The term language travel
may mean different things to different people. Indeed, when I use the phrase,
it encompasses a few different things. Generally speaking, language travel is
travel that is, primarily, designed with a particular language in mind. This
could be traveling to a country to practice language skills, or for the purpose
of learning a language. Language travel can also mean that you are using
language, in some way, to facilitate your travel. This could include teaching
your native tongue in other countries, as the means of being able to travel. In
an even broader sense, it might be said that the act of studying and learning a
language enables you to travel vicariously without ever leaving home.
There’s an old cliche
about American travelers expecting everyone to speak English to them when
traveling abroad. Maybe there’s some truth to that, but let’s face it, if you
travel very widely, you don’t have to be American to quickly fall behind the
language curve. Yet, there’s that whole thing about “when in Rome”.
I’m going to guess that a relatively small percentage of travelers are equally conversant in English, Arabic, Swahili and Cantonese. I’ll make a confession up front. I’m not. On the other hand, I think it’s simply good manners to arm yourself with some basic language knowledge when visiting a country where your own language is not dominant. Even if you don’t plan to become fluent in a particular language, language travel can be as simple as learning enough words and phrases to make a good impression, as well as to make your travels a bit more smooth.
When I’m visiting another country, I like to get the basics down. What are those basics, though? Well, for me, I think it’s important to be able to greet someone in their own language. So, a simple “hello” and “goodbye” in the local language are mandatory. I also try to nail down other polite formalities, such as “please”, “thank you” and “excuse me”. After a couple of times being the bungling foreigner, I also added “sorry” to my list.
Obviously, the more you learn of your host country’s language, the easier it will be to navigate their culture, but just getting some basics down is almost always appreciated by the locals. Just like in my own hometown, strangers are more likely to be helpful when you extend a little courtesy.
Luckily, in the digital age, it’s never been easier to access language learning resources. Whether you are trying to achieve fluency, or just memorize those polite basics, the information you need is just a few mouse clicks away. Really, it may be as close as an app on your phone.
I find Duolingo to be one of the handier ways to introduce a new language and to brush up on the basics of grammar and vocabulary. It’s free, effective, and although you can use their regular website, they are probably better known for their handy phone app. Several weeks before going out of the country, I like to start running through the lessons for my target language. Although it may not make me magically fluent in time for my trip, it certainly boosts my comfort and confidence levels.
If you really want to get serious about a new language, truly becoming conversationally fluent, there is eventually one other thing that you’re going to have to do. That one other thing is the most important thing. You need to speak with someone in that language and, preferably, that someone will be a native speaker. The first few times can be a little intimidating, but languages are meant to be spoken. You’ve got to do it.
A great resource for learning a new language is the website italki.com. Through italki, you can find professional teachers, community tutors, or informal “language partners”, all of whom can help you learn, or improve, a new language.
Basically, on italki, you find someone that speaks and/or teaches the language you want to learn and then you set an appointment to “meet” on Skype. So, you get to have one-on-one lessons and conversations with native speakers, face to face, via video chatting. Some languages are more prevalent than others, but you’d have to be learning something pretty obscure to not find someone to help you.
Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. The professional teachers on italki.com hold relevant certifications and have experience in language teaching. Yet, the costs are often a great value. A decent hourly wage for some countries may seem like a bargain for many Americans and others. It’s worth noting, too, that the Community Tutors charge less, because they do not have professional credentials. I would recommend perusing their profiles, as well, I’ve had mixed results with Community Tutors, but some of the best teachers I’ve found were, in fact, Community Tutors.
Language is the primary conveyor of culture and the more you can delve into the local culture while traveling, the richer your travel experience is likely to be. Daunting though it may seem, learning a new language (even just a little) is more achievable than you might think.
Another option for learning a language is to purchase a language course. Popular language courses include Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur, but in my opinion, they all tend to be a bit expensive. I also have doubts about their effectiveness. If you’ve had success in attaining fluency through the use of a language course, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
There is another option
that intrigues me, which I think is the most effective way to learn a foreign
language. I’m talking about language immersion. You could accomplish this on
your own through independent language travel, but there are many places around
there world that offers language immersion classes. In these cases, your trip
is all about learning, but you do so while engaged and immersed in the local
community. For instance, if you wanted to learn Spanish, Costa Rica is a
popular place to do so through language immersion. Another popular place for
Spanish lessons is Antigua, Guatamala. Most language immersion schools offer
packages ranging from a few days, up to multiple weeks.
Teaching abroad is also a
good way to learn your target language. If you only speak one language, that is
typically not a problem for getting a job teaching your language in another
country. The fact that you are a native speaker of the language you’ll be teaching
is of much more importance. It is common for language schools to offer their
teachers free, or discounted, classes to learn the language of the host
country. Add to that the fact that you will be living in the host country and
this could really accelerate your language learning. Instead of paying for a
language immersion class, you would, essentially, be getting paid to immersed
in your new language.
Whatever your language travel goals might be, there are lots of way to pursue a new language in the context of seeing the world. Armed with a few phrases, or on the fast track to fluency, engaging with new places and people through language is an enriching way to see the world. So, go ahead. Give it a try. When in Rome, speak Italian.
