Jamaican Holiday Experience
Jamaica, Land of Sun, Sea, White sandy Beaches & No Problem Man!
Holiday - Jamaican Style
Jamaica is definitely one of those places you dream of visiting but never get the chance of actually doing it. Many people put it on their to-do-list before they die but somehow it always seems that little bit out of their reach. Yes the Jamaica just a tiny Island in the Caribbean Sea bordered by Cuba to the north and Florida a further 90 minutes away. The sun drenched place from which world sprinting sensation Usain Bolt and Osafa Powell originate, a place where legend is made. It has always been there, it didn’t just appear on the map because of Bolt, but he certainly adds impetus to the desire and make it that much larger on the world scene. The type of place celebrities goes to, to unwind but not us regular hardworking British folks? Well that has long changed, since its independence from British rule in the 1960’s, and it is only 9 ½ hours by plane from Gatwick or Heathrow.
Flight into Kingston
Our Flight from Europe landed in the scorching afternoon sun in Kingston, where we were met by relatives. We spent a couple of days in the city, where we brose the local shops as no trip to Jamaica is complete without a visit to this busy and bustling metropolitan city streets. Kingston, capital and largest city of Jamaica, is in the Southeast of the Island Jamaica. The country's chief port, it has one of the finest harbours in the West Indies and exports sugar, rum, molasses, and bananas. The city's industries include tourism, food processing, and oil refining. Kingston was founded in 1693 on a deep, landlocked harbour. The former capital, Port Royal, at the tip of the long, narrow peninsula forming the harbour, was inundated after an earthquake in 1692; the capital was then moved to Spanish Town and, in 1872, to Kingston. After fire destroyed the new Port Royal in 1703, Kingston became Jamaica's leading commercial city. It has suffered from urban unrest as well as damage from severe hurricanes and an earthquake in 1907. Kingston is famed for its lively calypsos and its relics of buccaneering days. In the suburb of Mona are the Univ. of the West Indies and the Royal Botanical Gardens, noted especially for their orchids. Just to the east of Kingston you find the famous Blue Mountain Peak.
With great and stunning scenery it's no surprise that walking is another popular activity there. I walk with my family but there are professional Guides provided to show guest the true beauty of the island. Again if you are up to something a bit more energetic you can try one of the hiking tours which take in the stunning Jamaica Blue Mountains. From which the now world famous Blue Mountain Coffee originate. This most famous mountain range is in eastern of the Island and extends for about 30 miles (50 km) from a little town called Stony Hill, which is about 8 miles north of Kingston, Jamaica's capital city, and eastward to the Caribbean sea. The highest point in the Blue Mountain range peak at (7,402 feet [2,256 metres]). The Blue Mountains are thickly covered with tree ferns. The slopes facing the east of the Island and receive an average of 200 inches (5,000 mm) of rain annually. While rainfall is good here it results in much topsoil erosion which may not be good for farming. But it also produces a network of streams. Winter temperatures generally may fall to 45 °F (7 °C), but frost and sleet have been experienced on Blue Mountain Peak. Coffee, formerly was grown on large plantations,but is produced in the valleys by poor smallholdings. Jamaica's Blue Mountain Coffee is among the most expensive coffees in the world and is exported mainly to Japan. So mountain hiking, you will get o see nature at its most beautiful and it's the perfect way to pass a sunny Jamaican afternoon.
Beach in Ocho Rios
A son of the soil, Jamaica born and bread, until I migrated and settled in Europe many moons now ago, since then becoming a citizen. I travelled to the Island with my family to visit relatives and friends, some old acquaintances and reconnect with my roots. While there I spent sometime travelling around mostly in family vehicles and rented car, the only way to get away and see the real Jamaica. I was based in a rural town close to where I grew up but close to Ocho Rios which is a Tourism town in the parish of Saint Ann on the north coast of Jamaica. Just outside the city, travellers and residents can visit Columbus Park, where Columbus supposedly first came on land, and see maritime artefacts and Spanish colonial buildings. Ocho Rios has some of the longest stretch of white sandy beaches. It is also a major tourism destination, second only to MoBay, and also is a cruise shipping port. Dunns River Falls which is located just outside the town of Ocho Rios, is also a major Tourist attraction.
Jamaica has been known for a long time as one of the most popular holiday destinations, not just in the Caribbean but in the world. With the combination of beautiful scenery, rich culture and laid-back lifestyle it sees holiday-makers coming back and repeated bookings for more time and again. While travelling around and sampling what the Island have to offer since I left those shores, I noticed billboards stating “Just one holiday in Jamaica and you'll see why”. Believe me when I say, here's little to find fault with my Jamaican holiday, to my wife and kids it sure was memorable visit, my kids kept asking, when are we going back?
