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T R I P R E P O R T : Ochi, Port Antoni, Kingston, MoBay, Negril

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  • #16
    Re: T R I P R E P O R T : Ochi, Port Antoni, Kingston, MoBay, Negril

    As we follow the A1 eastbound I quickly got back into the groove of Jamaica driving. As we pass minibuses full of people packed tighter than sardines and air conditioned (read: freezing) JUTA busses with tourists that have to say as to where they go I savor the fact that we decided to get a rental car this time. For money reasons I usually rely on busses to get me where I need to go but you get to see and do so much more with a car. It gives you a magnificent freedom. You go when and where you want to go. You stop when you choose to do so. You don't have to worry about carrying your stuff or the size of it since you can just leave it in the car. I love it! By the time we reached Falmouth my friend mustered up enough courage to try driving. We pulled off the road by the beach and I gave him a brief lesson in Driving in Jamaica 101.

    Left side is the right side, right side is suicide. You must drive as fast as possible at all times. The proper formula for reading the speed limit signs is (Speed limit) x (2.5) + (extra passing speed) You pass everyone in your way, even if they are going the same speed as you are, and even if it doesn't really help save any time. If there are multiple cars in front of you, you must drive in the right lane and pass as many of them at one time. Should oncoming traffic appear, continue passing until you can see the face of the oncoming driver. Honk your horn as you pass each car, and at any other time you feel so inclined to do. Should it become necessary to return to the left lane while passing multiple cars just honk your horn and pull into the lane and let other drivers make room for you. Remain clear of potholes, goats, cows, chickens, pedestrians, and oncoming traffic in your lane. Do not drive with your lights on. Doing so will make other drivers think you left them on by accident and it then becomes everyone's mission to help you realize your mistake. Do play your Irie FM loudly, doing so creates a cool surround sound effect as you pass cars and buildings that are doing same. Any questions?

    Since my friend drives a stick at home, the manual transmission was not a problem for him. However keeping the car in the middle of our lane was. I had to tell him to drive 14 inches to the right of his current track as the left wheels kept on running into the dirt and the associated potholes. The highlight of his driving came in downtown Falmouth when he nearly drove over a foot a a guy that hollers "Watch yuh sef bwaaay!!"
    All in all he did pretty good for the first time Jamaica driver. Anyone really can do it. Some people just choose not to. And they are missing out on a lot of fun. Driving is entertainment in itself. Everytime my friend would get overconfident behind the wheel I'd say "Watch yuh sef bway!" and we'd bust out laughing.

    By Runaway Bay he was done and I took over. The vegetation started getting more lush, and the hills on the right side begun to increase in size. The sun getting lower behind us have an orange glow to the cumulus scattered clouds above us. Through a break in the bush on the left side I saw a glimpse of the turquoise blue water as we drove into Ochi.

    (To Be Continued...)

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    • #17
      Re: T R I P R E P O R T : Ochi, Port Antoni, Kingston, MoBay, Negril

      This is TOO good...

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      • #18
        Re: T R I P R E P O R T : Ochi, Port Antoni, Kingston, MoBay, Negril

        DWL,
        Are you a fighter pilot? Your road trip description, brought tear to my eyes, not to mention nightmares/fear of dying , cured me of never sitting in the front! I know always sit in the back and drink my Red Stripe. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]
        Gil

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        • #19
          Re: T R I P R E P O R T : Ochi, Port Antoni, Kingston, MoBay, Negril

          Ok Magic.. you are going to drive me to drink... We've made it out of the airport, into the rental vehicle..and maybe just maybe now are we going to climb out of the car?? In Ochi? Drag it out for the rest of them.. I know this is written..you can send me my own private full length report..ok? Now, I am trying to read to see whether I would be brave enough to rent a vehicle but the jury is still out.. At this rate it will be taking a month to decide...put your foot on the accelerator ok?? I like the slow, chill, we're in Jamaica... soon come approach.. it has its effects.. but I am FRUSTRATED... not everyday does someone do a trip report I actually want to read..I will remember this torture when its my turn to keep you in limbo
          A positive attitude might not solve your problems but will annoy others to make it worth the effort

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          • #20
            Re: T R I P R E P O R T : Ochi, Port Antoni, Kingston, MoBay, Negril

            [img]/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] me want more
            A positive attitude might not solve your problems but will annoy others to make it worth the effort

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            • #21
              Re: T R I P R E P O R T : Ochi, Port Antoni, Kingston, MoBay, Negril



              Mi waitin' here long time now. Where 'im go?
              It's Better to Burn Out Than to Fade Away.

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              • #22
                Re: T R I P R E P O R T : Ochi, Port Antoni, Kingston, MoBay, Negril

                Give the man some time...great trip reports require contemplation and meditation! Besides, it sounds like he's going to include the whole island on this one...

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: T R I P R E P O R T : Ochi, Port Antoni, Kingston, MoBay, Negril

                  First Class!!
                  I love this "slow and easy" approach [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: T R I P R E P O R T : Ochi, Port Antoni, Kingston, MoBay, Negril

                    i'm loving your report!!.....well i guess you're on a 4day trip that's why there is a delay.....with these tough times...i'll let it go and wait for you to come back to your lap top with the rest of this report.....BUT if it takes too long you may have to request a day off to finish [img]/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]
                    Jamaica.....a place your body goes to find where your mind and soul has always been

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                    • #25
                      Re: T R I P R E P O R T : Ochi, Port Antoni, Kingston, MoBay, Negril

                      Com'on Magic..............
                      Give me more.........I am to leave in just 4 days, 69 hours and you are making me feel like I am already there..............
                      Soon Come............... [img]/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]
                      Likkle Mo...Soon Come

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: T R I P R E P O R T : Ochi, Port Antoni, Kingston, MoBay, Negril

                        Do you think one more beggar will make any difference, y'all?????

