Leaving Cuba we made a return visit to Montego Bay, skipping Dunns River Falls this time for a tubing trip down the Great River at Montpelier. Tubing basically means sitting in a tyre and holding on, both to the tyre and to the plastic cups of white rum punch being passed round as you go over some fairly shallow falls.
It’s a very mild adventure, but being the only participants willing to swim in the (allegedly) crocodile-infested waters, amongst a group of Spaniards and Italians made the trip for me. Some people watch too many films.
During the trip I asked our jovial guides, Ned and Teaspoon, some vital cultural questions, which confirmed my sense that Red Stripe, Guinness Export and Dragon constitute the beer scene. I also learnt that Beenie Man is the natural successor to Bob, but Marley was all they sung.
Luckily, the first two of these beers were available in the makeshift hut at the Port, alongside some potent jerk chicken.
Even drunk in more appropriate temperatures than the Bedford parody is brewed for, Red Stripe was no more than refreshing, and not worth the $4 cheekily asked.
The Guinness, however, was a revelation even at an ABV a % point below what I thought the norm for Foreign Extra, and out of the bottle. A strangely underrated drink.
The unnamed hut is set up mainly for port workers and the odd lost tourist, but looked typical of many of the shacks we passed inland.
Jamaica is a wonderful country, with some of the warmest and funniest people I’ve met anywhere. Many Americans are too scared to leave their cruise ships to visit it though.