Yes, the cheesy family dinner photo they snap at the resort...
Digging into the archives to share another travel adventure, a decidedly posh retreat to the splendid Half Moon Bay resort near Montego Bay.This was our introduction to Jamaica, birthplace of the Rastafarian movement.Most folks are cognizant of the term ‘Rastafari’ without appreciating the legacy.I found the story of the Rastafarians quite compelling and would like to share some basics.
What really blew me away was learning that the Rastafari religion (yes, it is a religion) believes the Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie is the incarnation of god.While he adopted the name Haile Selassie upon his coronation as emperor of Ethiopia, it had previously been Ras Tafari Makonnen!Rastafarianism is deeply rooted in the Judeo-Christian faith and had its roots sown by a brilliant Jamaican, Marcus Garvey
Discovered by Columbus and ruled by Spain until 1655, Jamaica became a British possession after being seized by Admiral William Penn (father of the US state of Pennsylvania’s namesake).
Kim & Spencer beach combing at Half Moon Bay
For the next 200 years the island would serve as a major sugar farm, with labor supplied from enslaved Africans (sadly, it is estimated that 700,000 Africans were brought to Jamaica).The sin of slavery naturally bred much resentment and ultimately led to a ‘back to Africa’ desire which was the underpinning of the Rastafari movement, which burgeoned in the 1930-40’s.
Our visit was spurred by a need to escape modern tensions and my previous employment with a travel club that had connections to a splendid resort outside of Montego Bay, Half Moon Bay.The visit was fairly mundane since our daughter was a bit young to strike out and explore the way my wife and I are accustomed to, but it was a splendid introduction.
After we landed at Montego Bay and jumped into the bus to the resort, the funniest moment was passing by a McDonald’s restaurant with cows grazing on the property (we shouted at them to run away!).After being deposited at the resort I am ashamed to confess the luxury insulated us from any desire to explore.I went for daily jogs that exposed me to the countryside and was motivated to sign us up for a day trip to sample the culture because it seemed detestable to remain sequestered in an artificial paradise.
Our day trip was bound for Ocho Rios and the splendid Dunn’s RiverFalls, where you hike up a cascading waterfall.
Kim & Spencer in our villa before heading out to dinner.
It was a fantastic experience I recommend, at least if you have a youngster --- a great sense of accomplishment for our daughter!The only sorry part of the trip was when we stopped at ‘Pineapple Place’, a local souvenir mall near Ocho Rios where we were subjected to massive badgering to purchase worthless trinkets.The day trip exposed all of us to the poverty that is prevalent in Jamaica, which we would have been oblivious to if we had not ventured off the resort.
I won’t regale you with the magnificence of Half Moon Bay, which was sumptuous beyond compare (especially the twin massages my wife and I enjoyed at the spa, after which they leave you alone with a bottle of champagne, nudge, nudge).I hope to return and experience the vibe of everyday life on this remarkable isle --- stay tuned!