Trip Reports

The Final Chapter: Second Honeymoon

Written by Karen Lee

Day 4 – Leaving Negril for Montego Bay
I had set the alarm on my Palm Pilot for 7.30am, but I didn’t need it. I was awoken by rain. I looked outside and the beach was still gorgeous even with rain. We were both yearning for one more day. As usual I headed over to the kitchen. We packed & made sure we left nothing. We saw Lilly & evened up our accounts & left tips for members of the staff. Solomon was on time as usual. He and I took the bags out to the car in the rain.

Breakfast consisted of corned beef & potato fritter with fruits. The goodbyes were sad and somewhat like the movies due to the rain. Though the roads were wet the drive to Mobay was relaxing. Conversation ranged from crime in Kingston to Jamaican politics. The scenes going back to Mobay were better. The rain had stopped but it was overcast. The countryside was lush & green. The coastline road gave us a clear view to Mobay. We could see some of the skyline.

We arrived in Montego Bay at midday. Not knowing where the hotel was, we first stopped at Doctor cave beach and went to Doctor Cave Beach Hotel check-in desk. We walked to our room, which was on the first of 4 floors. The room was really nice and clean. We unpacked the necessaries we needed and headed out to explore. The first thing we did was to find a phone to call and make arrangements for transportation to the airport. I had two friends in town who were traveling back to South Florida on the same flight we were booked on. Before we had left Jamaica they had agreed to take us to the airport. We found a call box across street from the craft market. The call went smooth and we were all set for the next day. Next we crossed the street and started to shop for other items for friends and relatives.

I was very surprised at some of the items being sold in the stores along the main road. It seems to enforce the stereotype that Jamaica is just about, weed, sex with Rastas, Bob Marley and Reggae. I would probably be best to not take kids in some of the stores. We settled on one store with a very friendly East Indian non-Jamaican (My best guess is he was from India) who could sell snow to an Eskimo. He kept complimenting Karen and how beautiful she was etc. We bought quite a few items there.

After we completed all our shopping we bought a fish box lunch in the Craft Market across the street from Cornwall Beach behind the big shops. The food was really good. The manager of the place, who was Jamaican, was friendly and told us he lived in Ft Lauderdale and just moved back to Jamaica. He explained that he was tired of the rat race and would not move back to the USA. He was pretty much selling us on why we as Jamaicans should move back. We took the food back to the room and ate it on the balcony. We watched some TV and rested. It was close to 6.00 pm before we left the room for Dinner. We saw a Chinese restaurant on the way in not too far from the hotel. Walked along Montego Bay’s main street towards the restaurants. We passed quite a few shops along the way. I was surprised to see Cuban Cigars sold in the store. It was a 10 min walk to the Guangzhou Chinese restaurant.

The restaurant sat on a little hill and overlooked the main road with a view to the sea. The restaurant was about 20% full. We were seated quickly near the view to the road and sea. It was nice, but we had to move due to smoking in the booth behind us. I get really hoarse from second hand smoke. The food was not bad however, as the restaurant patrons started to increase the waiter became overwhelmed. It took us a while to get a bill. The walk back to the hotel was slow as we were full. The clubs along the way were starting to come alive. Margaritaville was packed. On arrival at the hotel we completed packing and laid out the clothes we would wear the next day. We retired early.

Day 5 – Going home.
We woke up at 4.30 am, did the morning routine and did a sweep of the room to make sure everything we brought was packed. The walk to the lobby was longer than normal mainly because of the bags. We had also bought quiet a few items in Mobay, which weighted our bags down. The lobby was still dark and the clerk was just setting up shop. There was one other gentleman checking out. Our check out was smooth and my friends Chester & Donna were there less than 2 minutes after we checked out. Chester & Donna were there since Friday. The ride to airport was less than 5 minutes.

The AA check in line was long which made going home worse. We soon realized that every bag was being manually checked before you got to the check in counter. It was our turn to have our bags checked. The checker was a lady who was very efficient and friendly. This made the inspection less intrusive. After checking our bags we tried to get some breakfast at the cafeteria in the airport. The doors were open but no breakfast. They do not serve food until 6.00 am. As we left we thought maybe we could get something inside the concourse area. There was a second check area with a scanner. By now, as we entered the concourse area we were very hungry. All the stores were closed. There was really no time to sit in the concourse area as they announced on the overhead that boarding had begun.

At the gate there was third security check before boarding. As the plane took off we could feel the stress coming as we thought about what we had to do when we got in. We knew we would be back next year.

 

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About the author

Karen Lee