Now here is the really interesting part.. ok.. are you ready? Guess who is the dominate player here in Jamica???????? .. you are not gonna believe this , or maybe you will. CHINA !!!!!!!!
The Chinese own the biggest hotel , most of the shops and most likely supplies all of the trinkets and goods they are selling to the tourists and.. and.. Jamaicans are very comfortable with this because they get everything cheaper from China. (very interesting …don’t you think?)
I am not buying anything here because I have been to China and know they have such good knockoffs that you can’t tell the difference (think Pandora beads , which I would consider adding to my bracelet …but not after I heard that…lol). Ok.. so don’t get me wrong I am not against knock-offs, but not for regular price of the real stuff.
ok I know what some of you are thinking …hmmmm is this Prada purse you got from me or the Gucci watch or, oh hell.. if you don’t like it I’ll take it back, really.. insert smiley face here.
The power (very expensive) comes from oil which is imported but fresh water is plentiful because they have eight rivers that converge here. Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean approx. three million people.
Ruled by the English , which is the main language, they were set free in 1972 and according to our guide (whose name btw is Sharon Brown, and she has a 50th birthday coming up). The island has not managed well ever since, in fact it has done really poorly and foreigner’s are snapping up real estate.
They have a red earth here that they excavate right by the shore and takes all day to load into a big container ship and export it. Now she said they bake it until it is white and use it for making aluminum ….hmmmmm I am gonna have to google that. I am wondering if she is talking about ‘rare earth’ which contains a lot of metals and is very much in demand for computer chips.
Well we hit the local scene in Falmouth (where Royal Carribean helped build the dock) and it is scrungy , except for the terminal area which is full of ???? you guessed it.. .Jewelry shops, like we don’t have enough of them on the ship? And.. and.. the ship provides us with which shops are certified to purchase stuff in them, get the picture here.
This is common practice with ALL the cruise lines btw, you know they are getting a piece of the action. I think that all of these islands DO have one major export in common …. Jewelry !!!!!
We pass up Montego Bay to take in Dunn Falls.. and we are not disappointed. Now, I have seen Niagara Falls and was expecting something along that line, but this is a mile long graduation of rocky formations and pools down to the ocean set in the boreal forest!
It is tons of super fast water flowing and swirling ,spewing , rushing and whirlpooling amid massive rocks and boulders worn smooth by the passage of people, water and time. There are conga lines of people climbing these rocks in groups and couples and singles all in swimwear.. omg.. this is not for the feint of heart!
This is definitely not for me.. Sharon and I climb all the way down and agree to lie about climbing up the falls (believe me it is a feat just getting back up anyway!)There is a little beach at the bottom that we quickly jump into to cool off but no one else is taking advantage of it.. they are focused on the main event.
I have some glorious pictures taken at various descents where they have platforms for those that can’t make the full trek.
Unlike Niagara falls which is there for everyone to enjoy , this place charges 20.00 each to enter! ouch.. we did not plan on that.. they have a special price for old people so I own up to being seventy(double ouch) and claiming Sharon is my mom.
Old here is 70 yrs.. apparently we can get in for 12.00 but she asks for ID and I protest this is discrimination but she doesn’t care.. (we left the ship with only 100.00 each ) ah well, we lose and I marvel at how quick I was to accept 70 yrs as my age.
As for Sharon being my mom …well …a girl in her late teens (they think anyone over thirty is old) asked if she was my mom on the last ship and I said of course.. I was just taking her out for the day , Sharon didn’t think it was that funny.
To be continued…