Still here! Sorry for the lack of updates recently, I’ve been chillin’ out on the beach and doing some small odd-jobs around the area and down at the port to keep myself busy (who knew doing nothing all day could start to get boring?!). Anyway, I’m loving it here still and honestly have no intentions of moving on for quite a long time. Relaxing on the beach, eating great food, keeping myself busy with odd-jobs and enjoy the company of the amazing locals – what’s not to love?!
Speaking of relaxing on the beach, I’ve been getting back in to my Netflix addiction recently (and why not, I have plenty of free time and watching movies on the glorious beach in the picture above isn’t exactly a bad way to spend the day!). I was watching Interstellar on Netflix on my tablet (using the best tablet stand I’ve ever found – I love it!) since everyone has been recommending it to me since it came out in the movie theaters and I’ve still not seen it. What a movie! Absolutely amazing, I totally loved every second of it and the CGI/special effects were some of the best I’ve seen in a long, long time. I’d probably give it a solid 9/10 as a rating, which is pretty damn high for me! Also for future reference if you fancy seeing if a movie is on Netflix but you aren’t subscribed just check out a site called Netflix Movies – I use it all the time now. They have a cool list of all the movies on Netflix and where you can watch those that aren’t. Be warned though, you’ll spend a lot of time watching movies!
As for the next few weeks, I think I’ll carry on taking it easy out here in Ocho Rios. I’m loving life at the minute, it makes a hell of a change from the dull existence I was living back in the UK. I’ve actually had a couple of people commenting about how to move out here and do what I’m doing, so I think I’ll cover this in a later blog post. If I had one piece of advice for you though it would be this – DO IT! You’ll never look back, or at least I haven’t. Life is better in every way. I only wish I’d done it sooner.
It’s been 3 weeks now and I haven’t felt the need to move on yet. I’m not sure what it is that’s keeping me here – the awesome people, the stunning scenery (the waterfall in the picture above is a must visit!) or Miss T’s Kitchen and her amazing food. It’s strange actually, even though I have more time than ever to be my usual self and sit in-front of a computer watching Netflix or playing LoL I find that I’m outside more often than I’m not, exploring the local area or just sitting on the beach with a good book (still not finished Game of Thrones yet).
I went to visit Dunn’s River Falls the other day (which is where the image above is from) and would highly recommend it to anyone who comes to Jamaica. Peaceful and tranquil with stunning scenery, my idea of heaven. The water was also lovely and cool, quite refreshing in the blistering sun. I haven’t been to James Bond beach yet, that one is still on the list, but I’ll make sure I get there before I head off. No idea where I’m going next, but I’m thinking of working around the island in an anti-clockwise fashion, so Saint Ann’s Bay would be the next logical choice.
I don’t think there’s much more to say here as I haven’t really done a lot in the past few weeks other than chill out some more. One thing I will point out though – when I first started this blog I mentioned that people often have a prejudice against Jamaica as being a violent place that no one should visit. Well, they’re wrong. So wrong. Every single person I’ve met has been exceptionally friendly and welcoming (except for one very drunk guy at a bar, I’ll save that story for later). I truly feel at home here in Jamaica right now and even though it’s only been 2 months I’m not sure that I’ll ever go back to the UK! Of course, I miss my family and friends but we all have to make our own decisions in life. I feel like mine is to move here.
You might remember in my last blog post that I was lounging around in Port Antonio for a few weeks longer (mostly reading Game of Thrones, watching Netflix and playing League of Legends on the beach). Well, the time has come to move on and explore some more of this Caribbean paradise. Onwards to Ocho Rios it was!
If you’ve ever been to Jamaica yourself then the chances are you’ve visited Ocho Rios. There’s tourists EVERYWHERE here and it’s quite the change of pace from Port Antonio. Apparently this place is super popular for cruise ships, which explains the massive influxes of people each morning. It does give it a nice vibe though – something a bit more upbeat and a bit more to do. I guess it’s kind of between Kingston and Port Antonio.
You probably know by now that I love my food. Well, I found this totally amazing place up here called Miss T’s Kitchen. I’ve been here for 4 days now and eaten here 3 times already, the food is just that good. I have a feeling it’s going to become a second home for me (not that I mind that!). The place has a real rustic feel inside, a proper traditional Jamaican restaurant. Here’s a picture for you:
I’m not sure how long I’m going to be here, but I think it’ll probably be a little longer than I was in Port Antonio since there’s a lot more to do and see (I guess that means less Netflix and LoL for me now though). I think I’ll check out the botanical gardens sometime this week and maybe venture down to the awesome sounding James Bond beach, which is near where James Bond was first created by Ian Fleming. I’ve included a picture I found below, I’ll get some better ones when I visit (there’s a camera shop here so I can finally get a new camera!).
