Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Touring Ocho Rios With Trevor Hudlin
A Day in Ocho Rios with Trevor Hudlin Tom Ogg We were visiting Ocho Rios and wanted to tour some of Ocho Rios’ sights and activities. We searched for a local operator that could take just the four of us on a condensed adventure without wasting a bunch of time of things we did not want to see. Nancy Norris found Trevor and arranged to have him take us on a tour. It turned out to be a great choice. Nancy had arranged to meet Trevor one-half of an hour after the ship docked in Ocho Rios. We debarked the ship and were greeted by an attractive lady with a sign indicating that she was the person to contact. We introduced ourselves to her and then she took us through the cruise terminal into the parking lot where Trevor was waiting for us. We immediately liked him. Trevor Hudlin by His Air Conditioned Van Trevor drives an air-conditioned 8-passenger van that is in excellent shape. After completing the introductions, we loaded up and took off for our adventure. Our first stop was to be Dunn’s River Falls so that we could beat the crowds of cruise passengers to the park. Old Cannon by the Old Pier We stopped along the way as Trevor shared some points of interest. The Entrance to Dunn's River Falls When we arrived at the park, Trevor provided us with entrance tickets and we made our way into the park and down the pathway all the way to the beach where the falls empty into the ocean. The Pathway to the Falls Dunn’s River Falls is really a “must see/do” in Ocho Rios. Dunn's River Falls Meet the Ocean I was suffering from a rather painful bone spur on my heel, so I decided to simply take pictures rather than climb the falls. Andy, Nancy and K started the climb while I made my way to the first vantage point to take some pictures. Climbing Up The Falls is Fun They chose to forego the usual guided climb where people hold hands in a long line and are led up the falls in lieu of just doing it by themselves. As they came and went from view making their way up the falls, I would take pictures and then move up to the next vantage point. Andy and K About Half Way Up the Falls I got some great pictures and they had a great time. Note, that if you are going to the falls and do not want to climb them that you can go all the way to the beach and then watch folks climb the falls all the way to the very top. It takes about an hour to climb them. Dunns River Falls Marketplace Once the climb was over we made our way through the shopping area stopping to buy some Red Stripe beers to quench our thirst. I am sure that you have heard that the vendors in the shopping area at the top of the falls that you must traverse to exit the park are very aggressive. While they are anxious to have you visit their shops, a simply “no thank you” said in a respectful manner will suffice and the vendor will move on to the next potential customer. Aggressive action on your part will definitely be met by more aggressive action from the vendor. If you want to have some fun, buy a refreshing drink and spend ten minutes or so to watch the interaction between the vendors and the potential customers. You will quickly notice that the customers that deal with the merchants with respect are treated respectfully but the customers that are rude and aggressive get the same in return. I think this is true throughout all of Jamaica. The Trail Down to the White River We met Trevor at the van, loaded up and started back through Ocho Rios and went completely through the city. Trevor pointed out several things that I had never seen or known about in Ocho Rios that I really appreciated. After about a twenty-minute drive we were nearing the White River for our tubing adventure down the White River. We stopped at a local market and picked up some more Red Stripe beer for the float and this proved to be a great stop. It is amazing how friendly and hospitable Jamaicans are once you get away from the main tourist areas. We arrived at the staging area for the White River tubing trip and changed into our bathing suits and then make our way down the trail to the small cement entry into the river. We were using oversized truck inner tubes that had a piece of fiberglass attached to the bottom so that you were sitting on the fiberglass rather than being open to the river on the bottom. The Entry into the White River We climbed into the inner tubes one-by-one and when we were all ready, we started our trip down the White River. When we hit the first set of rapids I understood why the fiberglass was there. It was not uncommon to bounce of the rocks that made up the bottom of the river while splashing through the turbulent water. It was great fun. Getting Ready to Tame the White River We were all laughing and having a great time. We must have gone through several rapids that were followed by calmer and deeper water before we came upon a haul out place in the river where our guide indicated we should stop. One-by-one we paddled into the shore and climbed out of our inner tubes. The halfway point down the river offered a small bar and a large lawn area. There was a computer on the bar and it turned out that one of the guys that worked there was armed with a Nikon and a telephoto lens and had been taking pictures of us on the way down the river. We could preview the pictures on the computer and then purchase any of them for $7. I thought it was pretty entrepreneurial. Our guide took us up the river to a high bank where the river was quite deep beneath it and a rope was hanging from a tree limb. We had great fun swinging out over the river and dropping the 15 feet or so into. Tubing Down the White River After another Red Stripe we boarded our inner tubes for the final leg of our White River adventure. After bouncing through the last rapid and slowly floating down river to the area where the trip ended, we were ready to do it again. Trevor was there to great us and had also taken some pictures of us going down the river. We browsed the small shops before climbing back into the van to continue our exploration of the Ocho Rios area. The Road Through Fern Gully Trevor explained many things to us while we made our way to Fern Gully. We passed through various residential areas before arriving at the foot of Fern Gully. The trip up Fern Gully is breathtaking. At one time it was a stream that had cut a deep valley in the mountain and over time has been populated with dense rain forest vegetation, including many varieties of ferns, hence the name Fern Gully. Just One of the Many Shops That Line Fern Gully We stopped at one of the many shops that line Fern Gully and enjoyed some shopping time and great prices on various Jamaican souvenirs. We drove to the top of Fern Gully and then returned down the same road back into Ocho Rios. We continued touring various residential areas and stopped for a great overview of all of Ocho Rios including the Navigator of the Seas at her dock. The Navigator of the Seas Seen From Far Above Since it was about two in the afternoon, we decided to have Trevor drop us at Margaritaville so that we could enjoy a late lunch. Trevor dropped us at the front of Island Village and we said goodbye. I would highly recommend Trevor to anyone that wants a private tour of Ocho Rios like I described in the above paragraphs. Since Trevor lives between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, he offers private tours in both ports and I made a mental note to call Trevor on my next visit to Montego Bay. If you want to contact him, you can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him on his cell phone at 876-429-2803. You will be glad that you did.