Adventure Meets History : Exploring Portland Jamaica

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Portland is Jamaica’s 7th largest parish and is home to 14 caves, 17 rivers and a wide array of attractions both locals and tourists can enjoy. Unfortunately for me, Portland isn’t a parish I’ve visited outside of work or funerals so this trip was new and exciting for me. My favorite part of trip prep is picking an outfit!

Today I’m decked out in bright colours & print!

The plan for the day was to tackle 3 attractions ; Sommerset Falls, Blue Lagoon and Monkey Island. I’ve seen beautiful photographs of these locations online and thanks to @tekatripja on Instagram, I’d now be able to see them with my own eyes. TekATrip is your friendly local tour guide for an affordable cost! For between $4500-$4800 JMD, Monique & Oraine will take you to a few unique locations across the island while giving you a quick history lesson about it all. Give them a try if you’re ever in Jamaica and want a good tour or if you’re a local that needs to get out more! Don’t worry, I wasn’t looking forward to going out with strangers either, BUT we ended up being friends at the end of it!

We left Kingston about 8am (Jamaican time so that was about 8:30 actually) and travelled for about an hour and forty-five minutes to our first stop Sommerset Falls. The venue is absolutely breathtaking! If falls aren’t really your thing, there is a swimming pool with a water slide for you to enjoy. The water slide seemed to be one of the popular attractions of the day, but I preferred to take photos by the pool, y’all know me!

Of course restaurants are on the property along with a small bar that Jevon & I didn’t hesitate to take advantage of! Red Stripe Lemon Paradise anyone?

We were escorted to the path of the falls by our guides and you could tell everyone was super excited to see what gorgeous sight awaited us beyond those great steps. Guys, they might as well put an Express Fitness sign next to those steps, as it was an intense workout to get to the top! A few visits and that summer body is yours! When we got to the top, there was a small waterfall and swimming area where persons could swim if they decided to opt out of heading on a boat to the main fall that’s the real attraction.

I waited around a bit with my travel partner as he tried to decide if he should fly his drone and get a few scenery shots. We were warned that many drones went up and never came back the same. But Jevon swore he’d be extra careful. Things took a turn for the worst in no time as one of the propellers got caught in a tree. It was now Jev versus The Tree. I immediately had a flashback to the tour guide saying over thirty drones had their last flight at this very spot. I was expecting the worst possible outcome, my pocket started to burn. I started planning how many lunches I’d have to skip to replace it. After all, I was the one who led Jevon here. Check out the footage below!

Honestly this killed the mood for the first stop for me, so I waited around for our next stop, Blue Lagoon to actually have some fun!

I was really looking forward to this part of the trip as I’m always ready for a boat ride and a history lesson. Our tour guide for the evening was “Plucky”, be sure to ask for him when you get there! As expected he gave us a brief history of the lagoon, and the inhabitants of the villas by the water as well as pointed out a few sights like Jamaica Monkey Island, which we were able to visit after our tour.

It is said that The island gets its name from the colony of monkeys which Alfred Mitchell’s explorer son-in-law Hiram Bingham bought in to Jamaica. Rather than keeping the monkeys in his mansion (the now ruined folly mansion), Mitchell let them live on the island. However don’t worry guys, no more Monkey business on the island today!

Although the island is very tiny, and there is not much to do outside of laying on the sand and swimming, with the right people, and proper planning you can have a great time. My new found friends and I ended up playing dominoes for most of the time I was there, which was more than enough entertainment for me. I also got a few cool photos, take a look. If your Instagram needs a new look and feel, stop in Portie for a photoshoot!

Our lovely Captain Plucky came back for us in time to continue our tour of the lagoon and gave us a chance to visit the fountain of youth. On the second half of our tour we got a little history on the lagoon’s fame. Did you know the lagoon was originally known as “The Blue Hole”, but this was changed when the lagoon was chosen as a filming location for the 1980 film “The Blue Lagoon” starring Brooke Shields.The popularity of the film, inspired this change of name, but some local folks may still refer to it as Blue Hole. Since then it has also been used to film other motion pictures, one being “Club Paradise” with Robin Williams.

Now the fountain of youth my favorite stop so I definitely thought it was worth it. I played hokey pokey for a bit at first testing the temperature of the water with my feet. One foot in one foot out, shake it all about. Eventually I had a dip in the cool waters, I definitely felt rejuvenated. But hey if I looked any younger I’d be a toddler so I didn’t stay too long. But before we left, bestie and I had to do it for the ‘gram!

All in all we had a great time in Portland with the TekATripJa team. We will definitely be back to Sommerset Falls to get a chance to enjoy the facilities, next time we’ll leave the drone. Right Jev?

Yours Truly, The Travelling Pen

Keep up with #YourTravellingPen via Instagram! Be sure to hit me up with you any questions you may have about this trip and more. Stay tuned for IGTV episodes from myself and @JevJournalist my travel buddy!

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