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daliflor

*** PHOTO Trip Journal aboard Carnival's CONQUEST (Sept. 2012, Caribbean) ***

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It was HOT-HOT-HOT!, so DRINKS and refreshments were served (for a fee) and we enjoyed them very much, in the shadow and with lots of ICE!

 

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Shopping opportunities available too - if interested!

 

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After years of twisted English translations, the River Matibereon became known as the Martha Brae River.

 

Today, Martha Brae River offers an excursion "for those looking to commune with nature."

 

I've read somewhere that 40,000+ visitors travel down the Martha Brae on bamboo rafts every year.

 

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And we were among those on September 25th 2012 (caring the safety vests too)!

 

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The river is located in Falmouth, Trelawny, and offers two main attractions – the thrill of bamboo rafting and

the stunning Luminous Lagoon of Glistening Waters.

 

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We only did the bamboo rafting that Wednesday afternoon!

 

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ALL ABOARD! The aventure down the Martha Brae River begins shortly!

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So OFF we go - the first RAFT was ready and the Raft Captain couldn't be nicer!

 

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Our 2nd raft was also ready and once on the calm river, all four of us were gliding for three (3) miles through Jamaica's lush interior.

 

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VIDEO (start of the rafting in Martha Brae):

 

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Edited by daliflor

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Daytime bamboo rafting along the river in Jamaica's Martha Brae is popular, affordable and fun for all ages!

 

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The daylight hours allowed us, rafters, to enjoy natural scenery and some wildlife too.

 

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And now the selling souvenirs moment (the man on the land is sending over a "mini-raft" made of wood):

 

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VIDEO (rafting and selling souvenirs in Jamaica):

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There are no dangerous animals in the water, and rarely does the river move fast enough to have the entire journey last less than 45 minutes.

 

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The daylight hours allowed us, rafters, to enjoy natural scenery and... some green bananas too! : - ))

 

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Rafting on the Martha Brae boasts a complement of eighty five (85) experienced raft captains and thirty-foot (30) long bamboo rafts.

 

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And because it's HOT outside, the Raft Captains need to hidrate (us, guests, too!).

 

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The raft ride is over a three (3) mile stretch of the famous Martha Brae River and lasts approximately one hour.

 

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VIDEO (learning about Jamaica while rafting down Martha Brae River):

 

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Once on the bamboo raft, we had to opportunity to learn about “The Legend of Martha Brae” while others enjoyed an exhilarating swim.

 

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We were in the Trelawny Parish (close to Falmouth) while bamboo rafting down the Martha Brae River.

 

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This was one of the most tranquil experiences we had while cruising to the Caribbean!

 

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On our way you passed through dense jungle with trees bearing famous Jamaican fruits such as ackee, breadfruit and calabash.

 

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We've also seen almond trees and green bananas!

 

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Rafting on the Martha Brae boasts a complement of eighty five (85) experienced raft captains and thirty-foot (30) long bamboo rafts.

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And because it's so HOT outside, the Raft Captains need to hidrate often.

 

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The daylight hours allowed us, rafters, to enjoy natural scenery and some wildlife too.

 

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VIDEO (learning some more about Jamaica while rafting down Martha Brae River):

 

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The raft ride is over a three (3) mile stretch of the famous Martha Brae River and lasts approximately one hour.

 

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The name, Martha Brae, is a corruption of the Spanish name for the river, the Rio Mateberion.

 

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An alternative history of the name is that it comes from the legend of Martha Brae, a Taino witch who was tortured

by Spanish settlers until she divulged the location of a stash of gold hidden in a cave along the path of the river.

 

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After divulging the location of the gold, the Taino witch changed the course of the river,

killing the Spanish and blocking up the cave, where the gold is said to be hidden to this day.

 

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During the plantation era, the river was used as a vital artery, connecting the sugar estates in Trelawny to the port town of Falmouth.

 

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Bamboo rafts were used to float sugar and other crops to the harbour before being loaded on to ships bound for Europe.

 

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VIDEO (being serenaded while rafting down Martha Brae River):

 

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Rafting on the Martha Brae boasts a complement of eighty five (85) experienced raft captains and thirty-foot (30) long bamboo rafts.

