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.

Apr 26

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.

Apr 27

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.

Apr 28

We walked around the farm, admiring the endless orange groves and the green sweep of the golf course.

Apr 29

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.

Apr 30

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.

May 1

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.

May 2

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 falls.

May 3

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.

May 4

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.

May 5

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.

May 6

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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