Saturday, November 17, 2007

Part 2 - Dunn's River Falls, Jamaica

My very first blog post on Nathan's Uncle was June 18. In that post I told how Nathan was my favorite subject, but that I hoped to write about many of my favorite things. I included a brainstormed list of many of those things. The first two topics in my list of favorites were mountains and waterfalls. Later, on June 29, I wrote about my trip out West and how Jackson Hole, Wyoming, was the most beautiful place on Earth.

Well, on Friday, November 1, those two posts collided in Ocho Rios (or "Ochy" as the locals call it), Jamaica. Todd, Carla, Nathan, and I visited what may well be the second most beautiful spot on Earth. Dunn's River Falls is the number one tourist destination in Jamaica, as well it should be. Cruise ships haul in visitors by the thousands to climb the falls from bottom to top. Fortunately, we hit it on a day when no cruise ships were in port.

The following photo-sequence tells the story of the amazing day we spent together:

They made me ride in the back seat with Nathan all the way from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios. Not only that . . . they forced me to ride with him in the back seat all the way back, including Todd's navigation through the interminable traffic and gridlocks in MoBay. I know . . . sometimes people treat you that way, and you just have to put up with it.

The lush tropical foliage speaks for itself.

Parking is at the top of the falls, and we couldn't resist stopping for some pictures before hiking to the bottom.

My sweet sister, Carla . . . the best brother-in-law ever, Todd . . . and of course the center of my world, Nathan . . . meet the Hoods, missionary associates to Jamaica!

"Am I going to climb this waterfall or not?"

Snapped on our way down. I thought this sign had a vintage Hollywood look.

A bit of history.

Where the falls meet the beach.

Dunn's River flows into the Caribbean Sea.

We begin the ascent alone.

At this point we decide to let an escorted tour group go ahead so we could follow in their steps. This illustrates how large groups navigate the falls by holding hands in single file.

We've only just begun.

I think this image through the jungle foliage has great 3-D composition. Cool shot, Carla!

Another interesting shot. I love the jungle vines in this one. The escorts for the tour group lagged behind to assist us, even though we had not hired them. We tipped them when we reached the top.

He-Man and the Olympic Gold Medalist.


Near the top. Almost Heaven.

Carla, thanks for being our official trek photographer. You got some amazing shots, Sister!

Footnote: I still remember the night several years ago when Todd told me they were going to be missionaries to Jamaica. I didn't receive the news well. They would be taking my one and only nephew away from me. Over time, I came to accept the inevitable, and being a missionary's kid myself I knew that Nathan would get to experience many things that the average American kid would never be able to do, and I could never deny him those benefits. Watching Nathan climb Dunn's River Falls and swim near the coral reef at Doctor's Cave confirmed that knowledge for me.