Where’s the jeep………..

Last month, amidst the hateful cold weather, I had the pleasure of going on a cruise to warm tropical places…………Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

And yes it was heaven on earth. If you’ve been there and done that, you know what I’m talkin’ about.

We had two days at sea before we reached our first Port of Call ~ Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Now this was not my first cruise; it was my fourth cruise, so I know how to deal with my wussy stomach. I’m allergic to the motion sickness patch so I keep bottles of Dramamine and herbal oil drops with me at ALL times.

I was looking forward to the shows, the shopping and the sun. Loaded up on Dramamine I was ready to sail.

Sunday evening we leave the Port of Galveston and we are on our way. My companion and I spend the evening exploring the ship, hitting the buffet and plotting our events for Monday; a full day at sea……….

Monday was a relaxing day, coffee on the balcony, a brisk walk before breakfast, the buffet, an Art Auction, hitting the outside buffet, some casino action, dinner and a show. A full day to be had. Before retiring for the night, we plotted our events for Tuesday; our second day at sea……….

Tuesday started relaxing enough, coffee on the balcony watching the sunrise, hit the buffet, and then the Art Auction. We enjoyed this on Monday so we thought we’d try it again on Tuesday. Plus there was free champagne!!

But this is were things started going south……….

I noticed while eating breakfast things weren’t tasting so good and I wondered why. As the morning sailed on I began to feel uneasy.

WTH!!! This can’t be happening, I’ve taken all the necessary precautions to prevent the dreaded……….SEA SICKNESS!! And I’ve not gotten sick before!! Why now!!

Trying to put the uneasy feeling away; we head to the auction. Today I pass on the champagne for fear I couldn’t keep it down.

The auction couldn’t have ended soon enough. I told my companion, “I’m going outside, I need some air.”

Declining to partake in the outside buffet and hoping the sea air would relieve my uneasiness; I realized it was not a passing thing. As my stomach flipped and flopped, and my intestines gurgled; I told my companion, “I’m not going to make it; I need to go to the room.”

That was at 1:30 pm and by 3:00 pm it was full blown and I was so wishing I hadn’t eaten at all the buffets.

For the next 14 hours the toilet and trash cans were my best mates.

With the balcony door propped open with a chair and in between frequents bouts to the bathroom; I tried to rest with the ocean breeze blowing in my face.

Now, like the nights before, that morning we had plotted our events for Wednesday and had planned an excursion at Jamaica. It was no surprise that sometime during my unpleasant plight he came to the room to inquire into my ability to be able to participant in the outing we had planned. I had assured him I would be better as soon as my feet hit dry land.

I was still wishing I hadn’t eaten so many buffets!!

I’m not sure how it happened, but our communications got crossed up somewhere between his bar hopping until 3 am and my frequent visits with the bathroom.

The excursion was not what I expected………….

Wednesday morning I wake up and realize we are not moving (Oh, thank you Jesus!!) and; not that there could possibly have been one ounce of anything left in my system, I had not visited the bathroom in 2 hours (Oh, again, thank you Jesus!). It was 7:30 am and I rise quietly and decided to let my snoring, hung-over companion sleep as long as possible.

I’m still not feeling well, my intestines are making obnoxious noises and I’m still a little queasy. It occurs to me this is not my customary motion sickness; there was no “sick” headache and it seemed to have ended after 14 hours…………..more like a virus than sea sick. Whatever it was; sea sick or virus, I was glad it had run it course and was leaving me!!

I was looking forward to a relaxing jeep tour through Jamaica and a little shopping.

Time to wake the sleeping giant………………………

We were to gather for the excursion at 9:30 am (or so I thought), so waking him at 8:45 am seemed like enough time.

He didn’t want to get up (no surprise), so I ask……..

“Did you cancel the excursion?”


“Then you need to get up.”

“What time is it?”


“&*^%$@, We’re suppose to leave at 9:00!!” as he sits up holding his head.

