I love vacationing in Jamaica! The Rui Negril is the best. This year we were celebrating Anita's Birthday. It was a big one. Wink, wink.
|All white party for the birthday celebration|
Anyway, it was a great time to enjoy family and friends on the beach with a glass of rum punch, sunglasses, and a less than classic fiction novel. It was great. One of the many great things about vacationing in Jamaica is the Rui Negril Resort (all inclusive). No worries about food, drink, or entertainment. There are three great restaurants on the property (reservations only) and the huge family banquet restaurant. There is also daily jerk chicken meals on the beach from 12:00 to 2:00pm, two pool bars available to serve your favorite tropical drinks, and in every room there is a personal bar stocked with rum, soda, and water.
|My meal at the steak house|
|Jerk Chicken Pit|
|Fruit bar in the main dining area|
Every night at the pavilion there is a show or band performance for your pleasure. The entertainment team is spectacular, always engaging and hosting the beach and pool side activities. Then at night, they are the main event or the prelude to the musical attraction. The wait staff is impeccable. Always smiling and ready to serve. Some looked so young. One day I asked one of the young ladies her age. She looked no more than 16; her response was 22 years old. She had just completed her college education in food services.
If you are there for a week, you can count on a "white" beach party full of games, music and, of course, Appleton Jamaican Rum. It does not stop there, the resort also has shops, game rooms, a small casino and day spa. (I had to make a stop at the spa to get a manicure.) So you never have to leave the premises. But, if you are the adventurous type and want to take advantage of an excursion or two, there are agents in the lobby to help you plan your adventure. Also, on the beach you can make some water excursions at Water Sports.
This time around, I wanted to see the interior of the island. I wanted learn more about the culture and the people who live and breathe Jamaica. Tourism is the number industry and aluminum the second.
I took a tour with Chukka, the company that handles the excursions. This was a tour by jeep, which traveled through some historical areas of Jamaica. Along the way, I learned a little about the slave trade and revolt. I saw plantations where they produced rum and plantation houses that were burned down by slaves trying to escape to freedom. Surprisingly, slavery on the island ended (1838) long before the emancipation in America.
Life is slow in Jamaica. People build houses on government land and can buy that property (land) if they have the money. I saw many, many construction sites where new homes where being built. As people have money to build, the construction of the home continues. But when there is no money, all construction stops. So you see a lot of unfinished homes that look like they've been abandoned.
Many of the people live in the smallest quarters I have ever seen. Some places are only a little larger than my bathroom. Incredible. The towns are busy with people conducting business and personal trade. The children are all uniformed. In high school they learn to speak French and Spanish. The people of Jamaica have their own language, handed down from slavery. It is called Patois, which is a combination of many languages including old English, Spanish, Portuguese, and some African languages. It was developed by the slaves as their own personal means of communication.
All over the country you will see goats in the fields and on the sides of the road. Goats are everywhere! There is other livestock: chicken, cows, and horses.
We stopped on a hill overlooking Montego Bay. There I saw planes land, cruise ships docked, and mountains where escaped slaves would run for freedom. Then Richard, our trusty guide showed us how they tracked run away slaves. There is a certain vegetation that grows in grassy areas. It responds to touch the same as a Venus fly trap. It stays closed for about five minutes. This behavior would allow slave catchers to track and find runaway slaves. Then, we were shown a huge cotton wood tree. This is the type of tree slaves were hanged. This part of the tour was very disheartening. Jamaica is a small island surrounded by water compared to the USA. How far could a slave run before being caught?
Richard tried to teach a little Jamaican slang. It was so funny listening to him speak/teach.
- trashy and ready - means pretty woman dressed to the nine. Looking good.
- fluffy diva (mama) - big woman weighting over 200 pounds. Big is good in Jamaica.
- bumper - (behind or butt)
Bob Marley changed things. His popularity spanned the globe. His message and music touch people from all walks of life. Bob Marley died at 39 of cancer. He did not believe in cutting his hair or removing any body parts and tissue.
The final leg of the tour was the falls. We went to the beautiful, deadly rain forest. I thought those mosquitoes and spiders were going to eat me ALIVE! Before leaving the resort, I applied repellent. Then before entering the forest, another application. The insects laughed at me. By the time I got to the falls, I had over 20 bites. Richard's solution: get in the falls. The water will cool your body and rinse the sweat off. It did and the biting stopped. But none of the Jamaican people were getting bit. I needed their repellent. GRRRR!
After the cool dip at the falls, we went to a outdoor eatery, where they served cool drinks, delicious jerk chicken, peas and rice with corn fritters. I needed a bottle of Benadryl to go! Despite my uncomfortable state, I enjoyed the tour. Richard stopped at one more location, where snails were a plenty, feasting on algae. The trip back to the resort was quite. Everyone had had a full day of excitement.
Back to my lazy days on the beach and at the pool to sip on the best rum punch, while reading. Life is beautiful visiting Jamaica!
Parting shot: Me and Richard overlooking Montego Bay. Richard shared his photo pose, always pointing up. This is to acknowledge God, the creator of all things. This is a form of praise and thanks. I like that.