Time of my life.

The last few weeks in Jamaica were some of the best I’ve ever had. The people, the friends, the sun, sea and lifestyle overall, (especially working only four hours a day) and activities we did, made it so much fun. I can’t say Jamaica was my favourite place I have ever been, but right there and then, it was what I needed.

(I apologise for missing last weeks post, but I did not have the means to so.)

After work I went swimming, a lot, I often went with Canadian Michael to a mahogany beach. It wasn’t anything special, but you could swim out to sea for miles as it was so shallow – you could still put your feet down nearly all the way. The fact that the floor was covered in urchins was the reason I didn’t.

One day, we were in the water and a huge thunderstorm came over which was amazing experience, to swim through ocean with lightning and thunder going off overhead. We had to shelter in a juicy patties – which are delicious – in order to get dry and get a taxi. Jake was not so lucky and no taxi would take him, so he had to climb this huge hill in the pouring rain; which at some points is so steep you can put your hands out on the road in front of you. Poor Jacob, at least he got a free beer out of it as the Jamaicans were very amused at seeing anybody in the rain.

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The fresh air, healthy eating, active work and active days were really good for my health, body and mind as they say. I lost quite a bit of weight actually, but I also lost the skin off the top of my toes when I decided to go running with Michael down the hill. Running has never been my sport, and I am fully aware it never will be. It took a long time from my toes to heal and it hurt just to walk anywhere.

My feet were not as bad as my legs though, from my knee downwards, it seemed my legs had become an all-you-can-eat buffet for every mosquito in a 50 mile radius. I have never really been eaten by mosquitoes before, and i was happy to kept it that way. Bug spray and aloe vera did little to deter them, while Jake got off scot-free from the little blighter’s. You could have done a dot-to-dot puzzle on my legs at the end.

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I mentioned before about the animals that we had at the farm. While we were there both the rabbits and chickens had babies. The rabbits had three, but sadly, out of fear of the mongoose, which would not have been able to get to her, she killed them all.

The chickens however, had six chicks which were the most adorable little things ever. One day, they all escaped! Me, Jake and the two new Canadians – Christine and Murray had to run around in the dwindling light to try to catch them all and put them back, so they couldn’t get eaten by something. Thankfully, we managed to get them all back bar one who had died probably from shock or the fall. The others, after two hours or more, was safely inside the cage for the remainder of our time.

We also had some trouble with mice. Lise’s brother had this nice goats milk soap, which every mouse and the surrounding area it seemed to very much enjoy. Getting annoyed at this constant invasion, he manage to catch one, and the next day paraded it’s around, saying he was going to torture it to teach the rest of the mice a lesson, which was totally ridiculous in my mind. I told him so, and then, in no uncertain terms I was told I was a silly little girl who should keep to her own business as I know nothing. (never knew how alike to Jon Snow I was).

Luckily Michael managed to get the mouse and free it. He also noticed how upset I had got, and from then on whenever a mouse was caught I was allowed to let it go far away. This placated me, Jake however never got on with him after that.

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We did a few tours and activities while we were there. We went to the blue hole again for the third time as we enjoyed it so much. That time Michael decided to see if we can walk it. If you went the right way, this option would be quite possible – however we did not – we walked for hours, and hours, and hours and it was not fun. However we did get there in the end, even if we did have to go under a colony of banana spiders.

We also went to Dunns River Falls. It is one of the most famous attractions in Jamaica. Personally I preferred Konoko falls. It wasn’t too expensive to get in, but there are signs everywhere about buying or wearing water shoes. We didn’t have any and you we were not going to spend $12 each to get some, so we had to sign a waiver that we were not going to sue if I cut my toe. Every single worker thereafter asked if we had sign this waiver.

The first time we went up, you were asked to go with a group, no issue, the problem was they made everyone hold hands with the person in front of them and behind them, which was just ludicrous. For one, you are climbing up some quite heavy waterfalls and you have a person in front of you dragging you up, and one person behind you dragging you down, they said it was to help each other just made everything more difficult, especially to balance. Quite a lot of people with autism that I know are quite uncomfortable with some amount of physical contact, I can cope, but holding wet clammy hands with two complete strangers while in my bikini was not fun for me.

The second time up me and Jake went ourselves and it was a whole lot better. We managed to get to the secret stairs on the other side of the waterfall. It was hard to breathe and the water came down so strong in made your legs heavy to lift, but it was really fun to do.

One day we went to Kingston to see the farmers market with Michael to sell his products. The ride there was really fun, we went over the mountains and it was beautiful. In Kingston we were going to go to the Bob Marley museum but that was closed as it was so early. One of the other volunteers had been a few times and she said some of the authentic pieces had changed each time. So we gave it a miss. We then went to the Devonshire house which was also closed because it was a weekend, so basically just wandered around most of the time. Kingston was so so much hotter than anywhere else we have been, we weren’t there long enough to pass a fully informed judgement, but I’m glad we spent most of the time in Ocho Rios.

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We did quite a few fun things at the farm too. Colin the chef made cassava pizza bread, they had a proper wood fire pieces oven too so we had a pizza night for a few nights. One of them quite unexpectedly as a lot of people decided to come over and have a party, it was loud which is something I struggled with but I did enjoy it.

Something else I struggled with was the banana bread. In Jamaica people  put weed into everything. I have heard of weed brownies, but not weed banana bread. So when I had the banana bread I got extremely high. I was fine, went into town to get Pizza Hut and then suddenly I wasn’t fine. It felt like my head was filling up with helium and by the end of the night I was catatonic. I could not speak or eat or walk. I thought I couldn’t breathe and was eventually I was sick. Jake had to basically carry me home. It is something I had never tried before and would never try again.

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One of the days the organisation JOAM – Jamaican organic agriculture movement, have their meeting at the farm on world Earth Day, I quickly drew a picture to celebrate, Colin liked it so much I did a portrait of him for a gift too. The meeting was okay to listen to, but what I really enjoyed was witnessing the Jamaican National Anthem. I feel very thankful to have witnessed it, as it is quite special, not something many vacationers would get to experience.

Our time in Jamaica was a very special experience, it was the beginning of our journey and we couldn’t have a better start; I think that’s mostly down to Michael and Lise and I’m very grateful, when the time came to leave again we didn’t want too, and Michael made a joke about stealing our passports, but he kindly drove us down to the airport and gave us a send off, the night before he bought Champagne/wine especially for us, and we played dominoes, all of us losing miserably against him.

Our fifty-something days had come to an end and we set off to Panama.

Let the next step begin.

One thought on “Time of my life.

  1. Sadly you didn’t get a chance to really appreciate my hometown (Kingston). Had the pleasure of packing activities around town for 2 first-time visitors a couple weeks ago and they loved it, there’s a post on my site if you’d like to read. Glad you had a good overall stay here minus some hiccups.

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