Can y’all tell where we are now? That was the first bit of dialect our tour bus driver taught us while on the road to tour the Good Hope Plantation – Ya Mon. Our ride over to Good Hope took us through the town of Montego Bay, through the country side and into the rural areas of Jamaca. I was surprised to see so much litter as we drove through Montego Bay. Such a tourist area, I didn’t expect the untidiness. Otherwise it was a pleasant trip, the driver provided information of our drive. We saw lots of homes that were partially built but not finished – like the second floor of a house was not roofed but the owners were still living in it. The driver explained that the owners build what they can when they have the money to do so – save a little then build a little.
We make our turn off the freeway and onto the inland road to the plantation and we find a small herd of goats grazing on the garbage left along the road side. This road took us up the mountain and into the plantation with some bumps and tossing around but it was paved so no dust. The driver explained that the plantation used to grow lots of sugar cane but now grows oranges and cane and provides tours. We roll up to the visitors centre and were given instruction on where to go and wait for our plantation tour guide. It never ceases to amaze me how some people can not follow instructions. After a pee break, we were to gather in an area to meet our tour guide and to begin the tour. Yes, you guessed it, we had to wait for a few while they perused through the gift shop and somehow our group was spilt up and we continued to wait at the various points of interest throughout the tour.
Our first stop after the visitors centre was the ‘water wheel’. We walked down a short trail beside a trickling creek – I have to assume it used to have a lot more water in it to channel water to the wheel. Anyway, we come upon an old ruin building that housed the wheel with several stone pillars that must have held the water viaducts that routed water to the wheel. Since the water wheel was the only source of power for the plantation, you would think that it would have been restored and working for a better illustration of plantation life back when. Anyway, we find the wheel corroded, rusted and deteriorating beyond help. The foliage around us was however fascinating with very large banyan trees, bamboo and lots of butterflies. Back on the bus to the house. It overlooked the plantation and the road up was snake like but paved.
All unloaded but again have to wait for the others that decided to wander off at the visitors centre – you probably can tell this was a burr for me. Anyway, the plus side was that we got to sit under the tree and gaze out over the hill top view and it was terrific so all is forgiven. We entered the home and were amazed at the heavy construction of the exterior walls but I guess they learned early that they do get a few windy days there! When you looked up at the ceiling, all you saw was the underside of the roof boards and in some places, daylight. Apparently, when it rains the cedar shingles expand quickly and seal up the holes and no or very little water leaks into the home. The ceilings are left open for the heat to rise and keep the living area cooler. Large windows in all directions help to direct the breezes to flow through the home. After the house tour, we were directed to the dining room for a buffet lunch of a Jamaican prepared meal of 2 varieties of chicken, fish, potatoes and green beans. Rum cake was served for dessert. We left and boarded the bus for a quiet ride back to the pier to board the ship.
As we walked through customs to the pier, there was a marching band playing for all the cruisers as we shopped or boarded the ship to leave for Grand Caymen. We had another nice evening with our cruise’n buds from the Rainbow Plantation. Returning to our room for the night – after pizza and ice cream and a stroll of course, we were greeted by another towel pet. It’s neat to have these critters there when you walk in….
We hope all is well where you are, all is good here.