Western Caribbean Day 5: Ocho Rios cried when Marley Died

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January 27th 2009
Published: January 27th 2009
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Rainbow over JamaicaRainbow over JamaicaRainbow over Jamaica

We had light rain and sunshine when we came off the ship . . . and there was the rainbow, with a pot of gold on each end . . . at least for the corporations that own them!

Manny! Jamaica Me Crazy

So says our cab driver Duppy today as I proffer up a deluge of reasons why he cant scam me on the “negotiable” price to Reggae Beach. “It’s far, it’s in another parish!” he says; of course the parishes are not that large I respond, and we settle on 18 bucks one way which turns into 20 bucks when he doesn’t have change for the 10 minute cab ride. In actuality he said “You’re crazy, but you’re cool.” Miguel’s card (Duppy is his nickname) says he is the #1 cabbie on the island; I couldn’t get one of the “lifeguards” at Reggae Beach to confirm that. Speaking of those lifeguards, smoking reefer and raking around shards of broken glass seems to be all they are good for, but what the hey, life is a beach mon! Jamaica was only a Spanish territory for a short time and Miguel is from there, he says he got his name from a movie star that his mom saw and liked the name.

The Definitive Guide to Reggae Beach

As always, we researched the beaches endlessly before coming here, settling on Reggae Beach as bloggers on TripAdvisor had indicated
View of Ocho RiosView of Ocho RiosView of Ocho Rios

Bathed in the intermittent sunlight.
it was the best in the area and was secluded enough. Plus we figured we’d get a better deal but between the cab ride and entry fees it turned out to be a $50 excursion.

In order to properly characterize things, seas have been choppy here for quite some time (last 48 to 72 hours according to the well-informed Duppy), so the waves were very strong. We also had very spotty sunshine and even some light rain with sunshine as we got off the boat. This made the waves rather large at 5 feet on breaking, with quite a bit of force because the beach floor dropped quickly. The water was murky so there was no benefit in snorkeling about. But when the sun shone through and we had gotten accustomed to the trash and ramshackle nature of Jamaican life, Reggae Beach turned out to be great. The photos tell the best story and coming on a calmer day is an absolute must. If you had to choose I would say that Ocho Rios is not the ideal destination in Jamaica, but that is just conjecture based on what other people have described.

In any event, I don’t
Bauxite PlantBauxite PlantBauxite Plant

According to Bob, now shut down but it used to process bauxite which is used in manufacture of aluminum. It has a 7 mile conveyor belt or something crazy like that. A bit of an eyesore on the waterfront but the Carnival ship soon covered it.
think anyone else on the cruise ship got to sit on a beach drinking $3 Red Stripes; have a totally baked-out Rastafarian mumble incoherent nonsense about how he cried when Marley died and “sing” us songs while pointing at the ocean; smell some top quality ganja emanating from the hut the two “lifeguards” were working on; while wondering if Duppy was going to come back and pick us up with a gang of toughs to whack us out.

In comparison, the beach where the cruise ship excursion would have taken us looked much calmer and is your more typical beach with white sand but it faces right onto the cruise ship and I can’t see any Rastafarians down there from our balcony, so that is just plain unsuitable. The other beach is behind Margaritaville and looks rougher but gives right on the sterns of both our ship and the Carnival ship. The only other beaches which may be good are at the hotels but that can be quite an expensive exercise to experience and some may not grant access. I think Jamaica is the type of place where you want to have someone over here who is in the
Couple CatsCouple CatsCouple Cats

On the landing between Deck 8 and 9, aft starboard staircase.
know and let them give you the tourist experience based on all of the factors at that time (meaning - including the weather).

