Ocho Rios is known as the home of Dunn’s River Falls, which is fed by springs located in the hills above the town. The falls cascade down about 695ft into the sea. Ocho Rios is Spanish for ‘Eight Rivers’ and has a population of about 96,000.
Running the tour operator gauntlet
We decided to disembark the ship and get a tour from one of the operators near the pier (a gauntlet of tour operators you often have to pass in every port). To be on the safe side we accepted a taxi ticket for an accredited taxi to take us to Dunn River Falls. This saw us being directed onto a mini bus which had two other people on board. About 10 min later another two people boarded then a few more another 10 min later. We sat on the bus for about 30 min before a suggestion was made that the bus would not be leaving unless it was full. A follow the leader decision was made when one after the other we all exited the bus and asked a surprised tour operator for our $40 back. The bus operator learned an expensive lesson in customer service that day.
Methodist Church Ocho Rios
Tourist Police on every corner
So back to our usual touring, off we set to walkaround town. Tourism is the main source of income here.It became obvious after a short distance that this was not an affluent society with tourist police on every corner and hawkers trying to obtain all the tourist dollars they can.
Fire Eating Jamaican Man
We walked along the main road and into an area where it soon became apparent that the tourist police were no longer present and a local market area began. At this point a local Jamaican chap tried to befriend us and began guiding us to an area behind the markets so he couldshow us the real Jamaica. He may have been genuine but unfortunately in this day and age you just never know.Like all things unknown the area generated a sense of uneaseand we decided to return to the tourist area near the port and the ship.
By now it was after midday however we did not wish to leave Ocho Rios and not see something other than the port. On the way back Steven approached ataxi driver offering tours (tourism authority accredited sign and ID). After some bargaining $40 to $20 each we set off.
This turned out to be a good decision……… click below to read more
Afternoon Coffee overlooking the Bay Ocho Rios
The next 2 hours saw us touring places such as the rain forests and an interesting stop where Steven videoed a local by the side of the road dressed witch doctor style andhis act of fire breathing. The next stop was Oceans on the Ridge, to enjoy a Jamaican coffeewhile taking in the view from the side of a mountain with a clearing overlooking the bay and our ship at anchor.
Supermarket Main St ocho Rios Jamaica
School Sports Carnival Oco Rios
Bargains everywhere Ocho Rios Jamaica
We discovered the‘all spice tree’when ourguide pulled over on the side of the road to pick leaves from a largetree which he said the ‘all spice’ flavour comes from. We smelt the crushed leaves from the tree to find out they did smell like all spice.We used to believeall spice was a mixture of spices in a jar. On the way to the Dunn’s River Falls the driver provided a narration and also an informative talk on the different spices in Jamaica. Dunn’s River falls are as pretty as they come (in spite of being somewhatovercommercialised and littered with cruise ship passengers).
Trish at Dunn’s River Falls Jamaica
A couple of drinks at a bar overlooking the water then back on the ship. What started out looking to be a disappointing day turned out into a great day.A day at sea tomorrow as we make our way to back to Miami.
Trish doing what she does best
Steven with cold beer after a hard day not at work Jamaica
Trish with a Jamaican Rum Punch in Jamaica
Mobile police station
Jamaica is an English speaking country, sort of. This melting pot of cultures choose to speak what is called Jamaican Creole and English lexified creole with west African influences dating back to the days of slavery.
In Jamaica the phrase ‘soon come’ is a widely used term that has is own meaning. You can wait hours and days for someone that will soon come. The word soon is more accurately translated asI will get there when I get there.