I’m off to Miss T’s Kitchen again for some delicious dinner (I think I’ll be putting on a lot of weight here) so I’ll catch you all later.
Still here in Surrey county and still loving every second of it. I had actually planned to move on by now (I’m thinking on traveling to Ocho Rios) but there’s no need to. After all, I’m here for 2 years if all goes to plan!
Sadly my camera has completely given up on me so no pictures of the apartment. I think I’ll travel in to Kingston soon and pick up a new one – I can’t keep blogging about how amazing this place is and not showing you any of it!
Speaking of Kingston, I’m only around 50km away but it feels like a whole other world. Don’t get me wrong, the people of Kingston are lovely and so welcoming (especially Angelina my fairy godmother!) but life does feel quite hectic there at times. Here though, it’s so different. I guess it would annoy some people because nothing gets done, but I love it. So relaxed, days by the beach reading and evenings chilling out at a local bar and meeting new people. I’m starting to experience the real Jamaica and I’m loving every second of it.
I know I mention Netflix a lot on here but I think I’ve watched more of it down on the beech in the past few weeks than I’ve ever watched before! It’s great though, what’s not to love about watching The Office on a glorious, golden beach with deep blue water and perfect weather. I’ve also picked up League of Legends (I’ll write it as LoL from now on to save time in true Jamaican fashion) again like I mentioned in my last post. I did have a problem where my account was on the EU servers, so I decided to buy a LoL account for the North American servers. I was a bit worried about how it would turn out but it all seems good so far. If you play LoL and you’re reading this let me know in the comments below, it’d be great to have some new friends to play with. Video games don’t seem particularly big here in Jamaica!
Anyway, I think that’s the next two weeks or so sorted. Lots of Netflix, lots of LoL, lots of drinking down the local bar and meeting new people. I think I’m happier than I’ve ever been here – long may it continue.
My time in the Blue Mountains was amazing and something that I’ll never forget (huge thanks to Andre and his family for housing and looking after me – I really appreciate it guys!) but I felt it was time to move on and explore some more of the island. The logical choice seemed to be to head down the other side of the mountains from where I started and in to Surrey County of the east side of the island. Funnily enough, Surrey is the county I’m from back in the UK so this was somewhere I was really keen to visit – how would it compare to back home?
For those unfamiliar with the geography of Jamaica, here’s a map with Surrey county highlighted:
I’m staying in Port Antonio now for a good few weeks so if anyone has any suggestions on what to do please let me know! I’ve heard there’s some fantastic Marlin fishing (someone recommended the guys over at Deep Drop Fishing to me) but I’ve never been fishing before. This trip is all about experiences though, so it’s definitely something I’m going to try. I just hope I don’t get seasick…. Other than fishing, relaxing on the beach and eating copious amounts of jerked chicken there isn’t a whole lot to do here – and that’s why I’m loving it so much!
I’m staying in a lovely little apartment down by the sea (I’ll try to get some pictures next time if my camera starts working). It’s very small, but it’s cute. I really like it and the view is just utterly stunning, not to mention that the beach is a 30 second walk away. There’s quite a few tourist resorts round here too but people seem to stay in them and not venture out, so it’s got quite a traditional feel around here.
I finally have a stable internet connection again too which is nice. Turns out I did start to miss the internet a bit whilst up in the mountains (well, I missed Netflix and online gaming – two guilty pleasures I’ve never been able to kick) and the connection here is really good. Thinking of booting up League of Legends (it’s an online game for anyone who doesn’t know) for the first time in ages and just chilling out playing it on the beach. Not every day you can do that! Only problem is my account is over on the EU server so I’m not sure how I’ll sort that one out. Plenty of time to find out though.
Anyway, I’m going to head down to the beach now for another day of lounging around and relaxing. Currently reading the Game of Thrones series after so many people recommended it to me. Loving it so far.
Like I mentioned in my last post a fortnight ago, I was looking at moving out of Kingston and exploring the more rural side of Jamaica. Well, I’ve done just that and headed up in to the Blue Mountains for a taste of rural Caribbean life. For those of you who don’t know Jamaica well, the Blue Mountains are just north of Kingston (the capital, where I was previously staying). They’re called the Blue Mountains because they’re almost always covered in an eerie bluish mist – it’s quite a sight to behold actually (they almost look like something out of a fantasy movie).
