Jamaica – “No Problem!”
Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a former part-time resident of this lush, Caribbean island. Jamaica is rich a beautiful flora and fauna, so it comes as no surprise that this island inspired Fleming so much. Three Bond books have scenes in Jamaica (Live and Let Die, Dr No, The Man With The Golden Gun). The very first Bond story to be created into a film (1961, Dr No) was even filmed in Jamaica. The movie buffs amongst you, and the Bond fans of course, will certainly remember the iconic scene of original Bond Girl, Ursula Andres, elegantly coming out of the sea in that iconic sexy white bikini! That memorable scene took place at the foot of Dunn’s River Falls near Ocho Rios.
Dunn’s River Falls holds many special memories for me. I first climbed the falls as a little seven year old. I always remember being in awe of both the surroundings and the feat; climbing up a waterfall is pretty cool!… No? (see what I’ve done there? 🙂 ) Returning to climb Dunn’s this year, some 20 years later, I could not believe I was able to climb the thing at age 7! It was even more fun and impressive this time round. Returning to Jamaica to climb Dunn’s River Falls has been a dream come true.
Dunn’s River Falls run for approximately 185 metres. Climbing the falls takes on average just over an hour (bottom to top), and I would encourage you to take it slowly in order to take in the lush surroundings. You are encouraged to take short photo-pitstops along the way, but you definitely need a waterproof camera to do this. I recommend being prepared, which I unfortunately was not entirely. I had bought a disposable waterproof camera in anticipation of the activity. But, those disposable cameras are a little crummy in quality, and being used to taking digital photos, “capturing the moment” feels like a bit of a guessing game as it weirdly feels like you are snapping away blindly. Secondly, I ran out of exposure shots! 26 photos will quickly and easily fill up, especially if you ask a guide to take a photo for you…. they are extremely enthusiastic and not at all economical with your camera! 🙂 But they are wonderful, friendly, caring, helpful, entertaining and fun! They easily earn their (expected) tips once you reach dry land at the top of the falls.
The climb is not overly challenging, hence its popularity as a tourist attraction. That being said, it is important to take care of your footing. Experience guides are on hand (literally!) to guide you and your group up the falls. Wear appropriate water shoes, do not take any valuables (sunglasses are not even necessary), do not wear anything heavy (swimwear is perfect – you WILL get drenched!!) and keep your eyes peeled on the ground you are walking on. The water is extremely soft (because of the calcium carbonate and travertine composition) and clear, falling over rocky terrain and mini-lagoons of varying size and depth. The falls are protected from the sunlight with a lush and tropical canopy which breathtakingly enhance the experience.
Dunn’s River Falls is simply incredible! A trip to Jamaica is pointless, in my humble opinion, without a visit to Dunn’s. Located on the northern coast of the island, Ocho Rios is the nearest resort/town. Although it is accessible from other towns. I stayed in Montego Bay and took an organised tour to the falls which we actually reached from the sea by catamaran.
The natural beauty of Dunn’s and its famous connection to James Bond overshadow its historical significance. It is in fact the location where the English defeated the Spanish (1657).
Interesting fact: Dunn’s River Falls is one of the few rivers that flow directly into the Caribbean Sea.
Likkle more bredrin! 😀
(Jamaican Patois for: See you later my friend!)