Trip to Ocho Rios Jamaica – Part 2
On the 19th of February, we said goodbye to Forres Park and boarded the Knutsford Express destined for Ocho Rios specifically Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort and Spa. It was a lovely drive from Kingston and we passed Flat Bridge, Rio Cobre and other interesting landmarks.
The journey took about 2.5 hours. We disembarked and met a great taxi driver who helped to set a positive tone for the second leg of our vacation. My initial impression of Sunset Jamaica Grande was that it was an older property but well maintained.
We took a walk around the property and as I looked at the sand and the water, I instinctively knew I was not going swimming (My apologies- I am from Anguilla and the water did not look appealing 🙂 ).
The food at the resort was good and I particularly enjoyed the Jamaican breakfast buffet each morning. I took the saying ‘eat breakfast like a king’ literally. Unfortunately, I also ate lunch and dinner like a king. I am happy to say though that I did do some exercise as well. I went to the gym and we also climbed Dunn’s River Falls twice.
This was the third time I climbed the Dunn’s River Falls and I still loved it. Nash chose to venture without the ‘tour guide’ and of course I followed him. I love his spirit of adventure. The first time up I chose to navigate some of the easier paths but on the second trip up I decided to challenge myself by passing through areas where the falls were heavier. The water at the falls is just so relaxing and we had a great morning there.
Drinks at the bar, eating out at the various hotel restaurants and lounging around the lobby and pool were some of my favourite pastimes during the week.
Nash did kayaking although he said it was ‘whack’ – his words not mine. This was because he was restricted to kayaking within a boundary only about a hundred meters away from shore. I guess unrestricted kayaking in Anguilla spoiled us. Nash also tried the giant slide which led to the pool. He also participated in pool Olympics and although his team did not win, as always I enjoyed watching him play sports.
We often went walking around the town close to the hotel and we stumbled upon Turtle River Park. I loved the park and I would love to see such public ‘spaces’ in Anguilla.
Ocho Rios is of course one of the touristy areas of Jamaica so there were shops or markets selling souvenirs at every turn. Like many Caribbean islands, the market experience is always an interesting one. If you have never been to a market, picture 50-100 small booths/stalls each with a different vendor selling very similar souvenirs. If you enter or stop by one booth, each person invites you to come to their booth. If you make a purchase at one booth the attention intensifies. The vendors are usually very polite but of course each is trying to make a sale. We picked up some lovely prints at the market for our home.
We also visited the shopping malls where they take the tourists from some of the cruise ships. Many of the same items from the markets were there at higher prices. When you go on vacation, you can totally avoid the market place but you will probably get better deals there. One thing is for certain, souvenirs are big business in Ocho Rios. What kind of souvenirs would you like to see in Anguilla?
It was a lovely trip to Jamaica and we had two very different Jamaican experiences – one in the hills and the other at an All Inclusive. Many visitors to Jamaica stay primarily in Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Negril at All Inclusive properties but like so many of our Caribbean islands, there is so much more to see and do when you explore the island – with caution of course. If you are visiting Anguilla, we encourage you to explore every inch of our beautiful island.
I must comment on the customs and immigration officers as I entered and left Jamaica. The service and their attitude were so positive and friendly. They exemplified the ‘one love’ which Jamaica is known for.
We were sad to see our trip come to an end but Nash and I knew if God willed we would have a lifetime of vacations together.
It was lovely to return home and our dog Vision was also happy to see us. Of course I am anticipating our next trip but as I mentioned before Anguilla is home and for us at My Anguilla Experience, the vacation never has to end.