We stayed with relatives and were not disappointed but travelling along the cost there were a great selection of hotels and guest houses to choose from, accommodation is never a problem in Jamaica. I often wondered if they will get enough visitors to fill so many hotels and of course guest have the option of adult only and family resorts. With millions of visitors year on year, that question is put to rest. Throughout the Island there are all inclusive properties which provide everything guests need for a complete holiday experience, and giving you little reason to look else where. There are also some great alternatives offering different board basis, giving you the time and freedom to enjoy Jamaican culture and nightlife.
Doctors Cove MoBay
Montego Bay is the capital of the parish of St. James is on the northeast coast, is also Jamaica's only other officially incorporated city, referred to as The Second City or more widely known as MoBay in local lingo and sometimes Bay by the locals. The city is however the fourth largest urban area by population after Kingston, Spanish Town and Portmore, all of which form the Greater Kingston area. Montego Bay is the tourist capital of the, followed closely by Ocho Rios and Negril. MoBay, Ocho Rios, Kingston, Trelawney among others regularly welcomes cruise ships visitors to the Island.
There are many famous attractions, and you cannot visit the Island without visiting that city and to listened to the legendary story of “Anne” the “White Witch of Rose Hall”. Montego Bay is the best place to discover the Island nightlife. The strip has bars and clubs including the wild Margueritaville where you can enjoy some of the best Marguerites and cocktails in a great atmosphere. The bohemian atmosphere of Negril, an alternative option to MoBay, offers a selection of bars and clubs along the beach. Check out West Point for one of the best places to watch the sun go down and enjoy an evening out.
Of course there are lots of attractions to see or visit in Jamaica and most involve the natural landscape. Water sports that my kids love are particularly popular with deep sea fishing one of the most well-liked pastimes, especially with families. You can spend the day or just a few hours out on the water with a captain who'll teach you the art of deep sea fishing. No visit to Jamaica is complete without a visit to Dunn's River Falls in Ocho Rios, Rafting on the Martha Brae in Port Antonio or a visit to Black river in St Elizabeth and having fried fish and bammy. Sampling the Island and other Caribbean delights such as Jerk Chicken, curried Goat, Rice and peas with a bottle of Red Stripe Beer to wash it down, the food was great, second to none. Not to mention the rum?
We visited the public beaches in Ocho Rios which have miles upon miles of white sandy beaches. Without a doubt Jamaica has some of the most beautiful and famous beaches in the world, you will see. On your holiday visit the famous Doctors Cave Beach where you can enjoy crystal clear waters that are reported to be fed by mineral springs. Then there is the impressive 7 mile long beach at Negril at the western end of the Island. We never got there but were told it offers peaceful soft white sands as well as a myriad of water sports. The famous James Bond Beach is a short journey from Ocho Rios where you can experience the beautiful backdrop of the lush mountains of St Mary and Golden Eye where Ian Flemming wrote the James Bond Books
All Year Beautiful Weather
Jamaica has so much to offer from excellent diving sites and a selection of water sports to river rafting. Island safaris are a popular choice where you can see so much of Jamaica, from the Mangroves to coastal tours and you might even see the odd crocodile. There are also historical buildings to visit and for golfers there are a number of hotels that have their own beautiful courses. Jamaica's climate is typical of the Caribbean with warm weather all year round. Of course it also has the typical wet season so be prepared for some rain. September and October have the most rainfall but the wet season lasts from May through November. With an average temperature of 26 degrees you will have the time of your life. The weather in Jamaica is ideal for getting out on the beach and making the most of the sunshine. You will find it is a little cooler in the Mountains and it may be slightly wetter.
There tends to be more rain between May and October, which is the Hurricane season, but not to worry, these come infrequently, and only rarely cased any damage. But listened, its hot and sunny most year round, please, tell no one though, friends will see this as complaining and not think me a son o the soil, a Jamaican anymore! They will think me fully acclimatized foreigner, While living there I could not appreciate it as much, as I do now, only when you lose something that you realise it's true value. I wish I as there gain everyday of my life and now my kids loves it too. It was like going home again, and I can’t wait to relive my Jamaican experience, to relive the most exciting times of my life. Every persons should have this wish, and make a pledge to visit the Island before they gave up the ghost, its an experience of a lifetime. Take it from me I'm an alien, I'm a legal alien, I'm a Jamaican in a foreign land.
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My Jamacan Holiday Experience
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