Speaking of movies, I’ve cut down on my Netflix addition (hooray!) because the internet up here can’t support it (boo!). I have to say though, it’s nice to get away from technology for a bit and just properly chill out. I’m writing this from an internet café in Kingston at the Courtleigh Hotel and whilst it’s nice to catch up with family on Skype and get a new post out, I’m quite looking forward to getting back up in to the mountains and away from technology again! What’s happening to me?!
I’ve heard the coffee up in the Blue Mountains is superb so I might go and try some of that (I’m an avid coffee fanatic) and there’s some fantastic hikes and walks around that I’d love to try. I’ll get lost if I go on my own, but our amazing host Andre (I wanted to share a picture of him here but he won’t let me!) has said he’ll take me up in his Jeep, then go on a few hikes with me. I’ve said it before but the people here are just so friendly and I’ll be forever grateful for that. Almost a month here and I feel at home.
Andre told me of a fantastic spa up here in the Blue Mountains called Strawberry Hill. It looks pretty expensive but I think I might treat myself to a few nights there – maybe their massages can sort out my bad back! I think I’ll also treat Andre and his family to a few days here as a thank you for everything they’ve done for me. They really deserve it.
No idea where I’m off to next, or how long I’ll be here, so keep your eyes open for a new post with more details.
Hello again everyone! It’s the end of my first week here in Jamaica and I’m still in Kingston (although I’m moving on soon I think). This city has surprised me in so, so many ways – I’ll talk more about that in a minute. The weather is still glorious and the food here is to die for. If you said the only type of food I could ever eat again in my life is Jamaican I’d say to you “Where do I sign up?!”. Angelina, a lovely Jamaican native who lives in the apartment below where I’m staying, invited us over for dinner last night and cooked the most amazing Jamaican Jerk Chicken that I’ve ever tasted! I have no idea how to make it, but she insists this recipe is “close enough” which is as good praise as any in my eyes!
Anyway, back to Kingston as a city. Before I came here to visit I had people telling me all sorts of horror stories about how I’m going to get robbed and won’t ever make it back alive…. I’m not saying these things don’t happen here but I will say that this is the friendliest place I’ve ever visited. People will go out of their way just to make you happy. Of course, you don’t wander in to any of the dodgy parts of town but that’s just common sense – it’s the same anywhere. Stick to the well known areas and you’d have an amazing time here.
I feel like there’s so much more to do in this city that I haven’t discovered yet. So far I’ve been spending most of my days down at the beach, by the pool or checking what movies are on Netflix and chilling out whilst watching them (alcohol is cheap here and the local beers are amazing, which makes for a great night!). Surprisingly, the internet connection is actually really good so I can stream Netflix even in HD without issue. It also means I can watch iPlayer and not miss any shows from back home thanks to my VPN! I should really get out more though, I didn’t come all the way over here just to replicate my couch-potato life from back in the UK….
Think I’m going to head off to the Bob Marley museum in the next few days. I promised some friends back home that I’d go and see it (I think Bob Marley is about as far as their Jamaican knowledge goes!) so it would be rude not to check it out. Other than that it’ll be more chilled out days at the beach and more delicious food courtesy of Angelina. I’ll be moving on soon, possibly to visit the Blue Mountains which look stunning (picture below) so posts might be a bit infrequent while I move around.
After a long and grueling 9 hour flight from London I’m finally here (and glad to be away from that awful British weather!). I’m spending my first few days here in Kingston whilst I plan out most of my trip – something I probably should have considered before leaving the UK but oh well, it’s all part of the fun in my opinion.
The weather is glorious, although I guess that’s to be expected in the Caribbean (thankfully it’s not hurricane season yet, although I don’t think I’m looking forward to that too much when it does arrive). It’s currently around 27C and hopefully it’ll stay like that for most of the month if this Wikipedia chart is anything to go by.
Kingston itself seems beautiful so far. It has a real colonial style feel to it, almost like New Orleans at times, and the people have been some of the kindest and most welcoming I’ve ever met. The beach isn’t bad either (I’ve included a photo below for you – it’s not my picture but I have no idea which bag I packed my camera in so it gives you a good idea whilst I try and find it).
I think that’s mostly it for this post, there’s not much to say since I’ve not been here long and I’m so very tired from the flight (big up to Air Jamaica though – it was comfortable, I had enough leg room and the staff were very attentive. Highly impressed!). One thing I do want to mention though is that I know a lot of people have very negative views and prejudices against Jamaica and its people, in fact even the Foreign Office website paints a scary picture for anyone visiting here, however I’m determined to prove that this really is a beautiful place with beautiful people. Of course there are dangers everywhere in the world today but no one should be scared of seeing the true beauty that Jamaica has to offer.
Off for a swim in the pool now and a nice cocktail I think – I’ll update you all later!