Sunday, 24 April 2016

Jamaica Vacation!

I'm on VACATION!!! The internet in Jamaica is pretty terrible, but I'm missing writing in the blog, so here it goes...

I have lived here for a year previously which is how I met my other half. This time, my parents have come to see the country, meet Cleyon and his family! I have been living away from home for 3 years now and this is the first time they have come to visit me, needless to say I was excited for them to come.

After they got over their jet lag, it's a long way from Australia, we ventured out to the Rose Hall Great House, Appleton Rum Factory and YS Falls.

Photo of a photo for a view of the Rose Hall Great House

We thought we would take it easy with the tours for the first few days while my parents recover so we chose an easy introduction with the Rose Hall Great House. We went in the evening for a night tour! It was $20 US per person. They take a photo of you in front of the house on entry which is available for purchase later for $10 US. You are told a whole heap of information about the settlers and of course the infamous Anne Palmer aka. The White Witch. This tour was a lot of fun but it is not for the faint of heart. We all jumped a few times, there were a couple of screams within the group and I was laughing a lot of the time. The tour guide we had, 'Curly', did an excellent job and also the actors in the house; the men and women dressed up as slaves in rags, carrying machetes, cleaning the floors and walking around. The tour was really informative but honestly I spent most of the time looking around corners and for hiding places for people to jump out of. If you get scared easily and are looking for something a little more peaceful, perhaps during the day would be better, but you will be missing out on a lot of fun!!

The next day we were off to the rum factory and falls.

Appleton Rum Factory

I have worked in bars all through my University study and therefore love tasting different alcohols and mixes. Although I have lived here before and tried most of the alcohols on offer at the rum factory, there was one I haven't tried; Berry Hill Pimento Allspice Liquer by Wray & Nephew. Pimento, or allspice, is a berry that once dried tastes like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. The drink is kind of sweet, intense but really tasty and they say it's good for an upset stomach. Of course I loved all the other rums and rum creams, oh rum cream....mmmmm.....

Cleyon and Dad at the beginning...

Serving the sugar cane juice, the juicing machine behind.
We paid $25 US entry each, received a rum punch on entry (which was very strong and refillable as soon as you finished it!), we then tried freshly squeezed sugar cane juice, literally, like we watched 2 tour group members push the machine around to squeeze the juice! Then we tried molasses, the first stage of the rum producing process. We then proceeded inside for the samples of white rum, dark rum, coconut rum, rum cream and the pimento liquer.....they let us pour our own drinks and we could have as much as we liked! Very well worth going, my only recommendation, go with a tour company or taxi driver so you don't have to drive!!!

Donkey demonstrating how to juice sugar eating it! 

Old Sugar Cane Cart
At the end of the tour....

I carefully drove from the Appleton Factory to YS Falls, probably another 20 minutes and made it just in time at 3.25pm, they close at 3.30pm! We paid the entry, from memory $15 US, and boarded a cart pulled by tractor to the falls. The grounds are beautiful, grassy areas with tables and chairs and a few huts for shops. We wished we had packed a picnic to sit down and enjoy the surrounds. We climbed up the side of the falls up their wooden stairs. The walk isn't far or difficult. The falls were nice and flowing quite rapidly. After many photos we walked back to the bottom. As mum was taking photos of all the different flowers and plants I dipped my toe in the water in a natural-made pool at the bottom, it was beautiful but really cold! If you're going to the rum factory and you have time to see the falls, they are nice, but I personally prefer the falls on the othervside of Jamaica from Ocho Rios to Port Antonio. The water seems to be more blue and clear over there than YS Falls.

YS Heritage...beautiful scenery
The tractor cart ride to the falls

Dad admiring the tranquility haha

So peaceful
Cleyon, Me and Mum at YS Falls

If the water wasn't so cold maybe I would've swung in! 

After a long day, I drove back however, took a 'shortcut'. The roads to get to Appleton and YS are pretty bad. Lots of potholes, very narrow and very windy. We made it back to Montego Bay, all in one piece but a little weiry and some of us a little tipsy...

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