THINGS TO DO WHEN NOT PARTYING
A reggae holiday is all about reggae shows and parties but there are going to be these in-between-party moments where you’ll be doing something else. Here’s a few activities that we find enjoyable when not partying.
holding a vibes
When you ask a Jamaican what is he doing at the moment he will certainly not say 'nothing'. Instead he might say 'me a hold a vibes pon di corner'. What that actually means is, well..., doing nothing, but in a very positive and social manner. Holding a vibes or holding a meds is one of our favorite things to do in Jamaica when we're not partying. It involves sitting in a bar, on a street corner or on the beach. It involves drinking and smoking if that's your thing, and it involves talking to the locals. Sounds basic, but it's a very interesting social activity. We'd say it beats going to a museum anytime.
A more active form of holding a vibes is exploring a town or community. Walk around and explore the surroundings or take a taxi to a nearby town and spend the day there. Visit bars, restaurants, street corners and walk the downtown streets. You'll be amazed at what can happen. Jamaican people, especially in communities that do not see many tourists (and there are lots of those) are always happy when you visit. They are proud of where they live and very much willing to show you a good time. Jamaicans are really good natured people. Just use your common sense, do not be too stingy when it comes to buying people some drinks or even handing out some dollars here and there. Official tour guides cost money too, right? Spread the love.
Reggaetourist loves swimming. If you are anywhere near the coastline, head for the sea. Lots of stretches of beach in Jamaica are fenced off and are a part of big hotels, or they are private beaches where you pay an entrance fee to get in. You can surely have a good time there, they have facilities like beach chairs and showers. We prefer public beaches though. Not because they are free (they are) but because you'll find local Jamaican people there and will have a good time interacting with them. Our favorite beaches are definitely Winnifred beach in Fairy Hill (Portland parish, not too far from Port Antonio) and Hellshire Beach in Portmore (not far from Kingston). We're just mentioning these but there are of course lots more fun beaches anywhere along the coastline.
A different take on swimming is river swimming. Spending some time at the banks of a river is totally different from beach time. River swimming cools you down and is very relaxing. There is an abundance of rivers in Jamaica and there will be one close to where you are. Ask around. Talk to the locals or the taxi man.
Jamaican food is a feast. Read all about it in our food section.
Let’s face it, we all need our rest. When you are on a party spree, let’s say a week of visiting Kingston’s weekly party sessions and thus going out untill 5 a.m. for days on end, there is simply nothing else to do but some serious sleeping during the day. Don’t ignore this reality but give in to it. Get out of bed when awake, eat something, build a spliff if that’s your thing or have a drink, turn on the radio, and go to bed again. No stress.