Anywho, we ended up getting so much money from the wedding that we could pretty much do whatever we wanted. We still kept price in mind but not so much as we usually do.
Our first excursion brought us to Mystic Mountain. We went for the Jamaican bobsledding, but there was a lot of cool stuff to do there.
First, we took a really long chair lift up the mountain. It went straight through the jungle and was totally awesome!
Even though the main purpose of the chair lift was to get us up the mountain, it was one of our favorite things about the whole trip. It was so long that we really had time to savor the jungle and the ocean views. Highly recommended.
Once we got up there, we entered a whole different world. There was live music, dancers, and an array of fun touristy activities. We checked out the Jamaican museum. I'd never seen a museum outside before, and it was pretty cool if small. Daniel was particularly pleased to learn that there once were TWO Jewish pirates in Jamaica (I think he's about ready to submit his application to become the third).
We checked out the mountain top waterslide which was pretty cool even if we were the only adults in the pool. The views were gorgeous.
We're pretty sure this is our resort.
Downtown Ocho Rios
We engaged in various other activities that may or may not have been for adults.
Then is was time for the main event: Jamaican bobsledding. This was pretty much the greatest rollercoaster I have ever been on not because it was extra fast or had a crazy track but because you could control it yourself. The thrill is so much greater when you have the power to go at full speed and decide when it's time to break. It was awesome! Plus, you really can't not like a rollercoaster that goes through the rainforest, so close to the trees that you can touch them (why no, I would never do that, I kept my hands and arms inside at all times, yep, that definitely happened...).
OK, so these were taken after we got down the mountain, whatever, you get the idea.
After that thrilling adventure, we embarked on another and ziplined down the mountain. I had done a zipline before in Hawaii which was a little cooler, but this was still tons of fun. And I think it was longer and faster than the one in Hawaii, so it definitely gets points for that. Our guides were funny. They were laughing and joking with each other the whole time and gave us all a scare when they pretended we would have to zipline straight down.
Ready to Roll
After a leisurely ride back down on the chair lift, our Mystic Mountaining was at an end, but the adventure wasn't. We still had some time before our bus got back, so we ventured across the street to explore a bit.
There were several parts of the trip during which I felt awkward being a foreign tourist, and this was one of them. I want to support the local economy, but I hate being taken advantage of. We walked down the road a bit and wanted to go explore off road by the water a bit, but the one easily accessible place was crawling with locals who wanted to "show us" the area. In other words, walk us down the hill and then demand money for it. I hate that. We ended up leaving because I was so frustrated trying to say, "I want to go down but not with you" without sounding rude or contributing to the ugly American stereotype. We found another place to go down by the water and then ended up sneaking back to where we had wanted to go before.
Supposedly, this waterfall was in a James Bond movie.
Now, there were actually two reasons I was a little nervous to go off road. One was the pushy locals, the other was the absolute eruption of these guys when we crossed the road:
I hate spiders. I hate them. I do not know why, but bugs really get to me, and spiders are the worst. These ones sure looked poisonous, and they were fucking massive. Seriously, there were a lot of big bugs in Jamaica, but the spiders...just, Oh My God! I was terrified. Not quite enough to stop exploring but almost.
Our adventure across the road was short-lived. While we were waiting for the tour bus, we took time to do a few necessary newlywed shots.
And then it was time to go back to the resort (but not before the bus forgot us...don't worry, another came to retrieve the poor, lost tourists).
Mystic Mountain may have been obscenely touristy, but it was a lot of fun. It was like a Jamaican Disneyland but way smaller and more natural and with far fewer rules. We had a great time there, and it was totally worth the price.