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Old 01-18-2013, 07:52 AM   #21
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Kentucky-Eastern that is!
Oddometer: 3,085
The island in general is interesting as to geography,plants and culture/people & of course the water! We've been twice-first time a family affair in 90's & stayed in Port Antonio area ( same location as the movie filmed there with Tom Cruise as bartender-remember that one?"Cocktails" was name I think) also doing the mtns and coast around the SE & went to the waterfall and jumped & also fished blue water one day. Fun trip for all. Wife & i went last winter again and did 3 spots via rental car-one in mtns above Negril at a so called spa-was nice but not that nice. People OK but never truly "welcome" as I feel most all the time in Mexico. Then drove across the bottom and up through mtns to area near Ocho Rios for a VRBO cottage rental on the water. From pics was a delightful place but turned out to be very rundown,"Mom died", young daughter inherits this & much more and circulates with her entourage while playing big cheese with Momma's $$$ , meanwhile still getting too much $$$ for this crappy rundown place! Then drove to Negril around the top of island(easy driving on the perimeter hwy but interior is horrendous-I saw one pot hole that had weeds 3-4' tall growing out of it & they drive like true maniacs there, believe me. Given the culture,curvy roads & scenery,etc., it's really too bad Jamaica has been screwed over & never fulfilled it's potential as a vacation place! There are thousands of signs all over the isalnd about money spent supposedly improving this or that-no doubt much is skimmed & a few get richer there. It started long ago & continues to be a place thats geting a few rich & the rest suffer-sorta reminds me of Appalachia where I live.
The place in Negril was on cliffs & last place where the tourist area ends and Hollywood ownership takes over. Was very nice there.
All in all Jamaica has many friendly people and more yet than a few that seem to clearly dislike gringos. There seemed to be so much what I'll call "indifference" to your presence,not always but often. Our first trip my SIL was bothered by the way Jamaicans work you to buy this and that-that's of no concern to me & I just say no & find private amusement from it. We did a jungle river float trip on one of the bamboo rafts with our kids & the guys that were operating the pole to push/guide us clearly were not our buddies. While I don't need everyone to love me when I travel it was simply not a good vibe far to often both trips. I really don't plan to ever go back as the tropics have way to many other spots that are both cheaper & more user friendly. I can give other e.g.'s but will leave it at that, am not going back.
As to safety there, yes it is hurting in many places.
"If I had my life to live over,I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up.I'd be sillier than this trip, take fewer things seriously, I would take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges, at age 85
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