Kingston and Montego Bay, 1994
I convinced my SO at the time, Maciek that it would be fun to come with
me. We flew into Kingston, but left from Montego Bay, using the
opportunity to force ourselves to see as much of the island as possible.
We arrived in Kingston and my aunt Gwen picked us up. I sat in the front
and had a few moments of disorientation since they drive on the left
there, and where I was sitting should have been the driver's seat, but
there was no steering wheel in front of me. For all of her hesitation in
driving around in Canada, she was an aggressive driver on her home roads.
We whipped up the hills and over into the valley where Worthy Park was
nestled, fighting cane trucks overflowing with the sticks of sugar cane
for the road space. Each curve in the road was the occasion for a honk of
the horn to warn oncoming drivers that a car was approaching. It was a
somewhat narrow road to say the least and I was gripping my seat in a
panic by the time we descended into the valley.
Worthy Park is a working farm, producing oranges and growing sugar cane to
process in their factory. My uncle Guy was a supervisor at the factory and
explained to us the process by which the cane was transformed into
molasses, sugar, and rum.
The dates from here on in are very inexact.
We walked around the farm, admiring the endless orange groves and the
green sweep of the golf course.
I *think* we went to Kingston proper to visit with Betty Ann, her husband
David and daughter Kayla, she might have had her son Jonathan by then, but
I'm not positive. Gwen showed us the apartment that she wanted to retire
in in a few years when Guy became too old to work at the factory.
I think it was then that we moved on to Betty Ann's time share resort room
in Ocho Rios. We stayed there for a few days, sleeping away the afternoon
rains and swimming and walking around. We had the services of a maid, and
only had to give her money to go shopping and she would cook us dinner and
clean up the place for us. I was uncomfortable with asking her to do
anything, so Maciek tended to pass on our needs to her.
The place we were staying was about an hour's walk from Ocho Rios and we
walked into town one night for dinner. The friendliest person we met was a
Rastafarian while walking. He was the only person besides my relatives
that didn't try to make us buy something. Quite a few guys tried to lead
us to various restaurants and then demand money from us for the service.
We hired a taxi to take us to Don's River Falls and the guy was nice
enough to come back when we said we'd be done to pick us up again. We had
to run the gauntlet of the craft booths after climbing part way up the
We took a bus from the hotel to Montego Bay, along with other hotel guests
that were going to the airport. My aunt Olga found us and brought us to
her house. The evidence of Hurricane Andrew was still present in downed
trees and houses with bits missing from them.
We went swimming in Doctor's Cove, and borrowed my cousin's snorkelling
gear. I got a really really bad sunburn on my back from snorkelling for
too long without renewing the sun screen on my back. Maciek thought he was
being prudent by sitting in a beach chair in the shade, but the sun
reflected off of the white sand was enough to burn his legs.
We went with Olga to pick up some take out jerk chicken for supper, and
ate it on her patio overlooking the city. By the time my burn started to
really hurt it was time for bed, so I slathered on some creme and tried to
settle on my stomach. But unfortunately my mental state wasn't the best at
that point and the plethora of may bugs (I think the same as the june bugs
we get up in Canada, huge buggers with hard brown shells that you can only
kill by blasting them with insecticide at close range) and cockroaches
(they grow them hella big down there) that came in through the unscreened
windows started to make me very twitchy. Maciek had to clean out every
single one from my room before I was able to sleep.
Olga owns a fast food stand in Montego Bay and I had to go there one day
and have a milk shake. Her vanilla milk-shake is to die for and I had vivid
memories of it from my last trip in 1983.
I couldn't resist the duty free and bought a bottle of cream rum in
the airport at Montego Bay.
Stayed in my cousin Betty Ann's time share resort room in Ocho Rios after
visiting with her mother and father, Gwen and Guy at Worthy Park, in a
valley near Kingston. Stayed with my aunt Olga in Montego Bay, taking the
bus from Ocho Rios since neither of us could rent a car, due to being
younger than 25.
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