Rhodes Hall Plantation
Here is something I forgot to tell you about horseback riding at Rhodes Hall Plantation. We rode the van over there with another couple named Brenton and Elaine from Oregon. Both were lovely and had had previous experience riding horses. Their horses were named Splinter and Silver. Jon and I adversely have little to no experience riding horses and we had a pair named Fireboy and Screwface. Go figure.
Getting from Negril to Ocho Rios took some doing. Normally a driver will take people from Negril to the Montego Bay airport via the coastal road. This takes about an hour and a half. Because of rain, however, there was extensive flooding on the coastal road making parts impassable. So, our driver took Jon and I (plus a van full of incredibly happy, loud, and chatty vacationers) via the mountain route which took 2 and a half hours - 9:30 to 12. The mountain route was beautiful but we were sitting in the back of that van FOREVER. Parts of the road we travelled were incredibly flooded. Parts of the road we travelled were narrow hairpin turns that overlooked 50 foot drops. All of the road we travelled were incredibly wet. The road leading in and out of the airport - flooded.
Add to this equation my dislike for Reggae music because for the entire ride, the driver played Reggae-fied versions of American Top 40 hits. That was absolute torture.
Well...at Montego Bay we transferred to the van that was taking us to Couples. That was another very long ride with flooded roads and roads under construction. The difference was that Jon and I were the only two in the van, the driver was interesting and he LOVED Air Supply and other cheesy American music. He didn't play one second of Reggae.
He became most animated and passionate when we brought up the country's infrastructure (flooded roads) and Jamaica's leader P.J. Patterson who is nicknamed, as our driver informed us, CHI CHI MAN which is a derogatory term used here to describe gay men. He told us that PJ Patterson is completely corrupt and in spite of raising taxes to an incredible 65% has done little to nothing to improve the quality of life for his constituents.
We also learned about his VEHEMENT views on people addicted to drugs. A musical discussion led to Marvin Gaye's disgracing his family by using drugs - our driver sided with Marvin Gaye's father and said that he would kill his own child should she become addicted to drugs (I know that's harsh but keep reading). So Jon mentioned that he heard HANGING was coming back as a form of capital punishment and asked what he thought. I think Jon and I were both expecting him to say that hanging was too severe and that perhaps the Goverment should reconsider. Instead, he told us that drug addicts should be incinerated - ALIVE.
We were in the middle of an intense discussion on the vocal talents of AIR SUPPLY by the time (3:00) we pulled into our resort which of course is just fantastic. Having been here only half a day, we've already been to the beach, the Jacuzzi and an elegant restaurant offering continental cuisine. We're signed up for Horseback riding this morning - which I plan to do everyday if the resort allows it and who knows what else. This place has a bajillion activities avaible including our free couple's honeymoon massage.