Jamaica is a vibrant and at times overwhelming. If you find a nice spot overlooking the area, I would suggest to sit back, drink a Red Stripe, and watch the local and tourist interact. Maybe go all out and drink some local rum, why not!
It may be too overwhelming to be approached by every person selling anything. Now if you are a seasoned traveler you may have experienced this at some point. The relentless sales pitches for anything, and they will walk and talk with you for as long as you let some of them. There is no trick having them leave you alone. It is either a very touristy area that you have just walked into and you must make your way out of the crowds of people. The mass number of people like for example a cruise ship docking for a few hours. The locals know when you will be getting off your floating city and they also know how long you will be on their land and all direct routs to and from the ship. This is how the locals practice their sales pitches, their English, and make their wages. Tell them no politely and keep walking, some may walk with you for a while and keep pushing their sales pitch. You aren’t a sucker if you buy something. There are many handmade items available in Jamaica, even things made right on the street just for you. There are many skilled craftsman to choose from and don’t be afraid to barter.
I really do feel there is something for everyone in this great island. There are amazing tropical hikes and breathtaking waterfalls. Getting to places like Dunn’s River Falls early or much later to avoid the crowds is the best way to see the natural beauty. There are multiable cruise ships that port in Ocho Rios and the falls become covered in cruiser only there for the day. There are plenty of other waterfalls and natural beauty near by Ocho Rio and all around this beautiful island. Try Laughing Waters or Konoko Falls to get away from some of the crowds.
Jamaica is a country best seen for a few days. Like any other destination, a few hours would never be enough time to get to know the country. Sometimes that is all you have. My suggestion is to grab a plate of jerked chicken, rice, and peas from one of the many street vendors.
As you may notice as you make your way down the streets and shops Bob Marley is always staring back. Jamaica is the birthplace of the reggae god and he is praised everywhere. Make time to visit The Bob Marley birthplace and Mausoleum in Nine Mile, Saint Ann.
Walking into a restaurant in a foreign country with no English menu and only a few pictures scattered around you and must make a decision by pointing and hoping for the best.
This is a photo in Hong Kong at a window kitchen from the bottom floor of a large apartment building in Kawloon. There were different shops and other selling food out the window. The window I picked had a few people waiting in the line for the while I watched it. As one person walked away, another stepped up to wait, so I felt it was a popular and trusted enough place to eat random and in some cases unknown selections. I walked to the counter with money in hand trying to order in English to Chinese only speaking locals. After I failed at asking for whatever they will give me for $20. Finally the woman running the cashbox told a man something as she pointed to the back and then she called for the person behind me to come forward to select fried goodies and pay. As I thought this wasn’t the way to order foot and I should go back to the pointing and grunting method, then a younger man came forward from the rear of the kitchen. He spoke in very good broken English and asked what I wanted and with a smile, he filled bags and bowls full of things on sticks and some fried balls of something with spicy sauce on them. I could figure out what some items were and others I didn’t have a clue. I sat in the hostel balcony and tried everything loving some and not too sure on others, but it was amazing gamble that I think is a great way to try local foods.
If anyone knows what I was eating in the photo above please let me know, because I still do not know.
This amazing dish is kangaroo and I can’t rave enough about it.
Coming back after a extended trip can be hard for anyone. There are many emotions evolved in the days before you leave and the trip home. Weather it is a few hour car ride or a full day flight, the travel beings the emotions of home very real.
My latest trip was almost eight months long and I learned a lot about the world and about myself as cliche as that may sound. For me it was after the first few months I adjusted to life on the road and out of a pack. I started my trip in Auckland, New Zealand and stayed in most of the major area of the city for the first three weeks, and man did I ever get my bearings of a city then walking it everyday for three weeks for most of the daylight hours. After the innatinal first weeks my mother took the twenty something hour flight to come see her globe trotting daughter. My mother, being the planner she is, had all of our ten days filled with things to see and do on this once in a lifetime trip for both of us. We travled from north to south island and back again. When I finally had to tell my dear mum goodbye I had to be on my own again and for this trip my defining moment. Having to plan where you will sleep and how you will get to that bed you booked in the most beautiful picture the hostel can create, you learn how quickly judge pictures and rating. Which I feel I had learned from hostel hopping in Europe on a tight budget. After a few mad hostels in New Zealand and one or two in Australia I learned quickly that five US dollars could mean the difference between a small or out of the way compared to toilets soaked in drunken pee from the bar hostel downstairs. Reviews are worth the read and also worth the time to write.
Www.Booking.com always gave me the most results generally in my International travels
Www.hostelworld.com come up with much fewer results but are all on a backpacker/ budget level.
Www.couchsurfing.com is a way to meet locals that are willing to open up their home to you after registering and filling in important details to the website and matching with locals that want to show you their city. You may have to do dishes or keep clean in exchange for a very local tour,home cooked local food, and a place to lay your head.
Www.YHI.com comes at a price of a year membership at a very reasonable rate. I have found over many counties that this organisation have overall the best accomadation at comparative prices. The rooms are always clean and the location is usually near the things you came to that area for. I have nothing but nice things to say about Hostel International.
Like in most things, the people in each place can make or break even the nicest hostel. Community living isn’t for everyone.
After getting used to this life of everyday new city, new people, and new
To get to this magical place called Doubtful Sound is a long journey. There are only two boats that go out into this beautiful area, one is a day cruise and the other is an overnight cruise. Like the bulk of people visting the area, Queenstown is the closest and most practical town to book a trip like this. If this is true then there is a long bus ride, followed by a ferry to get to the island, and another bus, then your cruise threw the sound. Don’t forget you must make it all the way back also. It is a full day to say the least but worth every jaw dropping moment seeing the aww of the landscape come straight up out of the water all around the boat.