but only got these two jumping pictures that were clear, the rest were totally blurry and I couldn't figure out the camera settings to fix it!

The guides were friendly and wanted to be sure we all were safe.
We were so thrilled that we had decide to join Jon and Cindy.  This place was truly amazing!

Yours truly.  
Really I have no desire to ever go back to Jamaica, but if I did, I would definitely want to come here again!

When our time at the blue hole was over we took a short bus ride to a the rivers edge where just the four of us hopped on to two cool looking rafts.
They were about 25' long and we had a local guide standing on the front with a long stick of bamboo to use as a paddle
They tried to entertain us and sang a bunch of reggae songs
The ride down the river was incredible. 
The water was calm in most places and we mostly rode under a canopy of trees
For as filthy as the streets and homes were that we passed along the way I was amazed at how clear the river was!
At the half way point they let us stop and plash around on a swing hanging over the river
Of course what we later realized was that this was part of the ploy to make a little more cash on their end of the deal.
They had a photographer taking pictures along the way the first part of our rafting trip and then they had him out taking pictures as we played on the swings.  
The funny part though was that afterwards they brought you up in to the little open air hut where they actually got a wifi signal and had all the pictures downloaded and discs ready for purchase.
Whatever though, we had a blast . 
Cindy and I both played on the swings
and of course couldn't resist helping Jeff and Jon to cool off a little
Can you believe how pretty this place is though?!

The guys stood around swapping stories while Cindy and I splashed around
It was the best way to wrap up our time in Jamaica!
As we were just about to board the ship we saw this guy balancing on a chair being held up by two empty Coke bottles on a rusty old table breathing out fire! It was equal parts crazy, fascinating and absolutely disgusting!  I think he was drinking some sort of alcohol and then put the flame up near his mouth and then spit it out and the result was the picture below.
It was so nasty though because the dude smelled like a BBQ and he had whatever it was he was drinking running all down his face and chin. Yeah, remembering it now,  I mostly just feel grossed out...
We had over an hour to kill on the boat before we left the port. I wasn't interested in hanging out in the town, so Jeff and I decided to finally take advantage of the massive water slides on the 11th deck. The view from up there was the best!
I loved this orange slide that spun you into a big whirlpool and then kinda just dropped you into this bowl. Okay poor description I know, but just take my word for it. If you ever get to sail on the Carnival Breeze, ride the orange slide no matter what at least once while you're on the ship.  I couldn't suppress the laughter that just gurgled out of me every time I dropped into the bowl. It caught me completely off guard every time, and lets just say I went down it maybe more than that seven times. Yes. sometimes I act like I'm 12 but it really was that fun.
When we finally left Jamaica Jeff was in the room resting and I was on the top deck finishing my fourth book since we had left home and admiring another beautiful Caribbean sunset.

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