Travel Tale No. 4 -
Jamaica's Reggae and Rum Up
I visited Jamaica, a favorite spot for honeymooners, for a few days to bask in
the sun at the Grand Lido Braco Resort & Spa. They put on a week-long
extravaganza with fire-eaters, jugglers, fortune tellers and pirates in
colorful costumes. The cuisine was exquisitely displayed in fruit trays of
works of art, with delicious suckling pig, red snapper, conch, and lobsters
caught from local waters, grilled and splattered with lime. Dance 'till the
wee hours with their signature music: reggae while learning outrageous dance
moves, then relax on their beautiful beach with an Appleton rum drink.
over to the Grand Lido Braco's town square and talk to the vendors selling
mint balls, gimberline wine, Black Mountain coffee, Wassi art and interesting
wood carvings with intricate designs. Don't miss the Village Fiesta Street
party all around Victoria Market Square. This resort also offers excursions on
inner tubes down the refreshing White River, or plan a visit to the Bob Marley
Museum; the essence of Jamaican culture.
island in the Caribbean Sea, south of Cuba, is smaller than Connecticut, with
a population of about 2,731,832. Unfortunately, their deteriorating economic
conditions during the 1970s produced recurrent violence and led to a
considerable drop off in tourism. Elections in 1980 saw the democratic
socialists voted out of office. Their coastal waters are polluted by
industrial waste, sewage and oil spills which have damaged their coral reefs,
and air pollution is heavy in Kingston from vehicle emissions.
Their hurricane season starts in July and lasts to
November. English and Patois English are spoken. They have about 61% of
Protestants, 4% Roman Catholic, and over 35% of different spiritual cults.
Their legal system is based on English common law. Jamaica gained its
independence from the British Commonwealth in 1962.
Jamaican economy is heavily dependent on services and its foreign exchange is
derived from tourism and remittances. They export sugar, bananas, rum, coffee,
yams, and wearing apparel. Colombian narcotics traffickers favor Jamaica for
illicit financial transactions, and it is a major transshipment point for
cocaine from South America to North America and Europe.
If planning on going make sure you book through a travel
agency and stay well within the hotel compounds. Ocho Rios and Montego Bay
areas are still favorite places to play in the sun, but a good time to go
would be in October during their annual "Best of Jamaica" event at the Four
Diamond Grand Lido Braco Resort & Spa in Trelawny on Jamaica's north coast, to
party every day.