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Published: January 23rd 2018
"The World is a book, and those who don't travel travel only read one page" St Augustine.
I rarely quote and this quote is a regular on travelblog...and it always makes me smile! I'm wondering how big is my own book of life when it comes to travel! Smile!
This is a weird blog to write...let's put it simply...150th country visited...full inclusive resort, Jamaica, and oh yes, state of emergency in Montego Bay. This is a fun or interesting mix at least!
Let's go one by one....with the state of emergency over Montego Bay. It was declared while we were here. Too many murders related to gangs over the past months. The government has decided to go all in over those gangs...using not only the policy, but the army too. Therefore, from a legal point of you, the state of emergency has to be declared. Canadian and British Governement do advise tourists to remain in their resorts. Well, that's an easy thing to do here, most resorts are all inclusive. We saw one truck of military....nothing else...and we went at lunch time for a long walk on the main shopping street next
to our resort.
We are staying at Sandals, a first for us. The US brand has 85% of guests coming from US, 10% from Canada, 5% from Uk...and us! Bear in mind, I did work for Club Med while at University...so the comparison is pretty interesting. Here it is properly inclusive. I didn't pay my 4 dives with rental gears...anywhere else in the Caribbean, that's easy 300usd alone! They don't have much activities around, here it's all about food...and drinks...and lot of booze!
They have 3 resorts in Montego Bay. The pretty classy Royal Caribbean, the middle range Montego Bay and the back to basics Sandals Inn. You stay at one resort, you can play at three of them...shuttled between them is throw into the all-inclusive deal! So we went cheap and stay at the Sandals Inn....that was a deal!
Food quality was actually pretty nice...I did my research ahead as the best restaurants do need an advanced booking for dinner....did call them few days ahead of our stay! Wine was standard decent California one....Rum on offer was pretty serious, if you knew what to ask....well...in the F&B range, they truly
do give Club Med a run for your money. Our room had a huge four poster bed. The room was a little tired, but in pristine condition....that's way better than Club Med in that price bracket!
I was a little concern on how guests would react with such free flow of alcohol...as a staff put it...Americans do go to sleep when they drink too much...way different from our British friends! This is not the designer crowd that you'll meet here. It's a visit to the hard working class of Americans. These people take maximum 10 days of holidays per year....and they do work hard for them, after they have slaved to pay their health cover!
No children around here...it's mainly a couple land...so not much interaction going around either. Nice, we didn't mind keeping it to ourselves for few days!
Diving was actually ok. Being a resort dive...most divers are just Open Water qualified. Some have a lot of dives around their bells....but it's basically easy diving limited to 42 minutes....at least I got 2 of them per day. We were never more than 4 divers per dive....may be inclusive, not
that many people are actually certified, this is the minimum requirement here!
Sad reality about the diving were all those fishing cages. Yes, I do consider this place as over-fished...sad! The reef was nice, but 4 dives were more than enough! Did my 900th dive on a plane wreck....Jamaica, that was country 59th for diving!
Now back to the first quote...this is my 150th country visited. Little disclaimer...I'm cheating as I also include in the count....Palestine, Vatican, Kosovo, Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Antarctica as well as Greenland. None of those has a full seat at the UN....but who cares!
If you ask me, I still have close to 20 of them on my little to visit wish-list...I should finish 2018 at around 156 if everything goes fine. How do we say? It's a small world! I'm only 44, so I have the time to consider my options in regard to what is still left to visit. As you can guess, Jamaica was not the top of my list!
more to come very soon....we are still in January!
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