Down Day Dump

We were going to visit Dunn's River Falls today, but it seems like it will be a big piece of budget all-in and probably won't be better than the waterfalls outing we did yesterday. The weather is great today and there are no cruise ships docked so it's a good day for it, but we feel like it's better to save the money to try to make it out to Floyd's Pelican Bar later.

So instead we're organizing a couple gigabytes of GoPro material from yesterday, swapping pictures with our hostel-mates and planning to go to some local free beaches.

In the absence of active adventures, some miscellany.
  • When it gets dark here (Ocho Rios), you start to hear a chorus of chiming or cheeping coming from all directions. It took a day to figure out that these are tiny tree frogs! The effect is kind of like crickets but more musical; it's great background noise to fall asleep to.
  • We got a Chromebook for the road, and so far it's worked out really well. Not as powerful as a full laptop obviously, so things like GoPro videos are less convenient -- I can't install the GoPro app and edit videos locally. However we're getting by pretty well with Google drive and online services for everything, and this thing weighs nothing and gets nearly a 9 hour battery life. 
  • Speaking of the GoPro, the videos it takes are pretty cool when you're doing really active stuff (thanks Mom!). This should surprise no one. My phone does take better still pictures though.
  • The foods haven't been too diverse so far. Lots of fritters here: salt fish, cod, conch, something called festival which is like a long, deep-fried hush puppy.
  • The music is great and there's usually some within earshot. Learned about the local artist 'Popcorn' yesterday
  • I'm a big fan of hibiscus and it's used in a lot of ways everywhere. It's funny though that in Mexico, the hibiscus agua fresca is called 'agua de jamaica', in New York it's usually just hibiscus tea or something, and in Jamaica it's called 'sorrel'. We saw some sorrel wine at a gift shop (15% abv!) and I hope to find it again to try.
  • The cuisine is way less seafood focused than I'd expect from an island nation. Fish, lobster, conch (especially), shrimp and salt cod are all pretty common but don't really dominate the menus. We saw a man riding a bike yesterday calling out "conch man!". He had two plastic bags of fresh conch with him to sell. We should have bought some to grill.
  • Our Ocho Rios hostel serves a bit of free breakfast in the mornings, great for travelers on a budget, which is pretty much everyone here. The Blue Mountain coffee is pretty excellent!
Some food:

Top: bar-b-fry chicken
Bottom: curry goat
Both with rice & peas from Ziggy's in Kingston. Very good

Stewed conch with bammy and some kind of sauce. Ocean's 11, Ocho Rios

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