On arrival, I gasped at the view from the terrace, overlooking the Crow Mountains and the Rio Grande river, it was absolutely breath taking. I photographed it a dozen times at different times of the day. Yes, I did get up at 5.30! it was misty and moody and magical.
The east coast is absolutely stunning. Wilder and less touristy than all the rest of Jamaica, it has gorgeous sandy bays that you can actually visit without big hotels having grabbed and privatised them like so many on the north coast. Some of them come at a price but they are clean, safe and very beautiful. Actually, Jamaica comes at a price, full stop. The East coast is probably one of the least expensive areas to visit providing you have a good map, use GPS where possible and keep asking the locals directions and information.
I photographed the beaches, the road side huts, the incredible scenery, the town of Port Antonio and the Errol Flynn Marina. Did I wish that I had brought more equipment? Of course! A 600mm lens would have been good for the birds! A lot of small cameras offer you almost that possibility but I can’t vouch for the quality.
On our way to Ocho Rios, a mega tourist destination and one that I was the most reticent about, but it’s on the James Bond movie trail so it was a must see, we stopped at Oracabessa to visit the James Bond Beach which offered good snorkelling and a couple of pictures. It is so called, as Ian Fleming built his house there called Goldeneye, hence the Bond reference.
I don’t ‘Do’ tourist things or stay in tourist places but I wanted to do the number one most touristy thing in the whole of Jamaica, visit Dunns River Falls in the morning, the minute it opened! We had it almost to ourselves for about half an hour and then the hoards arrived. We walked up through the falls which was actually very easy (you do not need a guide, just follow everyone else!). There was a wedding couple in full attireposing in the water for a photographer, which everyone stopped to snap too. Our Airbnb at the Sandcastles had free access to a crystal clear fairly empty private beach which was pretty nice too, and Evita’s Italian restaurant was probably the best meal we had in Jamaica.
As I downloaded the last of the pictures I realised that I didn’t have too many street scenes or architectural shots, so we decided to go on to Falmouth, an old colonial town before hitting Montego Bay, the final early Bond destination. Falmouth, Montego Bay, Negril and Treasure Beach coming next!