Rafting a river is a Thing To Do in Jamaica, started on the Rio Grande by a banana ship captain but then made popular by Errol Flynn in the 1940s, on the bamboo rafts used by the banana farms up the river in the mountains to send the fruit down to the ships at sea. In all my many trips to Jamaica, I never once went . It seemed such a touristy thing to do, not very exciting, more for couples…[insert excuses here].
Well we’re staying right on a river that has this attraction, so we decide what the heck and our hosts arrange it for us. For me and C, that is. S prefers to hang at our place with his book.
A gentleman from the estate drove us up to the starting point/office (we really could have walked, it isn’t far at all, but nice still), which is run by Chukka, a large tour company. We do a little paperwork and are assigned a captain. Captains work their way up in the rafting biz, and they take turns,. We are pleased to find ours is one we know – he also works on the estate! and we met the day before!
All the rafts are decorated differently, ours has flowers on it. We set out…
Early in the trip we pass under this cool bridge which is where “town”, such as it is in Lethe, is located.
The scenery is really lovely.
That’s banana! Our captain is telling us about everything we are seeing, the different plants and things, what they are used for and so on.
We pull over to this cottonwood tree and get a foot massage with a pumice stone – it was limestone and worked really well.
This herb in my lap here he called a “lime plant” and it smells just like lime.
Our captain is poling along. No whitewater here, and not a ton of current at this time either.
Giant bamboo growing along the river.
A tiny bit of current here, captain takes a poling break 🙂
A little video:
A REALLY little video:
The ‘ole rafting selfie….
It is hot and sunny. Notice I’m wearing a swimsuit…that’s because I’ve been told I can swim on this trip. So, that’s what I do.
Chatting while I float along with the raft for a bit. It’s nice and deep here. Chilly, too, but I got used to it pretty fast.
I climb back onto the raft for the most rapids-ey part, which happens to be as we pass our place.
We give our place a shout-out and wave as we go by….
…and after about an hour, we pull into the area where the rafting ends. I always marvel at the color of many Jamaican rivers…so blue.
Thanks to captain and tip and we walk towards the picnic/parking area.
As we do, we check out the grounds, which have all kinds of neat plants and educational signs about the making of rum and such.
The trip was well worth doing, I’ve finally been rafting, learned some history of the area and about local botany, and got a nice swim in too 🙂
Continue reading this series:
The Final Day