“No, 9:30”

“NO!! @*&^%($!!! It’s 9:00, look at the tickets!!”


“Sorry, I thought it was 9:30.” My bad.

Grumpy, grouchy and hung-over, he peels his self from the bed, splashes water on his face, throws on some clothes and a few more choice words and we head out the door.

The whole while I’m thinking, “We’re going to miss the tour.” As luck may have it, those tour guide folks expect cases like ours; you know the ones……the folks that can’t get it together. They allow for extra time for those types of folks (Oh, thank you Jesus!!)

As both of us are not feeling well, we opt to take the elevator down 9 levels instead of the stairs. In the elevator with us is a young couple……………..

Guy – “You got the tickets?:

Girl – “I don’t have the tickets, you have the tickets.”

Guy – “I don’t have the tickets.”

Girl – “I gave them to you.”

Guy – “You’re kidding me right?”

Girl – “No. I gave them to you at the table eating breakfast.”

Guy – “Well, f___!!!” as he begins to dig around in his back pack.

Simultaneously my companion and I look at each other……………………..

Me – “I got the tickets.”

Him – “You sure.”

Me………reaching in my bag show him the tickets, “I got the tickets.”

Him…………reaches down and kisses me, then smiles. The first smile all morning. Maybe the day wasn’t going to be so bad after all……….

We make it to our tour bus with plenty of time to spare and we both sit back and breath. While waiting to leave, I notice the other folks on our bus are wearing swim suits and cover-ups. My companion looks at me; obviously taking notice of the same thing.

“Did you wear your swim suit?”

I look at him and ask, “Did you?” Knowing full well, he did not.

Something was not right.

We are finally on our way, headed to our destination. We have an attractive Jamaican tour guide named “Marabell” who starts off by telling us it’s a 3 hour drive to the “falls”.

3 hours!!!! It’s only a 4 hour excursion!!!

I look at my companion, “What is she talking about? Where are the jeeps?”

He just shrugs.

Missing breakfast, he’s irritated and grumpy. Not having eaten or drank anything in the last 24 hours, I’m dehydrated and tired. We sit back for a long ride to who knows where, while Marabell rambles on about, “No problem mon!!” and “Don’t worry, be hoppy!!”

Hummm, I’m not so sure about that………….

It’s been an 1 1/2 into our journey and Marabell announces we will be making a restroom stop at a little store. We can also get drinks and snacks. He’s hungry and I’m thirsty. We share a bag of Fritos and a bottle of water. With lack of nourishment and little sleep, we are both dog tired with no energy.

It obviously showed, as Marabell asked if I was feeling alright and did I bring my “water shoes”.

Water Shoes????

Me – “No.”…………….. We are the only ones wearing walking shoes.

She – “No problem, mon. We will get you some when we get there.”

Me – “Ok.”…………………. Where is “there” and why would I need water shoes??

Returning to our seats on the bus, I ask my companion, “Why would we need water shoes?”

He just shrugs.

I sit back in my seat and take in the country side of Jamaica. All of it’s poverty, rawness, and beauty. Bougainvillea grow wild on the roadside where the free range goats and chickens gather. Jamaica has very few economic industries; sugar cane, Red Stripe beer, rum (they call Moon Shine) and it’s largest………..tourism. It is also known for it’s high crime rate; it’s not a place to venture out into after dark.

Another 1 1/2 hour traveling and learning about Bob Marley’s homestead and Jamaica’s school system; Marabell finally announces we’ve reached our destination…………..”Welcome to Oches Rios ~ Dunn River Falls”.

At that point I’m thinking we’re on the wrong excursion. I look at my companion…………….quietly, so as not to draw attention;

Me – “Dunn River Falls??”

Him – “This is the one you wanted to do.”

Me – “No, I wanted to do the jeep tour!”

Him – “This is the one you had circled.”

Me – silence, thinking to myself, “This is the one HE had circled.”…………………………….