 

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Our Raft Captains doing their best Usain Bolt pose : - ))

 

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The "fake cemetery," we were told.

 

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Today, Martha Brae River offers an excursion "for those looking to commune with nature."

 

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The raft ride is over a three (3) mile stretch of the famous Martha Brae River and lasts approximately one hour.

 

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The daylight hours allowed us, rafters, to enjoy Jamaica's natural scenery and lush vegetation.

 

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VIDEO (being serenaded once again while rafting down Martha Brae River):

 

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We enjoyed very much this unique bamboo rafting experience, encompassing about three (3) miles

of beautiful and picturesque river!

 

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VIDEO (learning more about Jamaica while rafting down Martha Brae River):

 

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The daylight hours allowed us, rafters, to enjoy Jamaica's lush vegetation and wildlife too.

 

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Edited by daliflor

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The daylight hours allowed us, rafters, to enjoy Jamaica's lush vegetation and wildlife.

 

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Drifting gently down the Martha Brae River guided by an expert Raft Captain on a 30-foot bamboo raft made for two.

 

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Enjoying a unique adventure in Jamaica, laying back in tranquility as we glided gently through captivating scenery.

 

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As the water got deeper, our one hour bamboo raft ride came slowly to an end that Wednesday afternoon, September 26th 2012...

 

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Flowing for over 20 miles from the tip of the Cockpit Country to the Caribbean Sea,

the Martha Brae's fame comes from its beauty and legendary past.

 

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VIDEO (end of the bamboo rafting experience in Jamaica's Martha Brae):

 

 

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Our tour ended at "Martha's Rest" - a rustic building with a souvenir shop and a bar/restaurant.

 

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River rafting is also great for the environmentally conscious traveler as it uses nothing more than

the natural currents of the river and some manmade grit.

 

 

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While bamboo rafting down the Martha Brae River, we found ourselves in the Trelawny Parish (close to Falmouth).

 

So at the end of the tour, while we were weighting our options for lunch, the driver surprised us as he took a side road and

drove us to the Falmouth Pier to see the beautiful "Allure of the Seas."

 

 

BEFORE we had the chance to see the RCI cruise ship, we passed by the locals and the real Jamaican live -

the one behind the touristic atrractions:

 

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FALMOUTH, Jamaica (Wednesday, September 26th 2012)

 

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FALMOUTH, Jamaica (Wednesday, September 26th 2012)

 

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FALMOUTH, Jamaica (Wednesday, September 26th 2012)

 

The town was established in 1769 when Edward Barrett (the grandfather of English poet Elizabeth Barrett Brown)

sold 170 acres of land for the establishment of the town.

 

Barrett kept the costal land for himself and donated land for a courthouse, church and public buildings to be built.

 

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FALMOUTH, Jamaica (Wednesday, September 26th 2012)

 

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The REAL JAMAICAN LIFE as seen in FALMOUTH, Jamaica - September 26th 2012:

 

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FALMOUTH, Jamaica (Wednesday, September 26th 2012)

 

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FALMOUTH, Jamaica (Wednesday, September 26th 2012)

 

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Falmouth was planned from inception - Roads were laid out in a grid formation and

fresh water was piped from the nearby Martha Brae river to a reservoir in the town centre.

 

Falmouth had a piped water system before even New York City.

 

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FALMOUTH, Jamaica (Wednesday, September 26th 2012)

 

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FALMOUTH, Jamaica (Wednesday, September 26th 2012)

 

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The REAL JAMAICAN LIFE as seen in FALMOUTH, Jamaica - September 26th 2012:

 

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FALMOUTH, Jamaica (Wednesday, September 26th 2012)

 

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The town of FALMOUTH takes its name from a town called Falmouth in Cornwall, England

which was the birthplace of Sir William Trelawny, the Governor of Jamaica at the time.

 

The main roads (King Street, Queen Street, St. Victoria Street, St. Rodney Street, St. George Street, Albert Street and Stanley Street)

are named after English heroes of the era.

 

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FALMOUTH, Jamaica (Wednesday, September 26th 2012)

 

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And then... VOILA!

