My first full day in Jamaica I find myself sitting in the hotel lobby waiting for my ride to take me to my first adventure.
The Blue Hole.
The morning is overcast as we start the two-hour drive from Montego Bay out to Ocho Rios. My driver is a friendly enough chap, and we talk about Jamaican culture and history during our drive.
As we pull into The Blue Hole parking area the rain lets up, but it really wouldn’t have mattered if it was raining, as the temperatures are still tropical. I get a local guide and we start our hike through the lush jungle. I am asked to be careful to not step on the large tree trunks that jut out of the ground along the trail, as everything here is connected and destroying one branch could damage the entire ecosystem.
We come to the first swimming hole so that I can get a feel for the water and the current. I find it refreshing as I wade in, then dive and swim around and across the swimming hole to climb a rope up the rocks as we go further up the river. The sandstone rocks are naturally course and make it easy not to slip on the rocks even though the water is cascading downward over your feet.
I come to a waterfall that I can climb into, and find a rock that I can sit on. The water coming down is the perfect natural massage and I let it beat down on my back to soothe sore muscles.
Once we reach the top of the Blue Hole, things get crazy. Going back down you have two choices : jump off the rocks into the swimming hole below, or rope swing like Tarzan. I choose both options.
On my second jump, the power of hitting the water knocks my GoPro off my wrist and it falls to the bottom of the swimming hole. I am visibly upset, but a local Jamaican man just dives right down into the hole, and amazingly finds my camera. He definitely earned a well deserved tip.
I forget how old I am as I swing and splash my way down the Blue Hole like a giddy child.
I come away with memories to last a lifetime.