I’m still hoping for a jeep.

Before we exit the tour bus, Marabell gives us a few instructions, “Anything you don’t want wet you need to leave on the bus, be sure to wear your water shoes, climbing the rocks is slippery and you will be getting wet. Now let’s go mon and stay together!”


I feel my anxiety building. I ask my companion, ” What the hell are we doing?”, to which he replies, “Sounds like we’re going to climb some falls.” Ok, now I’m a nervous wreck.

Marabell asks us if we need to change into our swim suits; it is at this point I finally ask, “Where are the jeeps?”

She looks at us and chuckles, “Oh, honey, there are no jeeps. This is Dunn River Falls. You walk to the bottom of the falls and climb back up the rocks; its 125 feet.”


All I could say was, “We have no swim suits.”

She smiles, “No problem mon, come with me; we’ll get you some water shoes.” I now know why we need water shoes!!

As we follow behind her, I look at my companion with that “WTH??” look on my face. He just shakes his head, “We can do this.”

Ok, under normal circumstances, this would have been an exciting adventure for us; but me being weak from dispensing all nourishment and fluids from every orifices of my body and my companion barely functioning, suffering from the side effects from the previous nights bar hopping until 3 am; we were in no shape to climb a 125 foot waterfall!! None the less, we put on our water shoes and head down to the bottom.

We have 2 experienced “falls” guides; they warn us the rocks are slippery, step slow and careful, stay with the group and hold on to the children.

The children!!! Hell, who’s gonna hold on to me????

At the bottom, the water is rushing from the falls and crashing into the beach surf. The guides tell us to line up in “boy, girl, boy, girl” fashion and hold hands. We approach the falls, I’m shaking in my water shoes and turn to look at my companion. This time he asks, “Are you going to be able to do this?” To which I replied, “I don’t know.” “I’ll help you.”, he said. How was he going to help me, he wasn’t in any better shape then I was!!!

Up we go; the water is rushing and the climb is steep………..and it’s freezing!!! The man ahead of me is pulling on my hand, making it hard for me. Several times I stopped, legs shaking, I’m holding onto the side just to catch my breath. We tried really hard not to get wet; as we had no other clothes, but the guides saw to it that we got wet; taking us through pools waist deep and deeper. We gave up trying to stay dry. I finally told the two men holding my hands to let go, I was having better luck climbing on my own.

About half way to the top of the falls was an observation deck………………….it was also an “EXIT”. It was so very tempting, but I’d made it this far and had decided I’d be damned if I was going to let these falls whip my ass today! So climb on I did. At on point the guides wanted us to fall back into a pool and then take our picture. I refused to fall back; but I wanted them to take the picture…………..so they did. I looked at my companion, “I don’t care what it looks like, I want to buy that picture.”

We reached the top, wet and exhausted. Conquerors!!

Although I was ready to get back to the ship, we were not looking forward to the sticky, soggy ride back.

We traded our rented “water shoes” back in for our own walking shoes……….the only articles of our clothing that was dry. I was happy to find my bag and camera safe and sound on the bus where I left it. The articles I didn’t want to get wet…………..thank goodness I left them behind.

It was a quiet ride back with a couple of stops for bathroom breaks. We mingled through a few shops at the port, bought a couple of coffee cups and a hand carved Angel fish, then headed back to the ship.

Silently we walked to the elevators, no climbing the stairs today; we’d done enough climbing for one day.

Changing into dry clothes, we decided on pizza for dinner………………………….we ate like pigs; we had only shared a bag of Fritos and a bottle of water the whole day.

We were hungry to say the least.

Tired and weary, we stayed in the room the rest of the evening. Quietly, before I drifted off into an exhausted sleep, I said……………….

“From now on I’ll pick the excursions.”


My relaxing 4 hour jeep tour turned into a 7 hour adventure.

One I won’t forget……………………………

And I have the picture to prove it.


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