May 28, 2015
In the middle of the Jamaican rain forest there lies a great adventure that I would recommend to anyone ready and willing to take the plunge. The Irie Blue Hole (AKA: Secret Falls), located in the St. Ann and St.Mary parishes, is just a short van ride from Ochos Rios. My seven companions and I hired Rex, a gentleman who was recommended to us by another group of travelers. Rex picked us up from our hotel, The Jewel at Dunn’s River, early that morning and we set out on our way. From there we made a stop at Vibe’s Bar, where we met proprietors Aaron and his wife Lily who hustle Red Stripe and snacks for travelers. We were convinced Rex and Aaron have a deal that he stops there daily for a kick back, but we didn’t care; we were happy to meet the locals and hear their tales of the Irie Blue Hole before we arrived. After about a half hour, we all piled back into the van with Rex, one pre-packed cooler and 12 “locally served” Red Stripes already having been consumed.
Finally, we made it to the Irie Blue Hole in the middle of the Jamaican Rain Forest – WOW! – what a beautiful sight to see! The fauna and flora were diverse and remarkable in their beauty. The free roaming roosters were a little odd, but they made for a good laugh before we went down to the “hole”. Which is actually 15 different 2-20 foot holes flowing down a waterfall in Ochos Rios. Our tour guide lead us down in the waterfall then a short hike up the falls to start at the top. Where we sat under a fall and let the rushing water pouring down our backs. This was a little scary as I felt like I was going to be washed away!
Now on to why I came…the cliff jumping..which oddly enough didn’t scare me like the rushing fall. The first jump was small and the water was a clear blue. You could see all the way to the bottom of the 15 foot hole. The second cliff was optional to do and hard as hell to climb up to get to the top and me being 5’2″ once I was up there was no turning back. So, I put on my big girl panties on and lowered myself down to the diving plat form (yes, that’s right lowered myself to the platform on the side of a cliff in the middle of the rain forest) then took a deep breath did not look down and jumped like a pencil off the 50+ foot cliff in to the cool blue water below. Man, did the water feel invigorating and surprisingly my toes touched the smooth white pebbles at the bottom.
From there we walked, jumped and swung our way down the waterfall into the blue holes. Finally we get to the actually waterfall where O’Neil and his buddy walked us down the slippery wet rock face of the waterfall the let us go so we could jump/fall/bear jump in to the big blue hole below. In the same stop we was O’Neil and his buddy do flips off a 70 foot tall cliff. As we sat like fairies in the beautiful water under the beautiful greenery of the rain forest. The eight of us all had our own style. Then we came to the “inch worm” which is what we called it for obvious reasons it was a 16 by 16 inch hole that we entered feet first on our bellies and slithered down into a mysterious grotto. Creepy cool.
We then exited the blue hole *tipped our guides* (they kept us alive, tip them!) and had fun dancing and drinking the rest of our beer with O’Neil and his crew. Around 4pm Rex arrived in his van to pick us up we all piled in once again. Now, only a 25 mintue ride back to the hotel, we were delay by people selling and buying brownies in the middle of the road.. wonder what was in those brownies… Ya Mon!
“Don’t gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold…” -Bob Marley