When my friend Francine told me that she wanted to climb Dunn’s River Falls for her birthday I could not resist this unique way of celebrating her birthday. The week leading up to it we were a bit worried because our friend who was driving wouldn’t be able to make the trip but we decided to hop a bus & turn the trip into a full on adventure.
I think adventure should be my legal middle name lol.
We headed downtown to the bus park on a bustling Saturday morning to catch a bus to Ocho Rios. We were unpleasantly surprised to find only one bus with only smaller “middle” seats available & we were not about to endure that drama. One of the vendors in the bus park told us our best bet was to take a bus to Spanish Town because the next bus to Ocho Rios wouldn’t arrive until 1 PM…this was at 10:30 AM.
We followed our better judgement & headed to Spanish Town on a coaster. That bus ride was a trip…I felt like I walked into a moving street dance lol. I really wanted to vlog that experience but I wasn’t too keen on pulling out a camera in a crowded bus because vlogging is still a new phenomena here.
As soon as we got to Spain (local term for Spanish Town) we boarded a bus to Ocho Rios in no time & we were off. The journey wasn’t so bad. The opening of the new highway has redirected a lot of the traffic that usually traversed the Mount Rosser route. This made getting up Mount Rosser a breeze!
When we got to the bus park, we inquired from a taxi man what would be the best mode of transport to our destination & he suggested a St. Ann’s Bay taxi. For only $150 JMD per passenger the driver dropped us off at the entrance to the park.
To say the park was full was an understatement. The bus parking lot alone was filled with many school, charter & church buses, so we assumed the park would be full. We had a bit of a wait in the line but once we got to the window it wasn’t too bad. We paid $600 (we had to present a National ID, Work ID or Driver’s License) which is the local price & rented a locker for $1800. It was also very easy to pay by cash or credit/debit card.
After we got dressed, we applied some sunscreen, stowed our bags & headed off to begin our climbing expedition.
We had to make the down hill trek to the beach in order to begin the ascent. Along the way there were numerous spots where we could take pictures such as the Banyan Deck (named in honour of the Banyan Tree growing near it).
The walk to the beach was good. We were passed by many locals & tourists who seemed to have been enjoying their beach day.
The beach was packed with people, which was no surprise because of the amount of vehicles we saw in the parking lot. We took a little dip & even made a new friend from Florida.
It took us about an hour to climb the falls because we made quite a few stops on the climb. We sat & just talked about life while admiring the beauty of the falls.
By the time we got to the top of the falls I felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.
After we changed we decided to take a little stroll around the Tranquility Garden at the park.
We passed the Tranquility Garden on our way down to the falls after we entered the park. It is a nice area for just relaxing or picnicking above the falls. The river actually flows through the garden giving it a truly tranquil appeal.
For more information on Dunn’s River Falls & Park check out their website here.
Getting back to Ocho Rios was easy as soon as we exited the park we were able to catch a taxi. We got off the taxi at Island Village & headed to Margaritaville for drinks.
If the crowd at Dunn’s River Falls had me doubting whether it was really summer, the crowd at a Margaritaville removed it completely. The bar was full, the restaurant was full, the pool was full & so was the beach.We waited a long time to get served our drinks which was a bit of a disappointment, we figured that if drinks took this long maybe the wait for the food would be worst so we decided to grab food elsewhere. My pina colada was excellent none the less. It was the BEST one I’ve ever had in my life.
We stopped at Scoops for some ice cream then headed to Sakura for some food before boarding a bus home.
It was another #DryLandTouristChronicles adventure for the history books. I have a vlog of our adventure which I hope I will be able to post soon (my computer died 2 weeks ago).
We encountered so many warm, helpful & delightful characters along the way. At no time during the trip were we even given a second to get mad My fellow countrymen never cease to amaze me with their wit & charm.
Sometimes you just have to hop a bus & go on an adventure & I am delighted that Fran had an amazing day.
Thank you so much for stopping by…
Until my next trek…