UIB Travels: Jamaica (Part II)

Is this post HELLA late? Why yes, yes it is – my fault, life got in the way.  This is the follow up post to UIB Travels: Jamaica (Part I) https://unicorninbrooklyn.com/2014/03/10/uib-travels-jamaica-part-i/ in which I touched on a few highlights from my trip with words.  This post is filled with photos as I felt that pictures would do my experiences way more justice.  The following five features were the highlights of my second visit to JA.

(Honorable Mention) First up, Reach River in Portland, JA. I didn’t make mention of this in my previous post so I wanted this beautiful place to get some shine on this one.  My friends and I set out to drive  over to Reach River first thing in the morning (we arrived a little after 9:00 am as we wanted to get there while it was empty).  I heard it was really nice, but had no idea just how was in nice it was.  Imagine walking into this…..  Serene, still crystal turquoise waters – I was in awe at the beauty!  We  stripped down into our swimsuits and jumped into the lukewarm water; a temperature that I found easy for my body to adjust to.

Crystal clear waters of Reach River
Crystal clear waters of Reach River
The waters looked too inviting, so I jumped about 10 feet from the ledge) to get in
Swimming…  Those aren’t fish next to me, they’re leaves

After leaving the river (and getting some much needed food) we set out to embark on our our next adventure.  The next destination was (1) Bath Fountain in St.Thomas, JA.

We drove for a little while (around major winding roads) before making it to our destination.  Once there my friends and I followed one of the self-proclaimed massage therapists up the mountain (an approximate 8 – 10 minute steep hike up a dirt road with rocks and shrubs) to get to the hot mineral springs of Bath Fountain.

Bath Fountain is a secluded hot mineral spring in the mountains of St. Thomas, Jamaica believed to contain waters with healing powers.  This therapeutic mineral spring is rich in sulphur and lime and is believed to be good for the treatment of rheumatic ailments an skin diseases.

I don’t know about all of that, but I do know that the water was hot as hell and I felt like I was being abused at times.  I advise you to bring at least two BEACH towels for your treatment.  You’ll understand why I stress bringing a beach towel instead of a regular towel in a second. The first towel is for you to rest your body on when you’re being physically assaulted by men with hot water.  The second towel is what the “massage therapists” use to sop the hot water up and then squeeze on your body.  Instead of being relaxed by the therapeutic waters  I found myself wondering if I was being punished for all the bad that I’d done in my life.  Is the water hot, ummm hell yes –  it’s 130 degrees F!  However, you get used to it very quickly I promise.

In no time you start to feel relaxed and refreshed by the hot waters. After your thorough rub down with pimento oil and sulfur, you go to to rinse off  in the hot waters flowing through a bamboo overhead.  You can then lay in the flowing river (filled with cool water) to relax.

I laid on my back for several minutes looking up at bamboo and the heavens.  I felt tremendously grateful and at peace.  The dopest part about the experience was that I felt like I had a spiritual breakthrough.   As “Rasta Steve” (my massage guy) sprinkled hot water on my body he “blessed me”; he blessed my journey and my presence.  It was as if he knew that I was dealing with a lot; he told me that whatever I was going through was trivial because HE was already working on it.  He told me to let go and I did, the weight of the world (that was currently on my shoulders) was lifted.  I needed that massage, but didn’t realize just how much until the tears started to flow from my eyes.  Unbeknownst to me, my friend  caught that moment on video; I watch it whenever I need a reminder to let go.

We made it to Bath Fountain!
Arriving on the grounds of Bath Fountain
Making my way to the hot mineral spring
Making my way up to the hot mineral spring
Hiking up the mountain
Hiking up the mountain – my travel buddy & one of the “massage therapists”
Almost there... I loved this water fountain (the water was refreshingly cold). I advise you to take a sip before you get to the top (it'll cool you off)
Almost there… I loved this water fountain (the water was refreshingly cold). I advise you to take a sip before you get to the top (it’ll cool you off)
Started from the bottom now we here!
“Started from the bottom now we here!”
This collage includes the relaxing massage (done with pimento oil), and a facial & sulfur treatment.  The towel was scolding hot, as it was just soaked in the 130 degree water before it was squeezed of excess water and placed on my body.
This collage includes the relaxing massage (done with pimento oil), a facial & sulfur treatment. The towel was scolding hot, as it was just soaked in the 130 degree water before it was squeezed of excess water and placed on my body
Rasta Steve and I.  He's been growing his locs for more than 30 years.
Rasta Steve and I. He’s been growing his locs for more than 30 years.
Headed down mountain....    Reached the bottom and bought a coconut (coconut water is extremely hydrating and rich in electrolytes)
Headed down mountain…. Reached the bottom and bought a coconut fpr about 2 USD (coconut water is extremely hydrating and rich in electrolytes)

Next up, (2) Treasure Beach, Pelican Bar, & Black River (all located in the St. Elizabeth area of JA).

It felt like a private beach.  Early in the morning and not a soul on the beach
It felt like a private beach. This was taken around 9:00 am, not a soul on the beach
Taking a walk....
Taking a walk
Perfect photo op - here I am atop coral reef
Perfect photo op; me atop coral reef
Soldier crab.  They're all over the shore and move very fast
Soldier crab. They’re all over the shore and move very fast

After walking around on the beach, climbing a large coral reef, and admiring the sea from different vantage points I boarded the boat to head to Pelican Bar & Black River.

Headed to Pelican Bar in the middle of the mo'phuckin ocean
Headed to Pelican Bar in the middle of the mo’phuckin ocean

While headed to the bar we had an unplanned encounter with wild dolphins.  We saw about six of seven of them, they came up to the surface and showed their dorsal fins.  I wanted to try and touch one (they were that close to the boat), but thought twice about it because I wasn’t in sea world, and black people don’t do dumb shit like touch wild dolphins in the ocean.

