Monday, June 25, 2012

Yeah Mun: Things to Do in Jamaica; Shopping, Botantical Gardens, and Dunn's River Falls

Our entire trip planning experience in Jamaica was basically built around brochures and packages at the hotel.  This is perfectly opposed to the way I normally travel.  Most of the time, I have everything figured out ahead of time, my own transportation everywhere, and have researched the most efficient and cost-effective way of doing things.

With the wedding planning, I had no time for any of this and frankly no patience for it either.  It was nice not to have to worry about this sort of meticulous planning for once.

Nonetheless, I did miss having a car.  Our resort was removed from the town and pretty much everything else, so taxis and trip buses were the only way to travel, and taxis were beyond ridiculously expensive (I wouldn't pay those prices for a taxi in New York City let alone a country whose economy is shit compared to ours).  If I went back, I would rent a car.  I think it would be worth it for exploring purposes.

Anyway, we wanted to get into the town a bit and burn some cash, so we decided to go on a tour that included shopping and Dunn's River Falls.  We had planned on going to the latter anyway, and adding shopping was fairly inexpensive.  We figured the shops would be overpriced but that we didn't really have other options.

We were right.  I'm sure the tour guides knew the shops they were taking us to were overpriced, but at the time, we didn't see any other option.  We really wanted to buy rum cream.  If you remember, I had fallen in love with this tasty Bailey's alternative at our hotel and desperately wanted to take some home.  We bought two bottles on our shopping trip.  Little did we know that we would find the same bottle $7 cheaper at the airport on the way home.  Anyway.  We bargained for our other souvenirs, and I think what we paid was more reasonable for them.  But the whole experience was rather taxing.  I hate bargaining with a vengeance, but as I said in the last post, I hate getting taking advantage of.  I feel like buying anything in a not-first-world country creates nationality-related problems, and there are times when I'd rather just not buy anything to avoid the experience.

But at least we got our rum cream :).

The fruits of our bargaining labors.

We were surprised to discover that our trip included a visit to a botanical garden which ended up being quite a pleasant experience.  Our guide was...let's say, very local.  We're pretty sure he had no idea what he was talking about, but he was entertaining nonetheless.

Look at him.  He's so cute I could just eat him up!

We did get to see some pretty cool plants regardless of whether the information we received about them was accurate.

I don't remember what these red things were called--Cat's Tails maybe?--but we were all in love with them.

Daniel getting eaten by a banana tree.

I can't remember what this means.  It was something akin to "I love you," I think.

Finally, we left the foliage for Dunn's River Falls.  I must say, as far as value goes, this was the best thing we did on the trip.  It was pretty inexpensive and amazingly cool.  It is also something I wish we could have done without guides.  They slowed us down, and we would have liked to climb the falls more than once and try some trickier routes.  But anyway, it was pretty cool.

You hike up the falls.  Literally.  It's a long, lazy waterfall, and you climb up it.  It was awesome.  Daniel and I are both of an adventurous nature when it comes to this kind of stuff, and after getting our footing, we decided to go the hard way as often as possible.  Daniel actually climbed through a crashing cascade of water at one point.  We enjoyed it immensely.

Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures since we didn't have a waterproof camera, but this should give you the idea:

And that was our outing.  I'm glad we did it even though there were awkward/frustrating parts.  I still would have liked to have a car, but that would have been an extra expense we didn't really need too.  Next time perhaps.


  1. All this talk of rum cream is making me thirsty!

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