Day five starts with a light breakfast and meeting our driver for the day in the lobby. I must say I’m a bit worried about hiring a stranger in Jamaica to drive us around for the day. Especially since we’re headed quite a way from our hotel. But, what the heck, it’s vacation and the guy seemed pretty cool when setting this up yesterday. What could go wrong?
Met up with Shane who was right on schedule in the morning. We have lifted several Red Stripes from our rooms and he has a cooler in the van as promised. Holy cow, I can’t believe how nice the van is. All seven of us fit comfortably, it’s incredibly clean and is in great condition. I was concerned of jumping into some total beater for the day, but this is one nice ride. Meander1: Somehow I lost Shane’s card. When I find it I will post it, he really was a great driver at a reasonable price. If you end up at the RIU I’m sure someone that works there can track him down.
So off we go. First stop, two blocks away at the local convenience/liquor store. This is our first excursion off of either the resort or the airport. We are obviously still in a rather touristy location. Into the liquor store we go. Damn, booze is expensive down here. Glad I’ve got the Red Stripes from the room to get me through the day. So, after entering deep negotiations with the clerks in the liquor store most everyone has what they need for the day. Our group has splintered into a couple different groups and half are missing, but we have beer and booze for the day. Our driver has sourced a bag of ice and as soon as we find the rest of our party we’ll be on our way. OK, so now we’ve found our party but lost the driver. At least we’re close to the resort if we don’t find him.
OK, all are located now and off we go. Five minutes into the trip we pass Margaritaville. Hey, isn’t that supposed to be our first stop?! Apparently I miscommunicated that I wanted to go to Margaritaville, 7-mile beach and Rick’s. It looks like we’re going to Margaritaville on 7-mile beach and Rick’s. No big deal, it’s too early for lunch any way at the Margaritaville, Montego Bay. How many Margaritaville’s are on this island?
So the roads on Jamaica are not the best. Who would have thunk it? Narrow, windy and full of crazy drivers and potholes. Our driver is excellent, feel as safe as possible the entire time. He also gives us a bit of history and cultural background as we head from Montego Bay towards Negril. Sounds like politicians on this island are just as crooked as politicians in the States, go figure. As we get to the 7-mile beach area we come across a bad accident. It happens to be in front of another RIU property so we go inside to use the facilities. There are a couple of Red Stripe beers to get rid of. RIU 7-mile beach/Negril seems nice but we only see the restrooms and the bar. So, I can’t make a recommendation. I’m still not used to being on the wrong side of the road.
Finally we make it to Margaritaville in time for a well needed lunch. I ordered the It’s 5 o’clock Somewhere. I doubt that I would order this anywhere but on a beach vacation, but what the hell. It was actually pretty good, full of rum and tropical juices. Strolled out to the beach to walk for awhile. By the way the beach here is much nicer than the one at our hotel. Here’s a pick of the restaurant from the waters edge.
And a selfie just because. I promise won’t do that very often.
After hanging out on the beach for awhile we headed back inside and the food showed up. I had the Jerk Chicken. It was actually pretty good. Lunch was fairly expensive and of course I had to buy a t-shirt, so a couple hours and many dollars later we are headed to Rick’s Café.
I was concerned that all the hype around Rick’s would lead to disappointment. I was really concerned when we’d only been there a couple minutes and they were already going around with a tip bucket for the diver. However, seeing that diver crawl up what looked like a very unsafe ladder to a tiny platform some 50’ above the water was a good investment. With a backflip as well.
Had a couple Rum Punches at this very cool bar. Decided to jump off of one of the beginner cliffs. My days of jumping off 30 foot cliffs are behind me. Only disappointment with Rick’s was that they have a very limited gift shop. They only had small and medium in the shirts I liked and you can’t order online. Guess I’ll have to go back someday.
Made it back to the RIU in time to freshen up and grab a bite to eat. Very pleasantly surprised that they had Crab legs at the buffet dinner, pre cracked! Definitely over-indulged on those! A couple drinks at the bar and then done for the night. What a great day!