In Bob Marley’s land

Jamaica happened to be almost just as I expected. What comes into your head when you decide going there? Reggae, consequently Bob Marley and more directly ganja. Before you ask me, the answer is NO. Marijuana is not legalized in this country, unlike many people might think. Truth is: it`s easy to find and great part of the population smokes it at home, but you don`t cross with a bunch of jamaicans rolling up joints in the streets.

Second thought, reggae! This one is in the speech of every sweet person that passes by your path. The population, mostly rastafaris, is very receptive and chat almost chanting.

Arrived to film in Kingston, the capital, normally where the tourists don’t stay, but as I was seeking for waves it was the best place. Dear Icah Wilmot, local surfer that owns the Jamnesia lodging where the crew and me were hosted welcomed me.

The lodging is humble, but at two steps from the beach and right next to a surf spot called Copa, sharp rocked point break and nobody inside the water. The surf spots are hard to find and a guide is essential in the seek. By the time I was there, January, the winds blow just too early, so the most important thing was being at the right place right on time. The best spots were Lighthouse, tubular A-frame above a sharp reef, Makkas, Zoo, destroyed after the last hurricane and Roselle.

The trip to Boston Bay, northward, is essential to feel the Jamaican energy, that’s the place that carries the essence of surfing and has one of the most limpid water I ever saw.

Besides surfing, I believe the most wanted place is the Bob Marley Museum, even being a classic I wouldn’t miss the cliché because the place is absolutely awesome! Not only the story of the most important reggae idol is told, there is the place that he actually lived for years, and his room, clothes and many personal stuff are around. The most impressive was the home-studio inside the home-museum, where many of the songs that we sing till these days were made.

The local food as I like it (fresh) is too much spicy and didn’t fulfill my eyes, most of them are vegan, so tofu and proteins are always there. I believe that in fancier restaurants the menu must be more varied, but as my scheme was roots, square bread with cheese and cream cheese would save me.

Talking about roots scheme, got into those challenges life puts us up to test ourselves. Just in the second day at Jamnesia, the water was gone. That’s right, the bathroom, which was shared by everyone, was without water. The result? One day sleeping salty and shower at Cane river (attended by our friend Bob) at least once for ten days. Bothered me in the beginning, but I assume I got into it afterwards. We appreciate most stuff by the time we lose it. And so it was…

My advice to who wants to visit Jamaica: Disconnect! Go open hearted, explore every single inch of this country, don’t limit your trip to the north (what most of tourists do), talk to everyone you can, Jamaicans exhale an amazing vibe and do not miss a reggae concert.

Oh, an important and unfortunately negative advice is, Jamaica has one of the worst rape rates in the world, so women should be careful going out by themselves. Having reliable men around is always the best option.

Other hints: plenty of sun block, insect repellent, underwater camera, havaianas flip flops, booties for the reefs and first-aid kit.

Fly with American Airlines.

Stay at Jamnesia with Icah Wilmot.