Jamaica March 2009: 1 – Back to Jamaica, again

I had been looking forward to this trip for quite awhile. My friends ekoostik hookah were returning to Negril (4th time since 1999) to play 4 shows and bringing a hundred or so of my friends. The first 6 days of the trip were dedicated to those shows and the events around them.

The next 11 days (frequent flyer miles rock) would be spent who knows where…I had some loose plans but kept things flexible because I’ve been going to Jamaica long enough to know that things change and I want to be able to go with the flow.

I knew I’d spend some time with friends in Kingston, and I really wanted to go to Portland as it’s been 5 years since I’ve been to that side. Both of those I did. I thought about spending time in Treasure Beach again, or maybe St. Mary, but those I had to leave for next time.

So it goes…there is always so much I want to do and never enough time to do it all.

I left home at the ridiculous hour of 3:30AM to catch my very early flight to Charlotte and to see my kids off on their own spring break vacation to San Francisco. It was actually OK flying so early because the check in counter didn’t open until 45 minutes before the flight so there was no 2 hour wait as there often is.

I did not check a bag this time, I packed a large backpack and did the 3oz liquids and all that…I was very proud of myself for being able to do that, and there were STILL a couple of items I never wore. So I can pack even lighter next time….seems I bring less and less every trip. If anyone is wondering, I brought bug wipes instead of spray (not liquid), and travel size shampoo, sunblock and all that. I knew I could buy more if I needed it down there but I didn’t need it after all.

In Charlotte I headed to my gate to take a nap….I had a 3 hour layover and a friend meeting me there to travel the next leg after about 2 hours.

My buddy woke me around 8:30. We got some snacks and whatnot and boarded our plane only to wait, oh, an hour, because some fan that cools the electrical stuff wasn’t working properly. I have yet to fly USAir and be on time, but they did fly faster to make it up so we arrived just a half hour late. (Which begs the question….why don’t they just fly faster all the time? Why only when they’re late? If anyone can shed any light on this mystery for me I’d appreciate it.)

My buddy’s name is Snake. We were on a plane. You know you’d have the same caption…

Snake on a Plane

Immigration and customs were zippy, maybe 15 minutes. I didn’t need to wait for my checked bag so I went outside and met Snake out there after he claimed his.

I fired up my Digicel cell phone which I have been topping up since I was in JA in November and it worked like a champ, plenty of credit and ready to go.

My friend Chicken picked us up at the airport in his cushy bus with the cup holders and curtains and all that….he’s been a friend for about 10 years now and always a welcome sight at the airport. Plus he had a cooler full of beer and drinks and whatnot 🙂

We stopped in Green Island at Bigga’s stand for some soup and chicken…everything tasty, cheap and ready to go, I highly recommend this stop.

Bigga serving some fresh fish soup

We arrived in Negril and did a store and cambio stop before dropping off Snake at Catcha Falling Star. I said hi to everyone there – love that place but this trip my money goes to traveling, not hotels – and headed up the road to my place for the week: Seastar Inn.

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3 Replies to “Jamaica March 2009: 1 – Back to Jamaica, again”

  1. ohliza,found your blog after following the link you left on a TA forum…great reading.I usually rent a car on most of the Islands we visit, but have been put off renting in JA after reading some of the comments on TA. But after reading your blog we've decided to go ahead and rent.
    The thing about flying faster when there is a delay, and not all of the time, is down to fuel costs. Just like a car, the heavier you on the gas pedal, the more fuel you use. And with a plane using thousands of gallons per flight, it could double the fuel costs by flying faster all of the time.
    Keep up the reports…look forward to reading them.

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