                        Soon come, Magic...soon come so we can feel the "warm Jamaican breeze" [img]/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]

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                        • #27
                          Re: T R I P R E P O R T : Ochi, Port Antoni, Kingston, MoBay, Negril

                          Magic, your report is delightful! During my last visit in August 2001, I asked a JA friend why he continued to blow the horn in his car so often? He replied with the most puzzled look on his face.."Don't you blow to thank people in America". When I said no, and asked what in the world did all those people do for him is the past few miles that he had to thank them. He laughed and replied that not all of them were being thanked. He blew to alert people he was passing, to tell them to get out of the way, to thank them, to say hello, to tell this guy that he liked his cell phone, to hit the same beat as the drummer on IRIE FM, and once when his hand slipped. Needless to say when it was my time to drive, I just kept blowing the horn intermittently and you know what, he never once asked why I blew the horn or even noticed that I was being funny. Not the first time my american humor was totally lost on an Jamaican. Anyway, when you get home...please write more and we all hope you keep safe up in those skies flying during these disconcerting times.
                          Remember that the best relationships is the one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: T R I P R E P O R T : Ochi, Port Antoni, Kingston, MoBay, Negril

                            Thank you all for the kind words sorry to keep you waiting. Just got back from work. I don't have a laptop so can't write on layovers. Besides after a whole day of flying you just eat and go to the hotel to sleep. And BND1999, I'm afraid you're gonna have to start drinking. I did write some of the report, but its on paper and as I type it I change it and add to it so no you can't have your own copy before everyone else :-)
                            But soon come.

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                            • #29
                              Re: T R I P R E P O R T : Ochi, Port Antoni, Kingston, MoBay, Negril

                              The first thing we headed for in Ochi was Main Street. I had to make sure that there are not any cruise ships in town, and along with them hoards of tourists that are interested in nothing more than speed shopping. They walk into you as you pass on the sidewalk and hit you with their bulky shopping bags. Once it was assured that the coast was clear (only one enemy ship located (j/k) ) we preceded down the main drag. Since I haven't been in town in a few years I wanted to see what's new, what's changed and just to get my bearings back. There was a lot of traffic and a lot of people as it was already late in the afternoon. We stopped by a bank to exchange money. The rate here I believe was 45.50J's for a 1US as opposed to the 42 at the airport. After driving through the town we jumped on the bypass and headed for the Furn Gully.

                              As the road entered the Gully is looks like we've entered a tunnel. It suddenly gets dark and wet. The sky is covered by hundreds of species of fern that thrive in the moist air. The roads snakes steeply upward and is quite narrow so no room for passing......not! The stone walls that sometimes appear don't phase Jamaican drivers. On the other side of the gully we made a u-turn and did it again. This time I could appreciate the view more since I didn't have to worry about retrieving every one of the horses of power from our Daewoo Matiz which didn't appreciate steep climbs and it made it clear by the sound of its engine.

                              (To Be Continued...)

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                              • #30
                                Re: T R I P R E P O R T : Ochi, Port Antoni, Kingston, MoBay, Negril

                                Now imagine how the car sounded when we decided to drive up to Evita's Restaurant. The street goes nearly vertical. No, we didn't go there to eat. I'm sure the food is good but I would never eat at an Italian restaurant in Jamaica. If I was in Italy absolutely. On the same principle I would never eat at Burger King or McDonalds in Jamaica. Not only would I be missing out on the best cuisine in the world but also supporting a multimillion dollar American chain while you can support the local economy that need the help much more then Burger King stockholders. What we came to Evita's for is the view. With the nightfall over Ochi the town lit up with a million lights. With the bay and the downtown area below it looked pretty. The loud noise of the crickets and other tree life gave the place a very nice atmosphere.

                                For dinner we headed to the Ochi Jerk Center just west of the roundabout on the Bypass. The chicken wasn't very authentic, but good nonetheless. With rice and peas and salad along with a Ting it was a good meal. I didn't specifically pick places to stay on this part of the trip, since I didn't want to be rushed and get anywhere at any specified time. That's who my life is back home, structured. And according to a flight schedule....literally. So when I'm in Jamaica I don't need to be rushed, planned, scheduled, delayed or otherwise hampered by the evil concept of time. When it got dark and it was time to find sleeping arrangements then I became interested in the subject.

                                We found a guesthouse in White River called Happy Hut. The owner, Ashton Young answered the door of this single level house that (other than the small sign on the gate) doesn't look like anything other than someone's residence. Ashton is an older gentleman from New York who emigrated to Jamaica over 20 years ago. He now lives in one of the rooms, while renting the remainder of the house to guests. The rooms are large and simple but adequate. Enough furniture to comfortably spend time. The rate includes the use of the living room and the kitchen. There's an outside door to enter your room from the outside and your own bathroom, although the water is "sun-heated". For 1000J it's quite a bargain.

                                In the morning it was time to say good bye to Ashton and head into town for breakfast. I just couldn't resist and we stepped into Mother's for a 2 patty meal with Ting. You could tell by the position of the sun that we slept a little long and so we got the food to go and drove on east.

                                (To Be Continued.......)

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