This is Jamaica.
It’s 90 miles south of Cuba, which is 90 miles south of Florida. It takes 3 hours and 20 minutes to fly from JFK airport to Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport.
Here’s a closer look.
And even closer….
I am here:
….in Kingston. Jamaica has 14 parishes. The 14 parishes are Kingston, St. Andrew, St. Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester, St. Elizabeth, Westmoreland, Hanover, St. James, Trelawny, St. Ann, St. Mary, Portland, St Thomas and as often happens, I’ve only visited about three of the 14 parishes while growing up here.
So, here’s the plan. The goal on this long-overdue trip is to visit all of Jamaica’s 14 parishes during the 18 days we’re here! For that, we’ll need a car of our own!
DAY 1 RECAP: Tuesday, April 23, 2013
On the first day, after much careful cogitation, we decided our plan would be to “head west!” So, we gassed up the car with $1,000 of unleaded. Gas in JA is currently about $120J per litre.
…and we drove from (1)ST. ANDREW, into (2)ST. CATHERINE (where we passed through Spanish Town, Old Harbor, May pen), and then, as we passed into (3)CLARENDON, we saw a sign.
“Hey, look! That sign says ‘Milk River Hotel & Spa’ is that way!” Ron exclaimed.
“Cool! Let’s go!” Walt replied.
And that’s the story of how we ended up at the world famous Milk River Hotel & Spa!
(Well, there’s also the part of the story where we almost run out of gas in the middle of nowhere with not a gas station within immediate sight or recent memory, and having school guard, Sherlene Campbell, help us out, but, um, I’ll leave that part out for another episode!)
Milk River is a hot spring over which a spa has been built. The spring’s water is captured and flows unfiltere and untreated continuously into tile baths. It’s reputed to have tremendous therapeutic effects. We opted to get our own separate rooms to enjoy a 15 minute immersion in the healing waters. ($400J)
The water from the spring flows continuously through these bath houses.
After the bath, the security guard showed us where the spring flows out from the spa into the river
and was nice enough to take us to another open spring nearby. Local residents catch the water for home use, including drinking. (But drink too much and it will “operate” you! In other words, you’ll be running to the bathroom for a bit!)
We left Milk River at exactly 4pm, headed back to Kingston on Jamaica’s new highway, and made the 145km trip back in an hour and a half.
Ron got a pattie while we were gassing up the car in Milk River. However, by the time we got back home, it was too late in the day for me to eat. No worries. I’ll just grab a meal tomorrow.