Jamaica is a beautiful country full of beautiful people. We were more than a little excited to see it on our cruise itinerary. From the gorgeous stretches of white sand and turquoise waters to the luscious green landscape, it was a view of paradise, that’s for sure.
Our desire for this trip, beyond the time away as just a couple, was for a little bit of adventure and a lot of relaxing. We made sure to choose our port excursions accordingly, leaving a little time for both. In Jamaica, we had the amazing opportunity to trek over to Mystic Mountain, overlooking the incredibly beautiful Ocho Rios.
Our adventure began with a beautiful and relaxing gondola ride up the mountain. Well, I should say it was only really relaxing for me. My hubby may or may not have an unquestionable fear of wind that left him a little short of breath (and not just because of the views). It was all I could do to get him to release his vice grip on the bar to put his arm around me for a picture, haha!
Once at the top, our tour guide led us to the Bobsled ride. Made to celebrate the historical Jamaican Bobsled team (you’ve seen Cool Runnings, right?) is this heart-racing roller coaster, of sorts. When I read the description online, I assumed it would be rather tame, complete with a hand brake to control your own speed. For my husband who is terrified of roller coasters, I thought this would be a great compromise.
I put him in the front car and in control of the break and planned for a nice leisurely ride down the mountain. Ooooor not so much… I completely underestimated the speed of this baby, to say the least! It was quite the adrenaline rush, and there was nothing we could do to stop it! That hand brake was kind of a joke. Thankfully, at the end of it my husband informed me that he rather enjoyed the ride, even if the hand brake was simply giving him the illusion of control. So…he still loves me and all is well.
After our heart rate returned to normal, we had a little time to kill as we waited for our next adventure. We enjoyed an incredible lunch at the mountain top restaurant, complete with fried plantains, my new favorite food!
Although we would have loved a little time in the infinity pool, we wanted to make sure we got back to the port on time for a little shopping, so I settled for some pictures overlooking the beautiful Ocho Rios.
We also enjoyed a little time exploring the small, yet stunning Hummingbird Garden. Hummingbirds are a national symbol there in Jamaica, and it was especially beautiful to see them in their natural environment.
Next up was tackling my fear of heights by zip-lining halfway down the mountain. Yep, I’ve officially lost it. Buuuuut, I figured if my husband was willing to put his fear of roller coasters aside for my enjoyment, then I should probably do the same for him.
After guzzling two bottles of water to prevent dehydration in the tropical humidity my body is soooo not used to, the Jamaican Hercules (as my husband called him) strapped me into my harness. I’m not sure if it was all that water or my fear of the inevitable that made me feel as if my bladder was going to explode. But there was no time for those type of details because before we knew it they were hooking me up to the zip-line and giving me a push…
Despite my entire body shaking uncontrollably, I have to admit it wasn’t as terrifying as I expected it to be. Each time got a little easier and I could feel myself relax more and more.
That was, until about our fifth zip-line. We ended on a tree top, all standing on a wobbly platform and linked on a ginormous hook on the tree (you know, in case the platform gives way…”no problem, ‘mon!”). I didn’t see the other zip-line until my husband pointed out that it started on that tree about 25 feet away. It was then that I realized that there was in fact a problem. The only way to get to that tree was to let them drop me 30 feet off the side of this platform, and walk across a wobbly rope bridge. And since there’s no way to go up a zip-line, there was no way out! My husband laughed as they slowly pushed me out over the edge and let go of the rope. Although it was a mere 30 seconds later that I was in the arms of some muscular Jamaican man, my stomach was left at the top and I was pretty sure that my legs no longer worked. But even after he slowly got me on my feet, I still had to move those shaking legs across that bridge.
After the last zip-line, we were able to hop on the gondola for a leisurely ride down. It was also a lot less windy by this point in the afternoon so we both enjoyed it this time. We ended up having to wait quite a while for the rest of our travel group and learned the hard way that its way more fun to have people wait for you. So next time? Yeah, we’ll do the pool. Haha!
We did make it back to the port in time for a little shopping, however it was quite rushed and we didn’t get as many souvenirs as we had hoped for our kids. But it was only the first port so we didn’t stress ourselves out about it. And we didn’t forget to order up some Jamaican Jerk Chicken before jumping aboard again.
Oh Jamaica, we will miss you and your laid back lifestyle! Hopefully next time we can stay for longer!
Did you know that I’m on Instagram? For some reason people are still surprised when I tell them this. You can get sneak peeks to blog posts and see some awesome pics of my kids all in the same spot. And don’t forget to come check out all my vacation pics under this hashtag:
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