Want to learn a little about Jamaica?
Get it together in Jamaica, Soulful town, soulful people, I see you're having fun.
Dancing to the reggae rhythm, Oh, island in the sun! Come on and
Smile, you're in Jamaica!
-Bob Marley, from Smile Jamaica
- Official language: English
- Major religions: Christian 60%, Others 40%
- Government: Multiparty democracy
- Currency: Jamaican dollar
- Televisions: 130 per 1,000 people
The Island of Jamaica offers many surprises... seductive and hypnotic, healing, energetic and ooooh so beautiful. Even the tourist sites of Dunn's River Falls, Bamboo Avenue, Rose Hall Great House, the Blue Hole, the Rio Grande River rafting trip... all provide a surprising variety of travel experiences that you will hold dear to your memories.
Located on the North Coast, Runaway Bay is a sleepy resort town comprised mainly of villas and resorts.
Jamaica is also a beautiful island with strong contrasts... from the calming azure blue Sea to the emerald green hills of the Cockpit Country you will find Jamaican people of great wealth to intense poverty.
In addition to tourisim, mining of Bauxite mineral (used to make aluminum) is a valuable source of income. A variety of other industries bring money to Jamaica such as oil refining and clothes manufacturing. Farming the land is also important. Plantations growing bananas, coffee, sugar and cocoa are employing large numbers of people. Many Jamaicans are fisherman or farm their own plots of land where they are producing food for themselves and their familys with some leftover to sell in the towns.
Johnny Cash and Jamaica
Many people don't know about Johnny Cash's long association with Jamaica. The country music star was a longtime Jamaica resident, at least for part of the year. His home was Cinnamon Hill, an historic greathouse located next door to the famous Rose Hall (right). Cinnamon Hill had been the birthplace of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's father, Edward Moulton Barrett. The Barretts later went on to own Greenwood Great House, also nearby.
Johnny--like many Jamaica visitors--seemed to have a real fascination with Rose Hall, which is reported to be haunted not only by the woman known as the "White Witch of Rose Hall" but by the lovers, husbands, and slaves she allegedly murdered in the plantation house. Cash went on to write a song called the "Ballad of Annie Palmer" in the early 70s. Tours at Rose Hall end out by Annie Palmer's grave where the guides sing the song with its haunting refrain:
Where's your husband Annie where's number two and three
Are they sleeping neath the palms beside the Caribbean Sea
At night I hear you ridin' and I hear your lovers call
And still can feel your presence round the great house at Rose Hall
Cinnamon Hill isn't open to visitors but you can golf in what was literally Johnny's front yard at Cinnamon Hill Golf Course.
If you find yourself in Jamaica, be sure to ask your taxi driver to point out Cinnamon Hill, high above the main road heading east of Montego Bay. We've traveled with more than one taxi driver who pointed out the greathouse and talked about how well liked Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash were in their adopted home.
Beaches and hotels are Runaway Bay's claim to fame. Much of it consists of Cardiff Hall, a vast estate of privately owned homes (villas). See the map and on the map below...
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