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Sunday, July 18, 2010

JTB Bloggers Linkup: Day Two

Live band at Secrets

On Thursday night the staff of Secrets Resorts Wild Orchid, treated us to a nicely presented buffet style dinner on the beach and serenaded us with music from a live band. This gave us a chance to replenish ourselves and start the process of mingling and meeting the other bloggers who we would be exploring the North Coast with for the next few days. After the short mingle and food I was beat from the travel down to Montego Bay and retreated to the comforts of my luxurious room to recharge my batteries for the next day. But what would the day have in store for this eager set?

Buffet style dinner

Guests mingling

It seems everyone suffered from a bit of jet lag or was way to comfortable in their rooms as on Friday morning as we got off to a really late start. It seems I too was one of the guilty parties as I did not have breakfast until almost 10:00am due to the fact that I got up late. The breakfast buffet was made for champions as it offered a wide variety of international breakfast items as well as local breakfast combinations to start our day off right. Our late start to the day however negatively impacted us as we encountered a time constraint which forced the abandonment of the Chukka Caribbean Adventures ATV Tour and our trip to Mystic Mountain. Both of these events I was eagerly looking forward to, so you can just imagine my disappointment when I heard I would not get to enjoy those two activities. Nevertheless I was still determined to make the best of it. Now what was there to do apart from these two activities?

Breakfast buffet

Omelets being prepared

My breakfast!

We still made our first stop at Chuckka Caribbean Adventures, but not for the ATV tour, it was a new activity that they are now offering, a Dog Sled ride! Yes you read right, a Dog Sled ride! This was something I have only seen on TV and in the northern snow covered regions, not in the warm tropical island of Jamaica! This was something I had to see and at least try. The Chukka Caribbean Adventures team gave us a brief introduction to how this activity got started and its background, which led into a full interaction with the guests and the dogs. Next it was time to see what this ride was all about and after a brief demonstration on a single rider sled the guests as well as the dogs were eager to go! I gave the ride a try and made it on the second leg of the ride which was indeed a unique and new experience for me. The ATV tour may have been more exciting to me, but this ride sure did offer me a short thrill and fun. Five of us huddled together in the cart led by several dogs running to the command of the driver along the path. For a first hand view of the ride check out my little video below!

Gordon meets a new friend

Dogs are ready for the Dog Sled ride

Chukka staff prepping the dogs

The Dog Sled Ride!

First person video of the ride!

We later departed from Chukka Caribbean Adventures to get some fuel for our bodies and the place of choice was Scotichies, a local Jerk centre in St. Ann near to Ocho Rios. We all indulged in a mixture of jerked chicken, jerked port, festivals, roasted sweet potato and corn accompanied by our drink of choice... which in my case was a cold Red Stripe. The meal seemed to had score a hit with some of the guests who were having this kind of Jamaican food for the first time.

Pork being jerked at Scotchies


My lunch!

Our final stop of the day was at the famous Dunn's River Falls, where the majority of the bloggers on the trip had a ball climbing the falls. They started from the bottom and worked their way up, climbing the face of the slippery rocks, resisting the forces of the powerful cascading waters while still finding the time to pose for photos along the way. After a victorious climb our tired travelers were ready to head back to our rooms at Secrets Resorts Wild Orchid for some food and rest, as there was more to come!

Bloggers climbing Dunn's River

Tim and Frances

Stopping for a break

The climb continues

By 11:00 pm the bus was ready to leave and so were the eager party animals! It was time to hit the Hip Strip in the Montego Bay city centre to sample the clubs it had to offer. The first stop was at Blue Beat where Latin music reigned supreme. Several guests tried moved or at least tried to move their bodies to the music, myself included, as I did a brief attempt at dancing the Merengue with the aid of my partner Frances. Next we hopped over to the famous Margaritaville which was playing a serious mix of early 2000 Dancehall hits and kept the crowd moving to to the groove. The club hopping ended at Pier One which was in full swing upon our arrival.

Bloggers enjoying the music

Dancing the night away

After our club hopping most of us went back to the resort to rest up for another promising fun filled day ahead, while a few remained and partied until the sun came up. But little did we know how much fun was still to come...