Haiti and Jamaica

I'm already sporting the best tan in my life, but my skin color is nothing compared to Max. After soaking up the bright Caribbean sun, his skin has taken on a marvelous cinnamon tone, hence my new term of endearment for him--Cinnabons. ;-)

We had a great day in Lambidee, Haiti, one of Royal Caribbean's private islands. Since there really wasn't any local Haitian culture on the island to explore, we decided to try parasailing--a first for us both. Flying above a boat, hundreds of feet in the air with only rope and a sail to secure us, was both thrilling and surprisingly peaceful at the same time.

Max and I were one of 7 pairs on this outing, but one couple stood out-- a 70-year old man and his 69-year old wife. I felt inspired watching this elderly couple savor every minute of their parasailing flight.

"Promise me that in our retirement we'll be as adventurous and active as them," I whispered to Max, who nodded in agreement.

But as much fun as parasailing was, it seemed completely benign when compared to the next day's adventure.

When Max and I made reservations to sail aboard a party yacht cruising, Ocho Rios, Jamaica, we had no idea the excursion included hiking up Dunn River Falls.

Hundreds of tourists from all parts of the globe joined hands for support in making it up the 600 feet of jagged rocks and rushing waters. Because the water came down fast and furious, there was no way to see the rocks beneath your feet. Slowly and carefully, the line of people felt their way up the falls one small step at a time. In contrast, Dunn River Falls photographers trying to make up quick buck by selling pictures and video, climbed up and down the rock side as if the had suction cups for feet.

I looked to these photographers for comfort. We had taken the more challenging route up the falls and moments came when I felt as though the rushing water was pushing my feet out from underneath me. My heart pounded as I feared slipping and taking the chain of people with me. Yet despite my worries, I made it to the top of Dunn River Falls without incident, along with the hundred of other tourists.

Besides crystal water and beautiful beaches, Haiti and Jamaica had one other feature in common. Small-time marketers and beggars were everywhere the tourists went. In Jamaica, one man even canoed out to our yacht, hollaring up to us to buy his goods. I had to admire his persistence, while feeling sorry about the conditions that drove him to these actions. I find that whenever I travel to third-world countries, I come home with more of an understanding of how easy we have it in the United States. But on this particular trip, as Max and I returned to the indulgences of the beautiful Mariner of the Seas, the disparity between the wealthy and poor felt all-too tragic.


utenzi said...

That waterfall adventure sounds like a lot of fun, Diane. I wish I was there. If I ever go on one of those cruises, that's definitely something I want to do! I'm not sure what Chris thinks about that tho.

Diane Mandy said...

I'm sure if I could make it up the falls, Chris could as well. SHe *might* consider sO long as you had a well-planned picnic and some nice martinis once you reached the top.

kenju said...

I have always wanted to do that! Do you wear water shoes while you climb?

What a great photo of you and Max!

AmyD said...

Your trip sounds AMAZING so far! Thanks for the daily recap (looking forward to more)!

I can't believe they didn't tell you ahead of time that you would have to hike up the Falls...isn't that something you might want to know BEFORE you're there and just short of pissing yourself?! ha!

Love the pics of you and Max...such a beautiful couple you are!

Tonya Allison said...

I climbed those very same falls about 8 years ago...it was very scary! But, definitely worth the pics...you two look fabulous! So glad you had such a wonderful trip!

running42k said...

I agree that you two look great together.

TamWill said...

WOW I am catching up on my blog reading. What an exciting adventure/honeymoon! I love the pictures, you make a ravishing couple! I am glad that you are happy.