Monday and Tuesday in Mobay
I’m not going to talk about Monday because it was raining all day. Lets call it a day of rest. Tuesday the weather cleared up and we got sun in the afternoon. We spent our afternoon at Mahogany Beach, a nice little beach. Now and then Ochie’s party boats arrive to let off drunk tourists. It’s a sight. We decided to move on to Negril tomorrow. No party tonight, just rest. We have to make sure we still have energy when we reach Kingston for the serious work. Plus tomorrow is a day of traveling.
tRAVELING ON Wednesday
Off to Negril today, some 150 kilometers from Ochie. You can travel in comfort and style by taking the Knutsford Express, a coach bus that will take you straight to Negril in three hours. The Knutsford has AC and a toilet on board but it’s a very boring trip. We’ll be travelling the local way: a coaster to Mobay, a coaster to Lucea and a taxi to Negril. Great ride to Mobay, the bus is not too crowded and the driver is experienced and doesn’t speed. Reggae music playing off course. I like this way of travelling all for itself: you kick back, listen to reggae or dancehall and watch the beautifulJamaican scenery pass by as you gaze out the window. Kinda lost track of time but I guess it was a two hour ride.
When we reached the bus park in Mobay we went straight downtown. We know of this nice bar there with a great soupie next to it so I had a beer and a conch soup. One of the best on the island. Cindy had a huge ital plate at the Ital restaurant on Barnett Street.
Back to the bus park. At a bus park people will approach you, just tell them what you need (‘bus to Lucea’) and they will tell you which ride to get on. Our bus was empty when we took a seat but it filled up quite fast, I guess we waited 25 minutes before we left.
In Lucea we took a taxi to Negril. These are the per person fares: first ride JMD 500, second ride JMD 250, third ride JMD 250. Plus: we carried our backback so you need to buy one seat for that if it really takes up one seat and you cannot carry it on you. The entire trip was JMD 2500 for the both of us. That’s exactly half of what we would have payed on the Knutsford Express. Check my Moving Around section on reggaetourist.com for more information on how to travel the island.
Negril is different from the rest of Jamaica. Seven Mile Beach is of course the place where you see the most tourists. So there is more hustling and touristic pitches. Very different from the rest of Jamaica indeed but me like the vibes still. We went to our favorite bar on the beach (where a beer costs JMD 170) and spent the rest of the evening there.
Thursday at the blue hole
Today we got up and went straight for two huge cups of the famous Blue Mountain coffee. Hard to find on the island, Negril is the place to be for great coffee. Had a traditional Jamaican breakfast, one beer at the beach bar. Today we’re going to the Blue Hole. There’s a famous Blue Hole in Lodge not far from Ochie, but there is a lesser know Blue Hole in Brighton, not far from Negril. The Hole itself is a natural spring you can jump into. It’s a 22 feet deep dive. I jumped. It’s excillerating. The staff at the Blue Hole is just wonderful. It’s a group of young people who treat visitors with great respect. They tell you how to jump, you can get a natural scrub, there’s a bar with reggae playing.
The pool at the site is actually filled with the natural spring water every other three days and it’s a great swim. Above all, this is a very comfortable, cool , quiet and easygoing place to kick back. To get there you need two modes of transportation. First you have to walk to the Negril Bus park and get a taxi to Negril Point (JMD 150) and at the Point there are bike taxi’s waiting to take you straight to the blue hole for anywhere between JMD 200 and 500 depending on how you bargain. It’s a great ride amidst wonderful nature. The bike taxi drivers are very experienced and do not drive fast. Take a phone number from a driver, you’ll be going back right? The Blue Hole is great, it’s off the beaten track, you should go there.
Walking to the bus park we saw that there is a reason after all to stay for another day. We already knew Etana was performing today on the beach but decided not to got to that show. But then we saw a billboard for Bounty Killer and decided to go there tomorrow. Negril shows are more touristically oriented and tickets are more expensive (Etana is USD 25, the Bounty Show is USD 12), but I’ll tell you about that in the next episode of my travel blog.
When we left the Blue Hole we went out looking for a man we stayed with for a couple of days four years ago. We found him at his place right by the rocky coast of Brighton. Surprisingly, we also found Kristof, a friend from Belgium. He had been staying on the island for two months. It was good seeing him and he took us out to eat and drink. Later on, he called us a bike taxi to start heading home again. We ended the night in our little bar on the beach.