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Daily Archives: July 5, 2014

No Problem Mon’… Chillaxing on Red Stripe Beach

Where to Go, What to Do?

When we first pulled into Falmouth Port in Jamaica the everyone was soooo excited. It was JAMAICA after all, an island we had heard of since childhood, the birth place of Bob Marley and Reggae, Rasta and so much more…So where do we go on our first time here… Why the BEACH of course!!!!

But how to get there? Falmouth port is not in the easiest location, an hour away from all the usual hangouts to the north like Montego Bay and Ocho Rios…. We were certain there must be a beach somewhere with reach of crew with only a couple hours free. At the information booth they encouraged us to go to Red Stripe Beach (Red Stripe is a local and very good Jamaican beer). There was a shuttle, for only $10 crew price (half the guest price), leaving in a few minutes. So a group of us grabbed tickets and headed that way.

It’s All Irie Mon’

Piled in the van, with all of us drinking beers (yup open containers are allowed in Jamaica), heading about 10min down the road we turned into what appeared to be a fenced off swamp. The gate was locked and barred and I had a flashback to South Africa… but the driver hopped out unlocked everything and off we went. The swamp area filled with mangroves and brackish water (salt and fresh mixed) had the look of a bad bayou movie… thank heavens it was the middle of the day.
red stripe beach jamaica (11)

Turning the corner we knew we had arrived…

Got to love Jamaica

Got to love Jamaica

They had a bar, and a place to have to buy some famous jerk chicken right off the grill… Delish!!!
red stripe beach jamaica

The beach turned out to be a little piece of heaven. There were only about 5 other people there so it was pretty much a beach to ourselves.
red stripe beach jamaica (2)

They also had a DJ,
red stripe beach jamaica (7)

so it was party time as you got us up and dancing, much to the amusement of all involved.
red stripe beach jamaica (8)

All to soon it was time to go back to the real world, so we waved goodbye to our new friends and hopped on the shuttle… Farewell till next time!
red stripe beach jamaica (5)

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2014 in Cruise, Cruise Ship, Travel

 

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Horse Ride and Swim…. Jamaican Style

Jamaica Bound

One of my favorite stops was Jamaica, and we were only there every 2 weeks. We had fabulous excursions there and I got to go on a number of them, from Bobsledding to Climbing Waterfalls. Finally, I got to go on the Horseback Ride AND Swim. The basic premise was you go for a ride and then the saddle is removed and you take a “swim” with the horse, in other words ride the horse out into the ocean.

Now, unfortunately, the location of the Chukka Ride and Swim corral is in Montego Bay, about an hours drive away from the Falmouth cruise port. On this particular trip I got the chance to sit in the co-pilot seat next to the driver…. I became rather religious during this trip as, let’s just say, they drive with enthusiasm in Jamaica.

the bay at Chukka

the bay at Chukka

The RIDE Section

When you first arrive you have to put all your bags and such in lockers (that cost $5 each – I just stored my stuff in the bus). Then you are sized for a helmet and sent to be sized for a horse. Once they call you to your horse you are sent to walk in circles while waiting for everyone else. Now if you had a group of 10 that would be about 15min, but we had a group of 50 and we walked in circles for about 30min… Not that pleasant in the scorching Jamaican sun. Finally we are all saddled and we could head out on the trail.
Jamaica horse and ride through Chukka (2)

The trail was beautiful, about an hour through the surrounding coastal trees. Unfortunately it was a very sedate pace and I did find myself nodding off.
Jamaica horse and ride through Chukka (8)

We were not allowed to pass and when my horse got a little too close to the one in front…it tried to kick me. Luckily it’s hoof hit the stirrup, otherwise I might have had a rather large bruise…
Jamaica horse and ride through Chukka (13)

But the ride was still enjoyable, especially for those who were new to riding.

Just Keep Swimming…..

At the end of our hour ride, all of us hot and sweaty and looking forward to the swim, we were separated into groups of 15. The rest of the group relaxed in the shade drinking red stripe beer and snacking on delicious jerk chicken ($10 for a plate). I was in the first group and excitedly stripped to my swimsuit, put on my floaty belt thing and waited for my horse allocation. Not all the horses swam, so you were not guaranteed to get the same horse as the ride part.

When I was called and climbed onto my horse…. oh my lordy! I think they gave me the thinnest horse. Usually I have an issue with my short legs barely able to reach the stirrups and go around the horse’s middle. With only a saddle pad (all you get between you and the horse) it felt like I was attempting to balance on a fence post… that walked!

balancing act

balancing act

The swim section was soooooo much fun!!!! we got to “gallop” in the water and just whoop it up. It was refreshing and cool and just a whole lot of fun. Once you are in the water balancing on the horse is also much easier.
horse ride and swim Jamaica (1)
horse ride and swim Jamaica (3)

Jamaica vs Puerto Rico Horse Rides

Of the two I would say horse riding in Puerto Rico was more fun. Through the jungle, along a river, stunning. Staying in one line is not as important and you also get to gallop on occasion if you want to. However, there isn’t an ocean swim… which made the Jamaican ride well worth it.
horse ride and swim Jamaica (2)

Let’s go swimming again, that was awesome!!!!!

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2014 in Cruise, Cruise Ship, Travel

 

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