Admiring my surroundings
Admiring my surroundings
Look at God
The view from the boat
Made it to Pelican Bar
Made it to Pelican Bar

Some of the guests on the boat left to get twisted at the bar.  The captain (Captain Ted) dropped them off and the rest of us continued onto Black River.  It blew my mind how drastically the water changed color.

Black River.  Ridden with crocodiles.  The color of the water, black, is the reason for the name of the river.
Black River. Ridden with crocodiles.  Swim at your own risk!

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  Onto the place that literally took my breath away, (3) Lover’s Leap (located in Southfield JA).  This tourist attraction is named for  Tunky & Mizzie (slaves in the 1800’s).   They jumped some 1,750 feet above sea level into the ocean because they wanted to die together and in love instead of being separated by their slave master (who was in love with Mizzie and wanted to take her away).   Titanic love story what?  This was way more romantic to me and more relatable (when’s the last time some rich man gave you a million carat heart shaped blue diamond necklace)?

Entering the grounds of Lover's Leap
Entering the grounds of Lover’s Leap – about $3 USD
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Tunky & Mizzie – The statue is hand-carved and made of Gwangu wood.
Pardon me while I take in the view and beauty of God
Pardon me while I take in the view and admire God’s amazing work

 Look at God

Look at the view!  You can’t see where the water meets the sky – truly breathtaking!

The two white stumps symbolize the respective spots from which they lept. Goosebumps!!!
The two white stumps symbolize the respective spots from which they lept. Goosebumps!!!

Onto my next highlight.  My favorite photos of my trip were caught en route to the Appleton Rum Estates.  We stumbled upon (4) Bamboo Avenue and I saw quite possibly one of the most beautiful sites of my life.  The pictures don’t do it justice.  It was extremely quiet and peaceful.  The bamboo covered the sky, when you looked up, all you can see are tall stalks of bamboo looking down on you.

Hands down, this is my fav shot of my trip
Hands down, this is my fav shot of my trip
Making my way to the base of the bamboo
Making my way to the base of the bamboo

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  Finally, my last featured highlight from my trip to JA, my visit to (5) Appleton Rum Estates (http://www.appletonestate.com/) where the grounds were massive and immaculate.  Upon arrival you are shown to the bar where you can purchase some strong ass rum punch to get the tour started off right! I had about three 10 oz cups before the tour guide started the tour.  We joked around with our guide and took plenty of photos as we were shown the grounds and learned about the distillation process.  The tour ended with a free tasting of all the liquors we learned about, a complimentary bottle of Appleton Rum, and a trip to the gift shop.

Distillation plant of Appleton Rum Estates
Distillation plant of Appleton Rum Estates
On the tour, you are allowed inside the distillation plant.  It's very hot inside!
On the tour, you are allowed inside the distillation plant.  Warning, it’s very hot inside (save some of your cold rum punch to cool you down)!
Estate grounds
Estate grounds – Photo taken from the tower on the grounds
Receiving a lesson from the tour guide about the aging process of Appleton Rums
Receiving a lesson from the tour guide about the aging process of Appleton Rums
Striking a pose on an old Appleton Rum delivery truck
Striking a pose on an old Appleton Rum delivery truck

 Another honorable mention would be the impromptu patois lesson I received.  After attending the “Clash” comedy show in Pine Plaza, Junction St. Elizabeth (and not understanding half of the comedy) Goo, the hostess of Rockstar Villa, wrote down a slew of common phrases then translated them into English.  Why am I so excited to try these phrases out though?

“How far ya dey?” –> “Where are you?”

“Mi cyan bada.” –> “I cannot be bothered.”

“Da bwoy deh a fish.” –> “That boy is gay.”

“Yuh mad like.” –> “You are so crazy.”

“You smell like hog pen.” –> “You smell bad.”

“Yuh ugly nuh backside.” –> “You are extremely ugly.”

“Guh nyam shit.” –> “Go eat shit.”

Harsh right?  I think it’s safe to say that I learned that Jamaicans are extremely blunt and direct with their language and I love it!  You don’t have to guess what they’re telling you because they tell you unapologetically.  Gotta respect that right?

As previously mentioned in my part I post, I am in the midst of planning my next trip.  I know its a bit crazy, but I have decided to go on my first solo trip abroad.  I think it will be an incredibly invigorating and amazing experience.  I look forward to meeting new people, exploring different cultures, and connecting with freedom.  The countries that I have on my radar are Thailand and Cambodia. Since there will be a layover in China I am going to see if I can weasel a day out of that (I would LOVE to walk the Great Wall).  Stay tuned…..

In the meantime, feel free to follow me on Instagram to view additional photos from my dope visit to Jamaica.

Until next time friends!

– PenniePenz

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4 thoughts on “UIB Travels: Jamaica (Part II)

  1. I LOVED this post! It made me laugh and think about how much I need to reconnect with my country. I am glad that you were able to experience the beauty of Jamacia. I was cracking up as I read the patois phrases and pictured you trying to say them. LOL..
    .Bless up!

    1. Thanks MzDiscipline84! Haha, gyal yuh know mi …. LOL, lemme stop. I need to get another patois lesson. Girl, your country is breathtakingly gorgeous! I look forward to another visit one of these days. The next time I see you I will be sure to practice my newly learned phrases – ha!

  2. Seriously I want you have your own tv show bc when I read your posts I feel like.I.hear your voice in my head. Well written and Very witty. Get a show please lol

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