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Jamaica Trip - Page 3

The Food
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One of many . . .

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Buffets abounded.

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One of our favorites.

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Cool Runnings for dinner.

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Is that a rain drop I felt?

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Downpour.

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Our table next!

Click to hear them perform 'Under the Boardwalk'!
(ignore the video)

Jamaican food is rich with spices and generally quite good. Rick particularly liked the 'jerk' flavors used in many of the chicken and pork dishes.

More important than the quality of the food, however, was the ambiance. We enjoyed eating to music, to dancing, to the surf and moonlight, and even in a torrential downpour (less recommended than the others!).

The three real restaurants on the premises are L'Allegro Italian ristorante (Darragh's favorite), Cool Runnings on the beach and Dragons Chinese restaurants. Dragons had the best sweet & sour chicken that we've had in a long time.

       

One of our favorite foods was the mango/corn/crab meat 'salad' you can see here. Can't get fresh fruit like this at home.

Here we are eating at the Cool Runnings outdoor restaurant. It's on the beach basically which lends itself to great ambiance, but also the risk of rain showers at night. Well, we were fortunate as it began pouring during dessert.

During dinner the following week, we were serenaded by a roving quartet singing popular songs of every stripe using a variety of native instruments. Lots of fun.
 

Three times per week there was a big theme party on the beach, involving entertainment and a lot of food.

The food was good though it wouldn't seem from our experience that Jamaicans understand the concept of American desserts. Whether cheesecake, chocolate cake, or whatever, everything seemed to taste the same; whipped and kind of bland. Of course this is a good thing as it helps keep the waist line more trim (really appreciated by some of us :-).

One definite advantage to this resort over other Marriott properties we considered is the inexpensive meal plan; actually the $30 per day per person cost includes entertainment, boat rentals and most everything else you'll need for your stay.

The staff is always very friendly and quite quick to wait on you and keep your water glass full, or provide whichever choice of drink from the bar that you may fancy (water, coke and coffee were our staples on the trip).

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Cool islands sounds 'mon.

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New-found friends.


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Beach Party!

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Which is the prettier flower at the Cafe Jamaique?

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Darragh at Mallards Court.

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Mallards Court: buffet central.

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At L'Allegro Italian ristorante.

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One of at least four bars at the resort.


The Fishing Trip

Dunn's River Falls
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Here we go!

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A nice grouping.

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Another view.


My 'big' catch.

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Close up of big 'Jack'.

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Blue sky, hills and water.

What's a Jamaican vacation without a little time with the 'locals'? One such local took Rick on a 90-minute fishing expedition. It was fun and there were plenty of hungry fish to catch!

 

The pictures don't do the fish's colors justice; bright blues, purples, oranges. They were very colorful fish, the kind you see on a snorkeling expedition, except Rick was catching them.

On the way back to the resort, Rick caught a big 'Jack' fish with a trolling lure. It put up quite a fight, but the 18" fish lost in the end. The local was pleased. And so was Rick.

This little excursion was a reminder of how much we think we need over and above of what would really be sufficient. This fellow was using a spark plug as a sinker and threaded bolts for my line. With so little, one can be very resourceful.

The Dunn's River Falls is the primary attraction in all of Jamaica. It consists of a series of cascading water falls, with a whole bunch of slipper-clad tourists holding hands while working their way up the river.

The adventure begins at the beach, the kind of natural beach that has made the Caribbean the vacation destination that it is. From there, it's all up hill for probably a quarter mile, culminating at the largest and last series of water falls.

As Darragh and I didn't have time to take the full tour, we hired our own personal 'tour guide', a local cabbie, Peter, that for $30 took good care of us and showed us the sites.

The end of each adventure ends in another adventure of its own - a shopping experience like no other. Dozens of Jamaicans selling their wares for hyper-inflated prices ($160 for a carved fish? What, is he kidding!?) See the Marketplace further down the page for details on how this works.

Currency exchange right now is about 1:40 where $1 U.S. buys $40 Jamaican. However, everything is priced in U.S. funds so there is no great savings to be had from the exchange rate.

 

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Personal tour guide.

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A sampling of the 'wildlife'.

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Nobody slip now!

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The beach we were hoping for.

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Next year's Christmas card?

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Or this one?

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"No, Rick, we can't take him home!"
 


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