We reserved a rental car because we wanted to explore part of the island while we were there. At the car counter, they told us that a reservation doesn't guarantee you'll get a car. Luckily we got there on the earlier flight because we got the last car. There was a huge stack of reservations still and those people were just simply out of luck! They drive on the left side of the road in Jamaica, so Tyler had an interesting time getting used to that! Tyler exchanged some money for Jamaican dollars, but we later found out that the Jamaicans prefer American dollars. Oops.
We stayed at the Riu all-inclusive resort in Montego Bay. It was decent. It was nice and pretty, but the food was just okay to me. We went out to eat and then relaxed the rest of the day since we had flown overnight.
The next day we drove over to Ocho Rios so we could go to Dunn's River Falls. We did not come very prepared! Tyler grabbed some money and left the rest in the safe at our hotel. We got suckered into buying some carved wooden figures and we barely had enough money to get into the park and buy water shoes (which we didn't realize we'd have to do).We didn't have enough money for lockers to store our stuff in, but one guy was kind enough to let us leave it near the office. We went down to the beach and then had a great time hiking up the falls and immersing ourselves in the water at times. We had an awesome tour guide who filmed us all. Everyone in the group would stand single file and hold hands while we hiked up. It was lots of fun. Unfortunately, we didn't have a waterproof camera so we didn't get any pictures. Because of that we really wanted to buy the overpriced $40 DVD that our guide made, but we were out of money! Fail on our part!
The next day we drove in the opposite direction to Negril, which is supposed to have some of the best beaches in the world. When we arrived in the town, we couldn't find anywhere to park and get to the beach. Eventually a dude on a motorcycle started following us and we stopped to talk to him. After turning down his offer of ganja, he led us to an area where we could pay $10 to park and use his beach. The water was so warm and lovely. We hung out on the beach, walked around, and ate lunch at a restaurant on the beach. Unlucky for us, there was an older couple at the section of beach next to ours who were sunbathing and swimming in the nude! Yikes! We ended up staying longer than we originally planned so we could see the sun start to set. Tyler decided to take a different way back to the resort. Unfortunately we got lost and what was supposed to be about a one hour drive turned into about three hours! The streets are not really marked and we only had a map to follow. Somewhere along the way we took a wrong turn and had no idea how to find our way back! Not only was it dark by this time, but it started pouring rain! The roads were terrible. They were mostly dirt roads with a ton of potholes. We were driving through many villages with people walking around everywhere, and Jamaicans blend in very well with the dark! There are no sidewalks, so we had a few close calls with either people, dogs, or goats. It was rather frightening! After a long while, the trunk of our car kept popping open and a car stopped us to let us know. We asked them how to get to Montego Bay and we were totally going the wrong way. He kindly went way out of his way to let us follow him to the road that would lead us there. Phew!
The next day was Sunday and we went to church before returning our rental car. It was a small branch and besides a few missionaries, we were the only non-locals there. I ended up playing the keyboard since there was no one to accompany the music. Four young men spoke and they did a great job.
We pretty much spent the rest of the trip relaxing at the resort. We drank lots of free pina coladas and strawberry daiquiris, and I read a 600-page book in its entirety. One day we had fun riding a paddle boat around the ocean. It was so nice to relax and get lots of sleep with no worries in the world! Tyler's parents were so great to watch our kids while we were there.
I regret to say that we didn't get a ton of pictures. Here is what we did get:
The guy at the rental car place recommended this restaurant to us. The inside reminded me of an old Village Inn or something similar. The food was pretty gross, especially the ketchup! It is considered a nice restaurant there, though
Hanging out at the beach at night
$1000 big ones!
Enjoying some dessert at our resort
This is the life!
Deep into my book at sunset
Chillin' at Negril
There were these trees in the middle of all the buildings at the resort and they were full of some type of creature (that we couldn't see) that made constant, loud chirping noises
The beach again
The main cafeteria
Right outside our resort
Volleyball court on the beach