Jamaica is a Caribbean island country and is the third largest (after Cuba and Hispaniola) of the Greater Antilles and the Caribbean. It was originally inhabited by the indigenous Taíno people.
The island came under Spanish rule after the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1494 with many of the original inhabitants either killed or died of diseases. After this the Spanish brought large numbers of African slaves to Jamaica as labourers. In 1655 England conquered it and named it Jamaica where it became a leading sugar exporter.
In 1838 the British emancipated all slaves, many of whom chose to have subsistence farms rather than to work on plantations. The island achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1962.
Kingston is the capital of the island of Jamaica, lying on its southeast coast and is the home to many of the attractions that include the Bob Marley Museum which is housed in the reggae singer’s former home.
Devon House is a colonial-era mansion, the Hope Botanical Gardens & Zoo showcases native flora and fauna. Surrounding the town are the Blue Mountains, some of the most renowned coffee-growing areas that are full of trails and waterfalls.
But we didn’t go here…
Montego Bay is one of the worlds best protected marine parks with snorkelling and diving at coral reefs, numerous beach resorts and golf courses, an amusement park.
But we didn’t go here…
Our cruise ship dropped us at a place called Falmouth. The main thing to do for tourists in Falmouth, is to leave. Literally, there is nothing to do here. The main tourist things to do in Falmouth involve going to Montego Bay. I have absolutely no idea why we were dropped off here.
You come off the ship into a manufactured shopping mall that has massively overpriced trinkets and little else. As you walk out there is an interesting tourist walk that depicts a bunch of posters outlining the history of the country.
When you pop out from there you hit a pretty dingy slum, full of people so stoned that they can barely stay upright. The filth and stench reminded us of some of the worst places in India (still hands down the filthiest place we have ever been). The trinket shops had a ton of wooden gear (that you could never get into Australia).
Our market runs saw us being offered a singlet shirt for $44.90 USD, weed, and any other form of ridiculous things that you can imagine. The Rasta spirit is strong here, but if it was not for the odd ship that arrives, there really is very little reason for this town to exist.
The thing that amused Jill the most was this sign which was trying to urge people to stop dumping their trash everywhere.
The signs were an attempt, but they were failing dismally.
The smell emanating from the waterways was truly putrid.
I would love to come back to Jamaica, but head to one of the other centres to try and really get a sense of the place as this little foray was not it.