Wild Jamaica

Standing on Gloucester Avenue in Montego Bay, you can get a beautiful, unobstructed view of the ocean and the island of Jamaica.

The following day, I found myself on another tour bus visiting the famed Dunn’s River Falls, a natural waterfall attraction in Ocho Rios (Eight Rivers) which lies to the about 2 hrs drive East of Montego Bay in St. Ann Parish of Jamaica. Our guide, like many of the Jamaicans I encountered, had a brut sense of humor with well-timed delivery and execution. Like the others I met in the circuit, there was a precision and mastery of her craft that was self-evident, even despite being her being sick. During our tour, she would go on to point out various landmarks, like Willian Knibb High School, formerly attended by generational wonder Usain Bolt, various flora like the beautiful and abundant Ixora Coccinae or “Flame of the Woods” trees, and even traditional medicinal advice on relieving acid reflux with the local limestone deposits. No smile in her voice, she said that if any of us got heartburn from all of the spicy Jamaican food we were eating, we should literally, “chew on a rock”. She told other stories too that stuck with me, like how strict yet loving she was with her 3 kids, which aphrodisiacs worked best, and her appreciation of what seemed to be tantric sex. The one that stuck the most perhaps, as we passed up a rather large, yet seemingly abandoned mansion far back on the hill off the interstate, was the story of the White Witch of Rose Hall, Annie Palmer.