Arrived in Montego Bay this morning after a 3.5 hour bus ride on the Knutsford Express. It wasn't as bumpy as I expected and the quick stop in Ocho Rios gave me a few minutes to catch a local soccer match.
The Ocho Rios "Rock Stars" were playing the MoBay "Playaz". O.K., I made that part up...but there was a local soccer match going down. These guys have got some serious skillz. Too bad I'm American and don't really appreciate the great sport of soccer. Till then, go Seahawks!!! After a quick time check (T minus 7 hours), I made my way to a taxi driver for a trip to Chukka Caribbean Adventures. I thought Chukka was in MoBay, but I quickly realized that it was in Sandy Bay, about 30 minutes away. My taxi driver, Robert, took care of me and cut me a deal to drop me off in the am and pick me up in the pm. I made plans to spend the morning horseback riding and the afternoon 4-wheelin' on an ATV.
But first thing first, I needed a cup of coffee to get me going. NOT! I went straight for a double rum and coke to wake me up. There is nothing better than a rum and coke at 9am. Yeah mon. Got my buzz, got my horse, I'm ready to go... I was expecting an informative class on "How to ride a horse". Not in Jamaica. I signed a liability statement and told to get on. Too easy, right? And off I went with about a dozen other lost souls. I quickly got the hang of it and before you knew it, I was it total control of my stallion named "Black Girl".
The tour though the villages near Sandy Bay was remarkable. Kids came out from all directions to say hello. The smell of ganja filled the air, along with someone playing one of Puff Daddy's old jams.
This is what I learned about Jamaica this morning:
#1: Everything grows in Jamaica (ackee, guave, grapes, sugar canes, bananas, ganja, etc...)
#2: Men like to carry machetes.
#3: Eating jerk chicken in the middle of the night causes tummy aches.
We eventually made our way towards the Caribbean Sea and our tour guides gave us permission to take out horses into the sea. Although I was relunctant at first, I figured I would not get the opportunity to do this again, so...off I went into the sea with Black Girl!
I made my way out of the water and straight to the bar to listen to a little reggae and to partake in a rum punch. I was now at "T minus 3 hours" until I had to make my way back to the bus for my trip back to Kingston. Plenty of time, right?
I wanted to spend the afternoon riding ATVs so I pleaded with the tour guide to let me ride with sandals. That was easy. All I had to do was sign my liability statement again and off we went. The trails were muddy, bumpy, and headed 2,500 feet above sea level. What a rush. I was a virgin to 4-wheelin', but I quickly got the hang of it in no time! We stopped at the top of the mountain for a history lesson and a cool beverage. I took a quick tour of a church that had barely survived an earthquake and 3 hurricanes and headed back down.
It was now "T minus 1 hour" until my local bus ride back to the other side of the island. Long story short...I miss my bus back to Kingston and got stranded in MoBay. Not a bad place to be stranded, right? Its all good!