We went to the city of Ocho Rios last week. Ocho Rios is where Christopher Columbus first landed when he came to Jamaica.Dave took advantage of one of the large grocery stores there to buy supplies to make a chili supper for the Beachs- our Jamaican hosts. He could find all the ingredients he needed except…………. the chili! Later we looked in another grocery store in Ocho Rios and three in the Runaway Bay area. No chili powder! There was jerk sauce with chilis and chili sauce but no chili powder. Dave improvised with a variety of other spices and his signature chili was still delicious. Ocho Rios is a popular stop for Caribbean cruise ships. Although one was in dock when we were there we didn’t see many tourists in town. The local vendors complain that while the cruise ships used to let passengers just roam the town now they encourage them to take packaged trips to swim with dolphins or visit Dunn River Falls so that means the local merchants in Ocho Rios don’t benefit from the tourist trade. This vendor was peeling oranges for customers.And this fisherman was trying to sell his fish to passersby. We spent time just wandering the streets and trying to get a feel for the place. Because we seemed to be the only tourists there people were trying to sell us souvenirs at every turn. With the tough economic times they’re experiencing I understand why.
It was interesting to see Ochi Rios, but I don’t think I need to go back.