Ocho Rios, along Jamaica's north coast.
01/04/2012 25 °F
The plan is to land at the airport in Montego Bay, hop the hotel shuttle bus for the 70-odd mile trip along the north coast of Jamaica to our resort, the Jewel Dunn's River. This is an all-inclusive, as most larger resorts are in Jamaica, meaning Sharon can have all the Diet Coke she wants. We sprung for ocean view rooms, but we understand the definition of "ocean view" is pretty liberal and can mean a slight glimpse through the trees while leaning precariously over the balcony railing using binoculars. The resort is near the famous Dunn's River Falls, one of Jamaica's signature attractions, a cascading waterfall that tourists hike through. This may be more effort than we care to make, as the ladies have made it clear that the trip's goals include a) food, b) drink, and c) relaxation. Nothing about d) hiking.
If you have no idea where Jamaica is, here's a little map to orient you.
90 miles south of Cuba (which is 90 miles south of Florida). West of Haiti / Dominican Republic. Really kind of in the middle of the Caribbean nowhere. At little history: Jamaica was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1494, during his second voyage to the New World. He thought it was the most beautiful island he had ever seen. He wanted to make landfall at St. Ann's Bay (a few miles from our resort area), but the natives' hostility forced him to travel a bit further west, to what is now Discovery Bay. As he walked ashore he claimed the island for Spain. On Columbus' fourth trip to the New World, his ships sustained heavy damage in fierce storms and he was forced ashore at, ironically, St. Ann's Bay, and was stranded there for a year waiting for rescue. He won the favor and support of the natives by the clever use of science - he wowed them by correctly predicting a lunar eclipse (using available astronomy tables). They must have been amazed at this performance!