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.
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.
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.”
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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