The RCI cruise ship "ALLURE of the SEAS" was in sight, docked in sunny Falmouth, Jamaica:

 

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"Allure of the Seas" in Falmouth, Jamaica (September 26, 2012)

 

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"Allure of the Seas" in Falmouth, Jamaica (September 26, 2012)

 

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"Allure of the Seas" in Falmouth, Jamaica (September 26, 2012)

 

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"Allure of the Seas" in Falmouth, Jamaica (September 26, 2012)

 

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"Allure of the Seas" in Falmouth, Jamaica (September 26, 2012)

 

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For many years now, there have been plans to develop Falmouth as a major cruise ship destination.

 

Cruise operators have been negotiating multi-million dollar renovation projects with the Jamaican Government to establish

Falmouth as a world class historical destination, similar to Williamsburg in Virginia

(an English colonial town which Falmouth has often been compared to).

 

 

And in a blink of an eye, we were back to the day-to-day life of the locals:

 

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And then wee were soon reminded of our earlier bamboo rafting along Martha Brae River!

 

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FALMOUTH, Jamaica (Wednesday, September 26th 2012)

 

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FALMOUTH, Jamaica (Wednesday, September 26th 2012)

 

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The JAMAICAN LIFE as depicted in the murals of FALMOUTH, Jamaica - September 26th 2012:

 

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FALMOUTH, Jamaica (Wednesday, September 26th 2012)

 

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"Falmouth is a good base to explore the interior and the pristine beaches of the north coast, and shows an alternative side of Jamaica,

away from the nightclubs and gift shops selling Bob Marley fridge magnets."

 

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FALMOUTH, Jamaica (Wednesday, September 26th 2012)

 

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Falmouth is the chief town and capital of the parish of Trelawny in Jamaica.

 

It is situated on Jamaica's north coast 18 miles east of Montego Bay.

 

Laidback Trelawny Parish in Jamaica is the birthplace of many Olympic sprinters, including Usain Bolt,

the fastest man on earth (as well as Veronica Campbell-Brown and Ben Johnson).

 

 

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Falmouth is the said to be one if not the best preserved Georgian town in the Caribbean and

is said to have some of the best examples of Georgian architecture outside of Britain.

 

Hopefully, one day in the future, we'll have the chance to walk down the historic streets

and see those grand Georgian houses standing shoulder to shoulder with quaint wooden dwellings.

 

 

Meanwhile, we'll always have the sweet memory of that one hour when we laid back on a bamboo raft,

spotting hummingbirds while lulled by lapping waters in Jamaica's Martha Brae...

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As we were heading back towards Montego Bay (hoping to enjoy lunch at a local restaurant),

we stopped briefly at the St. Peter's Anglican Church in Falmouth (Trelawny, Jamaica):

 

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St. Peter's Anglican Church in Falmouth, Jamaica - view from Duke street

 

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St. Peter's Anglican Church in Falmouth, Jamaica - view from Duke street

 

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St. Peter's Anglican Church in Falmouth, Jamaica - view from Duke street

 

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St. Peter's Anglican Church in Falmouth, Jamaica - view from Duke street

 

 

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Visiting the St. Peter's Anglican Church in Falmouth Parish Church, Jamaica (Wednesday, September 26th 2012)

 

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St. Peter's Anglican Church - Falmouth, Jamaica

 

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Southern stained glass window

(in memory of the Revd. A. Ernest Montgomery Stewart):

 

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Eastern stained glass window - Falmouth Parish Church, Jamaica

(flanked by the Ten Commandments, Lord's Prayer and Apostles' Creed)

 

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We left St. Peter's Anglican Church in Falmouth Parish Church, Jamaica to then stop for lunch at a place

that didn't look much from outside but it was highly recommended by our driver for delicious, local food:

 

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Note that the prices on the menu are listed on the local currency but they did take USD and made the conversion on the spot

(i.e. We paid almost $15.00 USD for 2 "Red Stripe" beers, 1/2 chicken, 1/2 pork and 2 sides of rice'n peas)

 

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"SCOTCHIES" menu - Jamaica, September 26th 2012

 

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The restaurant's staff was friendly and they accomodate all four of us immediately; food was ready fairly quickly.

 

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LUNCH at "SCOTCHIES" - Jamaica, September 26th 2012

 

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Edited by daliflor

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