Our Unplanned Adventure at Cornwall Barracks, Jamaica

The best days are always the spontaneous and unplanned ones. After all, what is traveling without unexpected epic adventures?

Boring that’s what it is. Boring planned fun.

But boring is not something that goes well with our blood and spontaneous adventures seem to find us again and again. Just like the time we were in Port Antonio, Jamaica …

Like the day before, today was going to be cloudy with a great chance of rain, so visiting Reach Falls was out of the question, again. It didn’t seem like we were going to do anything, besides maybe walk around town and chat with the locals.

But somehow the universe had something else in mind.

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It was lunchtime and we were getting hungry. Fortunately, we knew exactly what we wanted to eat and where to get it, Jerk Chicken at Seabird i.e The Chicken Man’s grill. We met Seabird a few days earlier as he was the first person to greet us when we got to Porty. He was also the one who suggested a gorgeous place for us to stay up in the hills of Port Antonio, called Mango Ridge.

Remembering who we were, he asked us what our plans were for today.

“Nothing,” we responded. “It’s way too cloudy today and it looks like it’s gonna rain soon. We just gonna hang out in town.”

He looked into the sky and shook his head. “No worries, man it’s not gonna to rain. Why don’t you guys take a taxi up to Rio Grande.”

We heard of Rio Grande before but all we knew about it was that tourists go there to float down the river on a bamboo raft. “I don’t know, we don’t really have the $70 bucks for bamboo rafting right now.”

“No mon, just walk around and enjoy mother nature.”

“Wait, you can walk around there? “

“Yeh Mon!, it’s irie.”

At first we didn’t know if we should follow his advice but after we got near the route taxis port near the Texaco gas station we said fuck it. It’s not like we had anything else to do.

We found a taxi and told the driver to take us to Rio Grande but then he asked where in Rio Grande as it was a huge area. We, of course, had no clue. So we just told him to drop us off at a nice place to walk around.

“No worries mon, I have a nice place for you! Cornwall barracks is beautiful, I will take you there.”

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And off we went! He was not lying, even the drive up there was beautiful. Nature at it’s best. We got there and it was just breathtaking!

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So unprepared for this adventure, we hiked the area in our slippers and drank our half liter water bottle that we happened to have with us within minutes.

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We walked over a swinging bridge, trekked and swam through the river, explored a hidden cave, and spoke to locals living in the quiet, and nature rich village.

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We loved every second of it! These are the moments we yearn for during our travels. The off the beaten path attractions and not the popular ones like Dunn’s River Falls. Mass tourism seriously destroys the charm of a place.

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We would take this quiet, peaceful and lushes green hike over any crowded tourist attractions any day. And you know what, we would have never found this place if we didn’t interact with the locals or didn’t take our nose out of those travel guidebooks.

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Jamaicans love their country and love sharing it’s beauty with visitors, so interact with the locals because you never know what hidden spot you might discover!

Have you ever visited a place you would have never seen if it wasn’t for a local? Share your local driven adventures with us!

Inspired? Pin this for later …

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The Author

Jazzy is a professional travel blogger and the chief editor of Road Affair. She has been traveling around the world with her partner in crime, Ben, since 2012.

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Comments

  1. Hey guys! Wow Jamaica is looking beautiful! It is always great to interact with the locals and learn about their lives as well as their home countries. Unexpected trips are the best! You just never know what you stumble upon if you don’t take a chance so glad you guys did. I love going off the beaten path, it’s great to see underrated places.

    1. Hey Lilo,

      Jamaica is soo beautiful, and our trip to Cornwall Barracks was definitely a pleasant surprise. We hope to continue to travel to unknown places, off the beaten paths and stay away from touristy spots and the only way to do that is interact with locals!

  2. Great post! I love Jamaica! I’ve been there four times already and I’m itching to get back. Traveling is all about getting lost in adventure and chatting up the locals. If you ever go back be sure check out the River Bumpkin Farm in Falmouth. Excellent food and the tour guides are so nice.

    1. Thanks Candace :) We are definitely going back to Jamaica without question (it’s now one of our top favorite places) and of course we will check out River Bumpkin Farm. You had me at excellent food … hehehe!

  3. Wow guys, beautiful!

    Reminds me so much of Fiji. I had a similar experience in Fiji, on Vanua Levu. We thought we’d see a waterfall at a national park. 3 hours later we asked a local for permission to walk through their property to the most stunning scenery I’ve soaked up in person. Private land, amazing, inspired experience.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Ryan

  4. Thanks for sharing your unexpected dsy. We took a road trip around Jamaica on one of our trips there and discovered Zion Country in Mancheoneal..Somerset Falls…blue lagoon..Alligator Pond…Boston Beach..Strawberry Fields…Firefly…Frenchman’s Cove…An eerily empty Jamaica Palace..Goblin Hill..Forres Park near Mavis Bank..Strawberry Hill..Nine Mile..Treasure Beach.. The wonderful Hibiscus Hotel …little ochi.. Glisteningcwaters in Falmouth…the past its prime Cariblue and unforgettable Memorabilia bar…Mandeville…kingston.. Castleton gardens.. I could go on and on but each memory is seared in my soul. Special is an understatement. All of the lovely…creative..funny ..kind people we met and the gorgeous nature and scenery and music and food. Memories of Jamaica are so precious. You never ever know what may be around rhe next curve.

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more Elizabeth, our memories of Jamaica are sooo precious to us. We love Jamaica, it holds a special place in our hearts!
      And yes!!! You never know what is waiting for you around the corner :)

      P.s. Love that you visited so much of JA!

  5. Thanks for all of the great Jamaica posts. We have been there several times and have never stayed in a touristy place or done touristy things. The locals in Jamaica are divine people and cook up one hell of a meal when they have us over. We have been gifted to meet so many good Jamaicans we now call friends/family!

    1. Jamaicans make Jamaica truly Jamaica and many vacationers don’t get to meet these amazing people as they stay mostly in resorts. But I am glad we (you and us) got to meet them and call some of them our friends!

      Hey, maybe we cross paths in Jamaica one day! I think that would be awesome!

      –Jazzy

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