Ocho Rios

Nothing here of course other than throngs of tourist and the Margaritaville which we went to for lunch and was more fun than the one in Myrtle Beach (see our earlier blog) because it had a swimming pool, slide and hot tub on premise where one could get blitzed. The food was not good though, and it seems the locals, like many Caribbean islanders, are not designed for efficiency or efficacy and the wait staff seemed to barely keep up. As much as Georgetown was drab and boring, Ocho Rios was a bit more exciting in that there are clearly more people on this island and there is a steadfast desire to capitalize on the cruise ships coming in to the maximum. The tax on the restaurant bill was outrageous at 15%!,(MISSING) we are still trying to figure out where they are spending the money. The billboard of the honorable highness mayor something something accounted for some of the money as he was decorated like an African warlord with maybe only the
Reggae Beach, Ocho RiosReggae Beach, Ocho RiosReggae Beach, Ocho Rios

Much better picture of the beach by Jennifer.
Russians or South Americans giving them some competition.

The friendliest of all Ocho Rios inhabitants had to be a little cat family we saw in the tourist trap shopping center which included one playful little kitten that played with Jennifer’s palm leaf bird that Lenny had made for her at Margaritaville.

We’re back on the ship now, all washed up, going to go drink some more Pina Coladas, the best still being the ones we had in the lobby bar of the ship. I think we may come back to Jamaica but it will take some very detailed and deliberate planning and strict avoidance of cruise ship routes.

Expect something from us in two days time, most likely summing up an uneventful day at sea tomorrow and arrival in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday. We will post all of the photos at that time, there are some great ones.

Jamaica me crazy mon! Relax!

Additional photos below
Photos: 17, Displayed: 17


Beach Access RoadBeach Access Road
Beach Access Road

Looks better in the photo. Ramshackle Reggae style mon!
Crashing Wave at Reggae BeachCrashing Wave at Reggae Beach
Crashing Wave at Reggae Beach

Gives a better idea of force, the splash is about 10 feet above water level.
Red Stripe on Reggae BeachRed Stripe on Reggae Beach
Red Stripe on Reggae Beach

3 USD, never like Red Stripe all that much but sure tasted good on the beach.
Our Final SpotOur Final Spot
Our Final Spot

We had to move three times and our towels were totally soaked. No glass or waves up here!
Weed HutWeed Hut
Weed Hut

Okay, this is not about Jennifer, so ignore her attention-grabbing ploy and look on the left, that is the weed hut they were working on after raking around the shards of glass. Both guys were in there smoking weed for a half hour singing songs.
Reggae Beach East SideReggae Beach East Side
Reggae Beach East Side

The prettier side of the beach.
Nutty LeroyNutty Leroy
Nutty Leroy

Leroy was making all of these little birds out of palm leaves in about 30 seconds and was cleaning up at $2 a pop. He was giving everyone nicknames, Manny is "John Wayne Jr." and Jennifer is "Honeysuckle".
More CatsMore Cats
More Cats

The baby on the right was the favorite, got to play with Leroy's palm frond bird.
Sunset over JamaicaSunset over Jamaica
Sunset over Jamaica

Viewed from the stern of the ship. We could not see our beach as we sailed away.

23rd July 2010
Reggae Beach, Ocho Rios

what is the price to enter your beach
1st September 2010
Reggae Beach, Ocho Rios

Information/ nice photos
Want to get in contact with someone from the beach to know the cost to visit the beach. For a group of people. Thanks
11th September 2010

Contact at beach
Rox-ann, there is no one to get in contact with there. This is typical island style, they just want to smoke weed and drink beer there. the guy you are paying probably doesnt even officially have the right to charge, just think of it as a "contribution" to the pot mon!
19th April 2011
Couple Cats

Not the cat. Lol. You are a truly gorgeous woman.
17th December 2011
Uh oh! Jennifer's hungry again!

24th December 2011
Weed Hut

10th March 2013

great get away from the every day artificial city life made of concrete walkways,freeway and,9 to 5 rush hours.
1st September 2014
Weed Hut

Life is funny!
In searching for a good photo to teach my Japanese students what a hut is, (They think, Pizza Hut is Pizza Hat…) this pic came up. For obvious reasons it piqued my interest (her attention-grabbing ploy worked). Then I started looking at the rest of your photos from this trip. Not having been to Jamaica before, I now and trying to convince my wife to head there, rather than another trip back to the east cost of the US to visit family!! Looks like an amazing place to relax for a while! Lovely photos!! Cheers!

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