Monday, June 24, 2013


Although it's my last night here as I write this, I've decided to hold off a final sum up of my time in Jamaica until tomorrow, probably when I'm in Miami, to give it a bit of time to sink in. This means, of course, that I need something else to write about. Thankfully I've had a blast over the last four days in Montego Bay and it's supplied me with a whole swag of stuff.

My arrival in Montego was pretty standard, although I got more of a sense of scale of the place this time, I also saw a massive cruise ship which was pretty impressive and gave an idea of the numbers of people that must pass through there. Of Montego Bay town itself I didn't actually end up seeing a lot. The place where I was staying was a little bit out of the main town but this, as with the Judy House in Negril,  made it so much better.

The Bird's Nest

On the bus ride from Negril to Montego Bay I had been thinking a bit about my plan to see Ocho Rios and the accommodation I had booked there. It was going to cost me a fair bit, almost twice what I was paying in Montego Bay, and for all I knew it could just be me staying there by myself. The hostel in Montego Bay had at least one person staying there (Susanna, a Swedish girl I had met in Negril) and I was actually craving a bit of hostel time, as it was the first time I've had the chance to do so alone since I left Perth. As I result I starting thinking more and more about just staying in Montego Bay for four days and chilling out.

When I first got to the hostel I pretty well immediately decided that this would be a good idea. It had its own pool, a fair few guests (who were all really nice) and the first Australians I'd seen in nearly 3 months, surprisingly enough (although that wasn't the reason I decided to stay). So once I'd settled into my room, where my top bunk had the most amazing view, I wandered down to the nearby supermakret to buy supplies for the next four days. It was actually bizarrely exciting buying things to cook for myself for the first time in 3 months, although perhaps my shopping list (baked beans, bammies, 2 minute noodles, rum and assorted snack foods) could have been a little more highbrow.  For the rest of the day I chilled out, chatted with the other guests, had a few drinks, read a book, swam and enjoyed my dinner of bammies with baked beans (I should point out that bammies are small dumplings made from cassava that can be fried or boiled).

Some of the crew at the Bird's Nest

The next day I had absolutely nothing planned except to do whatever came to me. After breakfast the owner offered to take me to the beach where she and a couple of guests would be kitesurfing, so I tagged along with the intention of chilling out at the beach, reading, writing and whatever else took my fancy. It turned out to be a wonderful day, there was a really nice little bar where I spent the day chilling out in the shade and doing precisely what I'd intended.

Friday was set to be something of a different beast. Susanna had informed us that Friday would be midsummer, which is apparently a really big holiday in Sweden. As a result we all decided that we should have our own midsummer party at the hostel. Although we were short on a number of midsummer essentials (schnapps and strawberry cakes) we made up for it with our stick-to-itiveness, senses of humour and rum. Later on after partying heartily in the hostel we headed to the famous club Pier 1 and continued the party there. The following picture may give some idea of the kind of night it was.

Saturday was my last night and after the escapades of the previous evening I had planned to take it pretty easy. On the advice of Jordan I had made plans to check out the jerk restaurant Scotchies, and Saturday night seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so. We got there pretty easily and the food was actually quite affordable, I had been expecting it to be a bit pricier as it was a pretty touristed place, but the prices were comparable to Boston. I had some jerk pork, festivals, sweet potato and roast breadfruit, all washed down with a red stripe.

Dinner at Scotchies

Once again, things took a turn for the worse. It was soon revealed that we still had a goodly amount of rum left over from the night before, also that a whole load of new people had arrived in the hostel and wanted to party. The same group of people were also handing out free shots. This night was not as out of control of the night before, although it did offer some of my favourite memories of my time at the Bird's Nest.

I was slighlty less than impressed at my choices the previous evening when I woke up and had to start packing and check out. This increased to extremely unimpressed when I had to start carrying my pack down to the main road in the blazing heat. Here, however, I had a real stroke of luck. A guy was driving past in a massive truck and asked if I needed a lift to Montego Bay, I gratefully accepted and arrived a head of schedule at the busport, all the while in air conditioned comfort. To top it off when I pulled out money to pay the guy, he didn't want any! A nice little send off from Montego Bay I thought.

Last night was very subdued, just having one last night with everyone in Boston and doing some reminiscing. Tomorrow I fly out so tonight I think I'm just going to take it easy and get an early nights sleep. I'll finish off with this mix that I've been hearing all over Jamaica at the moment, its by that guy I posted about a bit earlier on, Chronixx. Enjoy!


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