For the love of Jamaica
I just concluded my third visit to Jamaica :). I try to explore something new each time I visit. I didn’t visit a new city or do any of the activities I intended to do :(. However, I explored Kingston :). My first time is Kingston was in April 2014 for a conference. I didn’t get to see the city though, we went from the hotel to the university. I snuck/sneaked out during the conference to see the Bob Marley’s museum and Devon’s house. Anyways, let me tell you all about Kingston (my new favorite city in Jamaica).
I got into Montego Bay at 2pm and surprisingly made the 3pm bus to Kingston since I failed to make reservation. Got into Kingston around 7.30pm and took a taxi to Reggae Hostel. Again, didn’t make a reservation but luckily there was a dorm bed available :). It’s been a habit of late for me not make have any plans for my travel. I went straight to bed since I didn’t sleep the night before the trip because off course I waited to the last minute to pack and finish up some things.
Sunday, I met up with a couchsurfer and we went for ice cream at Devon’s House & later for a stroll at the Emancipation Park. Oh my, the line at Devon’s house was tres long! We waited about 20-25 minutes in line to get ice cream but I guess it was all worth it :). Finally, I got to walk in the Emancipation Park. See, this park is right in front of the hotel I stayed at for the conference. Didn’t get to walk in this because we left the hotel very early and returned very late. Every morning, the statue stared at me or rather I stared at it. So imagine the joy in my heart or is it soul when I got to see the statue and walk in the park. Y’all already know walking is my therapy.
Sunday night, I went to something called Dub Club. It is not your ordinary club, as a manner of fact, I no longer enjoy the typical club scene. It stresses me out. The Dub club is like alternative church. A spiritual uprising. The music played is what you call social consciousness music. Music to uplift folks. Peace Music. Reggae Music. The ambience is dope. No judging zone. You dance anyhow your soul leads you. To top this up, the view is amazing. Since Dub Club is on the hill, you get to see the city of Kingston. What more can you ask for? I felt peace. I embraced the peace I felt.
Monday, I went back to the Bob Marley’s museum with two French girls I met at the hostel. We also went to other tours – Tuff Gong & Trent Town. Tuff Gong is the recording studio Bob Marley recorded most of the hit album. We met an older Malaysian man who worked with Bob Marley in the studio as a technician and some sort of engineer. He told us stories of his experience working with Bob Marley. He has also visited Nigeria –specifically to Fela Kuti’s shrine. We ended the tour at Trent town, where Bob became his music career.
Later in the day, I met up with a friend and enjoyed fresh coconut. At night, we went to another dub club – Inner City Dub. Same vibe as Mondays but different area. This Dub was located in Downtown Kingston on the street. Live performance, great ambiance & music as well. I recommend you attend both Dub sessions. Ask Reggae hostel for details or check out the Facebook page for Dub Club & Inner City Dub.
After Kingston, I spent two night in Ochi Rios. I went to the Dums River, met up with local friends and had a great time.
No, I didn’t do most of the activities I planned. Zip lining, encounter with the dolphins & visiting a maroon village. The cost was way out of my travel budget :(. One day.
Jamaica was the first leg of my multi-country trip. I’m in Iceland now. Going to France, UK, Ireland, UAE, Seychelles, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda & Rwanda in the coming weeks. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for real time pictures.
Jamaica is gorgeous man! I have been dreaming of visiting Jamaica for a long time now but I was waiting for the ‘right time’. Last month, I visited Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Kingston for a week. I wish I had more time because one week wasn’t enough to enjoy this beautiful country. My first stop was Montego Bay, I stayed in a budget hotel on the Hip strip. MoBay was cool, especially if you stay on the Hip Strip because everything you need is close by. I met a few locals two hours after checking into my hotel and they showed me around town and to the best nightlife ever!
Next day, I left to Priory (15-20minutes from Ocho Rios). I stayed in a lovely guesthouse that sits on a hill overlooking Priory. The owners are pretty chilled and if you are a Ganja smoker, you would love this guesthouse because it is readily provided for you. I stayed one night before leaving to Ocho Rios to meet up with a couchsurfer.
I specially loved Ochi because it is close to all the things I wanted to do and see. I had to stay at Reggae hostel on Main Street because my couchsurfer wasn’t able to host me. I visited 9 Miles – birth and resting place of Bob Marley; a waterfall; attended a beach party and went on the hill to view the city of Ochi :). I wanted to see the Dolphins but was way too broke for that. Just like in Mobay, I met random locals who showed me around. After two nights, I left to Kingston. I knew I was going to love Kingston and I was right.
Since I was there for a conference on New Pan-Africanism, the conference paid for our lodging. We stayed at Jamaica Pegasus hotel (right in front of the Emancipation Park that I didn’t get a chance to see). The conference was held at one of the most beautiful campuses I’ve seen thus far – The University of West Indies, Mona Campus. I was very impressed with the conference and glad that my paper was well received. At first, I was intimidated because I was the youngest paper presenter, all of the presenters had many more years of experience/expertise than I do and I was one of the few without a PhD degree. In the end, I got positive feedback J . Due to the busy nature of the conference, I only got to see the Bob Marley’s museum and Devon’s House. The museum was inspiring and I learnt new things about Bob Marley – for one, that there was an assassination attempt on his life which left a bullet struck in his arm and he didn’t drink alcohol. Devon’ House sold the creamiest ice-cream I’ve tasted to date. I met up with two inspiring Couchsufers. I only wished I had more time to hang out with them.
Five things you should know about Jamaica:
- Charming people: of all the 30 countries I have visited, Jamaican have the most charming people. Yes, the men are truly sexy too!!! They have something that Cuban men need to learn from – charm. The accent is so sexy too. The people (male & female) are friendly.
- Beautiful scenery: combination of beautiful Caribbean beaches and lots of green area. You can’t go wrong, there’s activities for everybody
- Rental car: renting a car will allow you enjoy your stay more. Taxis are not cheap!
- Blue Mountain Coffee: are you a coffee drinker? If yes, then you might want to head to Jamaica for the coffee. The Blue Mountain coffee is said to be the best in the world.
- Resort galore: if you are a resort type of person, then Jamaican is definitely your spot. There is a galore of resort for all price range and lifestyle
There’s more to Jamaica than Ganja and violence/crimes. You should go visit man! You wouldn’t regret it………..
p.s, Wah Gwaan means what’s going on or what’s up
One Love 🙂