Trip Reports

Jamaica Trip Report: Day 4 & 5 – Blue House, Beach, Knutsford Express Shuttle, Election day, Doctor Caves Beach Hotel

Written by Xavier Murphy

Day 4 – Blue House, Beach, Knutsford Express Shuttle, Election day, Doctor Caves Beach Hotel
Today was our last day at the Blue House and we had only one mission; to get to the beach.  It was also Election Day in Jamaica.
Breakfast at The Blue House was good as usual. First there were fruits, banana, pineapple and water melon.  Then there was freshly squeezed orange juice at the table. Next came the cassava pancakes with an almond & banana syrup.  Elise came by the table and spent some time with us. There were some guests from New York who were also leaving today.   

Our children requested bacon and eggs to go with the pancakes as they did not want to try the almond & banana syrup.  The food was great. Darryl the chef who is Elise’s brother made a rare appearance. We finally go to meet the person who cooked for us while we were there. Did I mention the food was great?

 Darryl, Elise, my wife and I spent time after breakfast talking about our school days in Jamaica. It was fun memories and a great conversation.
Next we were off to the beach.  There were a few choices; the Ocho Rios Beach, Reggae Beach or Mahogany beach. We choose the Mahogany Beach. David would take us there.  It was a 12 minute drive from the Blue House.  It was a quite drive as there was no traffic because of the elections.

The beach was located at the Carib Condos which David explained was one of the premier places for vacation places. You could see remnants of how nice the place used to be. There was a large pool that was now empty.

It was a small beach with calm waters. There were a just a few people on the beach. There were also yachts close by. We spend about an hour on the beach before it started to get a little crowded. We learned that a cruise ship came into port and brought people to the beach.
 There was a lively performance by a fire eater. The people who arrived from the cruise surrounded him.  He engaged a few of the tourists to be a part of his performance.

We left right after the performance and went back to the Blue House to pack our bags.  We said our goodbyes to Elise and her staff.  David took us to the Knutsford Express bus stop. We would take it to Montego Bay. As we pulled out of the Blue House drive away the rain started to fall.
The staff at the Knutsford Express office was very courteous.  We met a 12-year old in the office that was also going to Montego Bay. His dad asked us to keep an eye on him. He was very mannerly and I was surprised at how he could hold a conversation about practically anything. David waited with us until the bus came.
The bus was larger than we expected. There were just a few empty seats scattered around the bus. We would not be able to sit together. The crowd on the bus was a mixture of Jamaicans and tourists.

The ride to Montego Bay from Ocho Rios was fast even on the rainy roads. The driver was skillful and you could tell he knew the roads well. There were TV’s in the bus however the driver did not play any DVD’s, instead there was calypso music.
We arrived in Montego Bay in less than 2 hours after leaving Ocho Rios. We found a taxi as soon as we came out of the bus station but we waited a little for the 12 year olds Uncle to pick him off.   They were gracious and thanked us for waiting with him.
It was off to Doctors Cave which was 5 minutes away from the bus station. The check in process was smooth but you could see everyone was glued to the TV’s in the lobby. The Jamaica election results were coming in.
We have an adjoining room right above the lobby.

We cleaned up and went walking. We were hungry. It was particularly quite for a Jamaican election and we felt safe. We walked to the Pelican Grill. It was packed. At the bar everyone was tracking the elections.

We were seated quickly. The meal was good.
Back at the hotel we tracked the elections, the People’s Nation Party (PNP) won defeating the incumbents, the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP). You could hear an occasional car on the street honking their car horn.
I had asked the hotel bell hop for a driver to pick us up at the hotel and take us to the airport. When I called the gentleman he gave me a ridiculous price because it was 5 people. I told him it was too high. He cut the rate in less than half and told me “It was a discount because his party won the election”.

Day 4 – Doctor Caves Beach Hotel,  Sangster’s Airport  
The next morning we were up early. The driver was waiting for us. He was happy and we talked about the elections. Check-in was pretty quick. There was a couple arguing at the counter. Their bags were too heavy and they were trying to figure out what to leave.  The man was Jamaican and he kept taking out things out of the bag to leave behind. The lady kept putting them back in the bag and they argued. He walked away and came back. You could see the Air Jamaica staff behind the counter wanted to laugh but they kept their composure.  I was shocked at home much “stuff” was in the bags they were carrying. I was not sure how they closed it.
Once we were checked in we had breakfast at Island Grille. Next we were off to security. The line was very long and my daughter as randomly selected for a search.   This would also happen at the gate. It slowed us down a little. The flight boarded on time, left on time and we arrived home early from a great vacation.

About the author

Xavier Murphy