Mineral baths & Blue Lagoon
On our day off, we decided to experience the mineral baths and the blue lagoon. Our breakfast of the day was a choice of ackee and salt fish, with bread fruit on the side. Ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica and this dish is a traditional breakfast. It was different and delicious.
Our first stop was the mineral baths in Rockfort, Kingston. As it was a relaxing experience that allowed us to cleanse the body. The water comes from the cold springs of the mountain that contains minerals such sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, etc. These minerals give the natural spring water a therapeutic value. We got to see a breath taking view of the mountains while enjoying the company of our peers.
After the mineral baths, it was time for lunch. We visited a place called Queenie, which was a small sea food hashery on the shore of the carbine sea. The individual that owns the restaurant is named Ken and is a nephew of the driver that drove us to our activities today. Ken was born and raised in Jamaica and moved to downtown Toronto for a while and moved back to Jamaica about a year ago. He had made living for himself both there and at home in Jamaica. He mentioned he moved back after trying multiple jobs (modelling and construction) and that he was happier living here in Jamaica. He said he was tried of working for someone and preferred working for himself. The food we were served was fresh fish from the sea or the option of chicken. With the dish, we were also served bread fruit, plantain, pasta salad, vegetables, and rice and beans. Our group agreed that today’s lunch was the best that we had so far on the trip.
After our amazing lunch, we drove 2 and half hours to Portland Antonio to embrace the wonders of blue lagoon. Our journey to this amazing place took us through the high and low points of the mountains. We saw many towns living on the edge of the cliffs. The bus ride was very bumpy but the breath taking view is what captured the moments. As some of us enjoyed the ride, and others had a rough ride because of the winding roads.
As we finally arrived to the “World’s Famous Blue Lagoon”, we took a boat ride through the lagoon. We saw houses that were on the edge of the water and famous people such as Tom Cruse and Cameron Diaz stayed in these homes. The boat tour also took us out to the little islands and stopped at a small island called Monkey Island. Monkey Island doesn't have any monkeys, but has many wonders and little creatures such hermit crabs, crabs, sea urchins, small fish, and starfish. We were able to explore the water where the fresh water and ocean water mixed, allowing us to feel the cold and warm temperatures of the water. As we looked across the ocean, we got to see an amazing view of a combination of the sun, water, mountains, and beautiful blue sky. After we continued the boat tour exploring the rest of the Blue Lagoon. Our boat tour guide gave us the opportunity to see sea turtles as they were peacefully grazing in the water.
As we made our way back, we had enough time to swim in the 65 meter deep blue water. We felt rushes of the cold and warm water combining as we swam to the furtherest doc to relax and soak up the sun. A few of us discovered a large tree with a Tarzan swing. We worked together by utilizing all of our skills to help each other climb the tree and swing into the water. It took us a few try’s, as we fell into the water countless times but we eventually succeeded. We all enjoyed the water while sitting on the doc. As the day was coming to an end, we all had to return to our bus to start the journey home. Some of us also went to the little market to look at souvenirs.
On our way home, we made a pit stop at a local fruit market. We all got to indulge in delicious, juicy fruits such as coconut, pineapple, mango, sugarcane, jackfruit, soursop, and bananas. It allowed us to interact with locals and taste an experience we will never have at home.
Our overall cultural learning experience today taught us many things. One learning experience in particular was with the people that we met today. They are very grateful and happy with what they have and they were welcoming with open arms. The best part of our day is that we got another chance to connect with our peers and enjoy each other’s company. We’re excited for the upcoming experiences throughout the trip!