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Climbing Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica

Cruising around the Mediterranean last Christmas, one of the ports of call was the lovely Island of Jamaica. One of the recommended tours was a trip to Dunn's River Falls in Ocho Rios. Never one to decline an opportunity, I gamely decided this was the trip for me. The two hour journey by coach around the Island (or ‘Hisland' as they pronounce it) was indeed a pleasure. We drove up the bumpy unpaved roads and through the high mountains covered in lush tropical plants and beautiful flowering trees, enjoying the views.

We arrived at the terrific 600-foot drop of Dunn's River Falls and were led down to the bottom by our guide. Donning bathing attire and special water shoes, we stood on the beach and stared at the daunting ascent. We began the climb holding hands in a chain, which wasn't easy, and at times the chain broke as we used our hands to scramble up huge boulders against the rushing waters. As we struggled, at times waist deep in water, we broke into peals of laughter – whether of hysteria or merriment I cannot now be sure, but the experience was great.

More sensible souls walked up the path at the side of the falls, pausing at the viewing platforms to watch others struggle up the waterfall and taking photographs. Kids loved it, but the drenching was not for everyone! It is certainly a challenging climb in places and took an hour do the whole ascent, although there were opt-out points. Once the top was scaled we had an enormous feeling of achievement as we dripped off to get changed. A happy half-hour was spent recovering as we browsed the local craft market, buying some delicious smelling Blue Mountain coffee beans to take home as a memento of this crazy day.

Definitely a beautiful location and a memorable experience, but next time I will stick to the footpath and be the one taking the photographs!

By Gillian Birch

Gillian | Oct 28, 2009 | Category: General

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