17th-20th October 2003.

Not the back-packer destination of choice, we decided to visit because the flight was effectively free and Claire had wanted to go there since a kid. (Too many nights spent with best friend Sam watching Tom Cruise in the movie Cocktail).

Luke ( Jason's friend ) was also coming to see us and it was his 30th birthday.

We stayed in Port Antonio, on the north east coast as it was the ideal place to gain insight into real Jamaican life.

It was a rather amusing 2 hour bus ride from Kingston where the rather ingenious driver managed to get 50 people in a mini bus and then tried to charge us twice.

The locals appear friendly until you realise they get shirty when you don't want to buy reggae, night club tickets, drinks, a rafting trip, or ....... insert any contraband substance here.

On the evening of arrival we went to a reggae concert on the waterfront to see a guy called 'Professor Nuts' run across the stage pretending to be a white man in Jamaica.

Guys were walking through the crowd selling small trees of weed in front of the police!

Happy 30th Birthday Smedley.

A chess set and a couple of books should shut him up.

Jason playing with a sea snail on San San beach. Like all good bargains in Jamaica it cost money to enter the beach. (Claire was happy - Tom Cruise had worked his bar here in the movie.)

If you want you can get a boat or go rafting (everyone and his dog is a raft captain).

So we go for dinner. Lobster, shrimps and too much wine later and we are looking pretty happy.

Whose haemorrhoids are playing up?

Claire having her hair and nails done Jamaican style.

The cheeky lass at our hotel finally left Luke and Jason to play chess and instead annoyed Claire by regularly poking her in the eye with a comb.

mmmmmm sugar cane

We are a little concerned about the political situation in Jamaica. It appears that since the British ran the US are gradually sneaking in.

The $1,000 note has a picture of someone called Norman Manley on it but if you look closely you can see that this is really George W Bush wearing spock ears!

.... taking puppet governments to another level!

You can go to the Jerk bar, the jerk restaurant, the jerk club... they are jerking everywhere.... on street corners, outside church, at the beach.

Jerk tastes good.... but you are what you eat!

Another little jem that is lacking a photo is the Cock Soup that Maggi sell.

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