So I've taken you for a sampling around Montego Bay and Falmouth, but there is much more of Jamaica to see. I did not have the chance to visit it all, but we did explore something very fun in Ocho Rios called Mystic Mountain. Our faithful driver Jermain picked us up at the Melia Braco Village for another day of “What – more places to do crazy things and have fun?”
Off to the Rainforest we went where we got to take a leisurely chair lift ride 700 feet above sea level to the top of the mountain on the Sky Explorer – what an amazing view! It was a slow ride so you actually got to enjoy the process. There is a restaurant at the top with a panoramic view as well as a water slide and infinity pool – something for everyone. Since you are in the Rainforest, there is a Canopy Zipline for a thrill, but the most unusual and unexpected ride is the Bobsled Run. I'm sure you will remember the famous Jamaican Bobsled team in the Calgary Winter Olympics in 1988. They even made a movie about them called “Cool Runnings.” To honor that memory, this is a must for all who visit – it is perfect for any age group. If you're a big chicken like me, you can choose to hook your bobsled to another person, because whoever is in the front car controls the speed. If you're a bit of a daredevil, you can take a singular car and go as fast as you'd like. It is a windy 1,000m long track and it truly is a lot of fun. Put this one on your bucket list. Www.rainforestadventure.com/jamaica
Well, after all that excitement, you work up an appetite, so we took a drive to Scotchies, the most highly regarded “jerk pit.” Here they cook the pork and chicken in open-air barbeques over pimento wood. I had the jerk pork and it was cooked to perfection. It is very authentic Jamaican with open air huts and lots of spices. Put it on your list.
We just couldn't stop there and go back to the hotel, because there were caves to explore! I got excited because I thought it would give us some relief from the heat. The first thing they gave us when we arrived to the Green Grotto Caves were hair nets and construction hats – seriously! Needles to say, we all looked lovely – not! The caves were beautiful but for some reason, it felt humid because part of it was not totally underground and the air was not as cool as I hoped. However, the stories and sights were well worth the effort. In the 17th century, the caves were hideouts for the Spaniards when the English invaded and in the mid-20th century, they were used by smugglers running arms to Cuba. The highlight was the last part of the tour to see the translucent water. The guide told us there were only 64 steps to get there! And yes, that meant 64 steps back up. I thought he was kidding, but the joke was on me – there were 64 steps in each direction! I made it but if you have mobility issues, you need to sit that part out. To say I was ready to get rid of the hair net and construction hat is an understatement, but it was a sight to behold with an enormouss amount of history for the entire family to enjoy. Www.greengrottocavesja.com
Well now it was time to return to the Melia Braco Village for a last night of swimming, good food and fun. It was hard to say goodbye to the caring and thoughtful staff of the hotel, but they made coming home evey evening a true pleasure. They even left hand written notes on our beds every evening when they turned down our beds and left chocolates. Alas, all good things must come to an end, but that doesn't mean you can't go back! I fell in love with Jamaica and I think you will too.
November 4, 2016