We had a great time in Ocho Rios, Jamaica but I am so glad that the trip home is over. Gah…never book a trip without really looking at the flight itinerary. I failed to notice that we had two stops and one was a 6 hour layover in Miami. This was the same both going to Jamaica and returning so we had to get up at 1am to be in the lobby by 2am to leave by car for the hour and a half drive to the airport in Montego Bay for a flight that left at 7am. We got into Wichita at 11pm and fell into bed at about midnight. Never. Again…I will read the dang itinerary before agreeing! My fault, not theirs.
I’m going to start off with the end of the trip instead of the beginning so please bear with me as you will understand why shortly.
First off I want to state that I absolutely love Sandals resorts. This is the second time we have stayed at one of their Jamaican resorts and Ocho Rios was just as fantastic as the Montego Bay resort was two years ago when we last went to Jamaica. All of the staff are warm and friendly, extremely thoughtful as well as helpful and this is not because they are waiting on tips, Sandals resorts only allows tipping for the butler services, not the rest of the staff so there is no extra financial incentive for them to be so great.
If you book like we did when they run a special, you can get a great room for a reasonable rate considering it is an all-inclusive resort and you pay nothing extra for food (fantastic) or booze (plentiful and top of the line) and they have great maid service, drivers, porters, desk help, etc. all there to make your stay as enjoyable as it can be.
This last Monday, we had an excursion to do the Blue Mountain Bicycle Tour. Now the Blue Mountain is where the best Jamaican coffee is grown and Hubby absolutely adores this coffee though we can’t afford it unless we purchase it in Jamaica where it goes for about $15/lb as opposed to around $50-$80/lb online which is the only way to get it in America.
The trip from Ocho Rios is about 2 hours or so and you get to see a lot of the country. Jamaica is only 145 miles long and 51 miles wide so you can get anywhere in a short amount of time.
Here are some of the pictures from the trip to Blue Mountain:
Now we get up the mountain and let me tell you this is an experience. Back roads in Jamaica are one lane – 2 way traffic and they are narrow as hell. Jamaican drivers use the car horn constantly to warn on coming traffic that they are coming. Sometimes the tour bus and the small cars we passed had only a few inches between them which is a bit scary because the drivers are so used to this that they still drive remarkably fast for the terrain yet don’t have fender-benders very often.
Now this is the incline and the width of the road on the mountain and is what we are riding bicycles downhill on. Yep, Princess of Klutz thinks she can ride a pedal brake only bicycle down this incline.
NOT!!! But of course, I tried.
Before we start downhill:
We are actually at the very end of the pack when we start rolling downhill. I find myself going way too fast and attempt to slow down. Not happening. I see a hand brake on the bike and try it…nada. Try pedal brakes….nada.
I now have two choices, go left and go off the cliff or go right into the side of the mountain. I chose the mountain. Of course a guy stops his bike just before I start toward the mountain and he winds up right in my path. I hit him then continue into the ditch/side of the mountain. He is a bit pissed off but really unhurt thank goodness. Me on the other hand? Not so lucky.
My wrist connects with rock and my chest and leg connect with the bike. Hubby and one of the tour guides immediately pull me up and my (of course) right hand now swells up about three times normal size in less than 60 seconds which makes everyone immediately say “OMG! it’s broken!”
This happens about noon and needless to say, we did not finish the rest of the tour. Blue Mountain Tours was fantastic though. They got me to the nearest ER which was an experience in itself. Don’t bitch about health care here in the USA because I sat in the “waiting room” which was outside with the chickens. They were incredibly busy so they drove me back to Ocho Rios and took me to a private doctor and that office was very clean with friendly staff but they had extremely old equipment and set ups.
I am glad and thankful to say I did not break anything even though the doctor I saw even thought I did until he read the x-rays. Just a very, very nasty sprain and bruises on my chest, leg and hip.
These are the pics from when we got back to the resort.
I have nothing but great things to say about both Blue Mountain Tours and Sandals and their treatment of me after my wreck. The tour company paid for all my medical bills, refunded the tour and checked up on me until we left to come home. Sandals gave us room service for the rest of our stay and they had a jitney available whenever we needed one so I didn’t have to walk that far for anything. They had their nurse checking in on me as well as various staff throughout the day.
They did not have to do this because I signed a waiver before getting on the bicycle and I took my chances. Like an idiot, I should have known that a 54yr old, fat klutz that hasn’t been on a bicycle in years, should not have attempted this tour. But I did and I suffered the consequences. I was just very impressed with how genuinely concerned that the staff at both the Blue Mountain Tours and Sandals were about me.
I am doing better but still battered and bruised. Of course since I am right handed that is the one I injured so it has been logistically a nightmare since I am very right dominate and can’t do much left handed. Doctor said it will probably take 2-3 weeks for it to completely heal but I am just thankful it isn’t broken.
I have lots more pictures and more to tell you about the trip and will post more on Monday. Until then I am resting and hopefully healing. Stay tuned for more.
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