I’m back in Jamaica for a month for the Reggae Marathon, and to scout hotels for the SEO copywriting training seminar (which I’ll be doing next week and will announce in early December when I get back home).
I usually spend the bulk of my time in Negril when I come to Jamaica, only leaving for a few days at a time to go to the mineral springs in the Blue Mountains.
This time though, I got out of Negril for 7 days, spending time in Ocho Rios (or “Ochi” as Jamaicans call it); Port Antonio and of course, the mineral springs. (Note: Access all posts in the Living in Negril series at the bottom of this page).
In the map of Jamaica below (click for larger view), I’ve circled the places I spent time in (in red). The green line is the route we took this time. I’ve been to all 14 parishes (a parish is like a “state” in the U.S.) in Jamaica.
The orange line shows the route we usually take to the Blue Mountains, leaving Negril and heading thru Savanna-la-Mar, etc. (Sav, as the locals say), then to the Blue Mountains and back down the other side, coming thru Montego Bay to wind up back in Negril.
This time, we only traversed half the island (leaving Negril and going the other direction — to Montego Bay, etc. first). Not travelling the entire island on this occasion was nice because I got to actually SEE some stuff, not just pass thru.
Editor Note: This series is seeking a sponsor (eg, airline, phone company, travel firm, luggage seller, etc.). If interested, send email via “Contact” page and let’s discuss. Access links to every post in this series at the end of this page. Enjoy!
Tourist Attraction: My Day at Columbus Park in Discovery Bay in Jamaica
One of the first stops my friend and I made was Columbus Park (Discovery Bay in St. Ann’s). It’s a small, open-air museum. Totally free to enter – it literally just pops up on the side of the road and overlooks the sea. Gorgeous view, great for taking pictures, so if you go, make sure your camera battery is charged, ok?
Following are some links to some pics and some of what I learned there (Note: click all photos for larger views).
Mural at Front of Park: Gorgeous!
Jamaica in 1494: Caption says — Jamaica in 1494: A botanical investigation of 1956 revealed that the enclosed area, undisturbed for centuries because of its inaccessibility and its rocky soil, had preserved the indigenous plant life as I must have appeared in 1494 in which year Christopher Columbus is believed to have sailed into the nearby harbour now known as Discovery Bay.
What I Learned about the “Banana Boat” Song: Know the “Banana Boat” song sung by Harry Belafonte in the 50’s? Well, it was originally a Jamaican folk song. Part of the lyrics go “Come mister tally man, tally me banana …”
Well this is a shot of a “Tally machine”. This park is full of the industrial machinery dating back from that time — from the 1600’s and beyond. I was amazed at how much machinery was used during this time — and how “developed” it was. There were machines for shucking corn — and a whole bunch more I forgot and couldn’t explain. Even though the park is small, it’s very interesting walking around seeing everything — especially when you’re with a local who acts as a knowledgeable tour guide.
Speaking of . . .
Tip the Helper: The gentlemen in the white shirt acted as our guide around the park for abt 20 mins. He also generously took photos of us. I gave him $300J (about $4 U.S.) for his time. FYI, if you’re ever in Jamaica at a tourist spot, this is standard practice (for a local to act as a guide with the understanding that you will tip them for their time).
The Tally: I’ll never be able to hear the Banana Boat song again without thinking of this sign and that machine.
Me in “Jail”: Inside the “Tally”. It felt like jail . . . I would not be a good prisoner. Even for the few seconds I was in there I got claustrophobic and couldn’t wait to get out. Yep, enough to keep me on the straight and narrow!
Logwood Scale: Sign says, “This scale was located at Pantrepant in the Parish of Trelawny. It was used to weigh logwood, which was used extensively as dyestuff from the 16th century and was among Jamaica’s prime exports from that time until the 1930’s. Logwood dye gives a beautiful black on wool, nylon, silk and rayon. Enhancement of the colour value of the wood depends on oxidation and there was a time when pretreatment for that purpose was achieved by frequent urination on stacks of chips for periods of up to a few months.”
Coffee Machine: The sign says — Coffee Pulper: Used to extract coffee bean prior to drying.
Locomotive: Sign says — Planet Locomotive: Equipped with a horizontally opposed 4-cylinder, 2 stroke 20 hp diesel engine was last in operation at some estate (couldn’t make out the name). It was used to haul sugar cane from field to factory and was capable of a maximum load pulling capaciy of 60 tons. It was taken out of service in 1960 and is estimated to have hauled 4,000,000 tons of cane.
Shipping Out! On the “bow” of this partial ship at Columbus Park. It was a gorgeous day to experience this — the weather couldn’t have been more beautiful.
So Much to See: There’s so much interesting stuff to see at Columbus Park. Even my friend, who’s a Jamaican and has been here many times, had a great time reading about these artifacts.
The Ever Beautiful Caribbean Sea: Shot from the bow of the partial ship.
Cross: I just loved the serenity of this shot. It reminded me of God (or whomever your creator is) watching over his beautiful creation — that blue, blue ocean. Yes, it REALLY is that blue and beautiful.
Overview of Park: Again, it’s a small park, but incredibly beautiful with some amazing artifacts.
Incredible View: Just another gorgeous view to enjoy (shot taken from front of park overlooking the sea).
On the Road Again: It was a gorgeous day to be travelling by car.
FYI, we were only at the park about half an hour. It’s a nice place to stop and have lunch (that you bring with you cuz there’s no food there) and relax in the shade for a bit before hitting the road again.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this entry – and learned something. It’s one of the reasons I love travelling – IMO, it’s an education unlike no other.
Now, time to go work off some of those Thanksgiving rum punches — gonna get my workout on!
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