Honeymoon in Jamaica part 8. Cheech and Chong.
It was the day before we had to re-enter the real world and we wanted to get one more adventure under our belts, so we thought that tubing through a river in Ocho Rios would be a good way to end our vacation. We waited outside the hotel the morning of the tour as instructed, and when the van arrived we entered having no idea what was in store for us. Poptart and I picked our seats in the van that was already getting pretty full of other unsuspecting victims. We pulled out onto the roads of Ocho Rios and that’s when our driver let us know in his own non verbal way that this wasn’t just going to be a tubing adventure but also an adventure of will, speed, and the ability to control one’s bowel movements. I’m not exactly sure who taught the drivers of Jamaica to drive but I wish they would find a new instructor.
After a swerve, swerve, skid, “Holy shit! Oncoming car! Repeat. We had finally made it off the main road and were making our way up into the lush tropics. I breathed a sigh of relief as I was fairly confident that our driver from hell couldn‘t possible get into any more trouble on a dirt road. That’s when I looked to my left and stared down the face of a very large cliff that we were navigating. God if you get us through this one I swear I will do my very best to be a productive member of society. Swerve, swerve, and skid. Holy shit!!! COW!! Stop. God, I owe you big time. We had made it alive but my heart was in my chest and my panic attacks were in rare form.
After we all patted and pinched ourselves to double check we were all still alive, we were met by two very young, very stoned guys who were to be our guides for the day. Oniel and Novaro. They informed us that our first order of business for the day was to find life jackets. As Cheech and Chong were trying to fit us for life jackets it started raining, really, really hard, and I was starting to have second thoughts about this whole tubing thing. It’s not that I’m afraid of adventure; in fact I’m all for it. It’s just that I wasn’t sure that this was the last memory I wanted to have of Jamaica. As we stood there in the pouring rain I couldn’t help but laugh as I watched Oniel and Novaro fitting the ladies into their vests. The guys weren’t exactly subtle as they seemed to take a little longer fitting the women who were a little more endowed. I was not immune to this treatment as Oniel made his way to me, but at least I knew what was coming. As the stoner twins fitted the men for their vests, Novaro sized up a very large man who looked to have zero sense of humor.
“Heyyyy,” Novaro grinned at Mr. Grumpy. “Are you a cop, mon?”
“I am. How did you know?” Mr. Grumpy replied. Sorry, make that Officer Grumpy.
“Because you got dem cop eyes,” Novaro informed him, still wearing his silly grin. Even Officer Grumpy had to smile at this one.
After we all were fitted for vests that were pulled so tight we could hardly move, we were told to grab an inner tube and follow our guides over to the mouth of the river. Cheech and Chong had the unenviable task of getting us all into the water and into our tubes, while trying to keep those of us in the water from floating away downstream. The process would have been funny as hell if it hadn’t been raining so hard. But eventually we all were afloat and ready to attack the rapids. When we did finally get our shit together we started our float down the river holding on to one another. That’s when Cheech and Chong floated around to all of us and passed out sodas to the kids and Red Stripes to the adults. It was actually a pretty nice ride except for the fact that Poptart had landed in the water quite a ways away from me so I was stuck between the cop and his kids with Oniel at my side.
We passed a lot of exquisite plant life and some trees with huge light pink spots on them.
“Those spots are beautiful. What are they?” I asked Oniel.
“Dose be spider eggs, girl,” Oniel informed me. I just sat in my tube staring at the massive amount of spider eggs we were currently floating by and just figured I wasn’t going to ask Oniel any more questions for the rest of the trip. I decided that for this trip, ignorance was bliss.
We went over some minor “rapids,” if that’s what you would call them, which were actually kind of fun. We eventually ended up in a place that had a small cliff and a rope swing. Poptart and I were finally able to reconnect there and we took advantage of the free Red Stripes as we watched people swing off the cliff into the open spider infested waters. That’s when Poptart and I noticed a couple of cows wandering around freely. Considering I was pretty confident that the cows didn’t have a venom that could kill or paralyze me, I decided to try and get close enough to get a couple of pictures with the “Wild Cows of Jamaica.” Because there is nothing like a picture of yourself and some cows to really impress your friends. Poptart and I were having a pretty good time posing with the cows when a van came to pick up the group and return us and our gear back to the launch site. It had been fun, but it was wet and chilly, and we were ready to get back to paradise. Plus, it looked like Oniel and Novaro were relieved to get back to their stash.
We made it back up to the mountain and I was loving our driver. I was actually loving him so much I was trying to bribe him to take us back to the hotel so we didn’t have to get back into the van of death, but all my begging was to no avail. We were going to have to chance our lives if we wanted to get back to the hotel and our favorite bartender Sibony for a farewell cocktail. So back into the van we begrudgingly climbed, and back on the roads we went. With a swerve, swerve, Holy shit! Old lady with a machete!
Poptart and I showered and got dressed and that’s when I noticed all the mosquito bites. I know mosquitoes are a pest to most people but to me they are a downright nuisance. You see, I am to a mosquito what crack is to a crack addict. They just can’t get enough of me. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know if it was the alcohol or pot that was running through my veins or if I have blood that’s somehow sweeter than others, but when I get bit, I get bit! My bites outnumbered Poptart’s 7 to 1. I was covered, itching, and not looking so hot. But considering this was our last night there and Poptart had already said I do, we were going out anyway.
Unlike other times, Poptart and I decided to spend our last night in Ocho Rios at The Royal Plantation. We went to the upstairs restaurant where our friends had had their wedding reception, and we enjoyed our last honeymoon meal while looking out over the ocean. After dinner we made sure to say our good byes and tip everyone even though we knew we weren’t supposed to. When I saw Delroy that night I told him he would find his tip behind our mini fridge. I would have loved to take what was left of the Marley weed back with me but I wasn’t going to take my chances. Not to mention, Fairies need weed too. Our hardest goodbye was Sibony. He was by far the one person we had grown closest to and I knew we would miss his smile the most. I know The Royal Plantation has had many guests since we’ve been there, but I hold hope in my heart that maybe, just maybe we made a tiny impact on his life because he made such a big one on ours.
After we said our goodbyes, Poptart and I walked out to the pier, took our shoes off and sat down and drank some champagne while we hung our feet in the water. Our honeymoon was officially over and now we had to go home. But we had one thing we still had to endure before we were done. And that was the journey home.
To be continued….
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