Most tourists flying to
Jamaica arrive at the Donald Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. The
stretch of Jamaica’s north coast from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios encompasses a
large percentage of the country’s primary tourist zone. Besides those visitors
arriving by plane, there are literally boatloads of tourists arriving every
week to Jamaica’s north coast. Cruise ship terminals are located in Montego
Bay, Falmouth and Ocho Rios.
The Distance from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios
The distance from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios is just over 60 miles. That means the country’s busiest tourism airport and 3 cruise ship ports are situated in a relatively compact area. Of course, the crystal clear waters and pristine beaches are one of the island’s biggest draws. Not surprisingly then, a rather narrow strip of coast from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios is where most of the tourism industry is focused. Despite this heavy concentration, there is so much more to Jamaica than what lies along the north coast. That being said, this particular guide will focus on that specific area of Jamaica.
Driving in Jamaica
When I travel to Jamaica,
I do so independently and rent a car. Not everyone will be comfortable doing
that, especially on their first visit. In Jamaica, they drive on the left side
of the road. In most of the country, the roads are not as well-built, or
well-maintained, as in most of North America, or Europe. Given this combination
of factors, the fast and, sometimes aggressive, local driving style is more
than most tourists want to deal with. I get it.
One of the Easiest Areas to Drive
If you think you do want to drive in Jamaica, though, there’s really no better part of the island to get your feet wet. The stretch of highway from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios is relatively straight. It is also in good condition, especially compared to some rural areas. There is a lot to see and do without having your own vehicle. However, having a car and some independence opens up even more possibilities. I’m always hesitant to recommend driving to first time visitors. Once you’ve got a trip under your belt, though, give it some consideration.
Rental Car Options
There are a number of car rental companies available at the Montego Bay airport. Personally, I use Island Car Rental. Their prices have always been reasonable and I’ve never had any issues with them. Also, I prefer to support the local economy by supporting local companies.
If you are not renting a car, you’ll need to decide how to get around. Where you stay and how you plan to spend your time will help dictate your decision. If you are staying in an all-inclusive resort, or even other hotels, you will most likely have a shuttle to take you to your destination. Resorts are dotted all along the way from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios. How long it takes will, obviously, depend on how far from the airport you are staying. Being on an all-inclusive may also mean you don’t get out and see much else. That would be a shame, in my opinion. Even if you’re staying at an all-inclusive, try to get out and experience the local culture.
The Knutsford Express
If you are staying in Ocho Rios, your property may have a shuttle. If not, there is another good option. The Knutsford Express offers a nice, comfortable a bus ride from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios. As a bonus, they have a terminal right at the Donald Sangster Airport in Montego Bay. Besides Ocho Rios, they offer routes to a number of other cities and towns around the island. The terminal in Ocho Rios is at the popular Island Village Shopping Center. From there, it may still be a bit of distance to your final destination. The staff should be able to help you negotiate a taxi the rest of the way, if you simply ask for assistance.
Conveniently Located Terminal
When I’m in Ocho Rios, I
tend to stay at either Turtle Beach Towers, or Fisherman’s Point, both of which
are across the street from Island Village. Once you disembark from the
Knutsford Express, you can easily walk to either of these places. If you choose
to branch out to other parts of the island during your stay, the convenience of
the Knutsford Express could be worth your while for that, as well. Their buses
are large, comfortable, air-conditioned, coach-style buses. Since I rent my own
car, I do not have personal experience with the Knutsford Express. I have only
heard good things about them and their customer service, though. I have also
seen their buses and would feel completely comfortable and safe in booking with
Montego Bay gets its fair share of tourists. It is Jamaica’s second city, behind the capital of Kingston. It has also long been known as a tourist destination. In more recent years, Montego Bay has also developed a more negative reputation than it once held and, unfortunately, it’s not completely undeserved. There are plenty of all-inclusive resorts in Montego Bay. They tend to be on the side of town going towards Ocho Rios. This is the side of town most visitors see if they venture outside the resorts. There is also Montego Bay’s famed “hip strip”, along Gloucester Avenue. Here you’ll find plenty of souvenir shops, restaurants and other businesses meant to allure tourists.
I’ll be honest here. Montego Bay has never been my favorite part of Jamaica. I grew up on the other side of the island and never spent much time in Mo Bay (as it is colloquially known). When we went to the north coast, we usually went to the Ocho Rios area. Even now, that’s where I normally go for some sea and sun. None of that’s to dismiss Montego Bay, but it is a grittier place than it used to be. Still, if you stick to the tourist areas, there’s no reason to avoid Montego Bay.
Use Common Sense and Enjoy Yourself
Yes, you may see some of that city’s problems in the news, but thousands of visitors happily vacation there every year. The same advice should apply as in any city, including wherever you’re from. Avoid high crime areas and you’re unlikely to be a crime victim. If you don’t know which areas to avoid and which are okay, ask a local. Jamaicans are friendly people and the vast majority are happy to steer you in the right direction.
Coming out of Montego
Bay, heading east toward Ocho Rios, one of the popular historic sites you will
pass is the Rose Hall Great House. This is the site of an old plantation,
infamous for its former owner, Annie Palmer. Annie Palmer is called the “White
Witch of Rose Hall” in popular legend and is believed to have murdered multiple
husbands. A popular novel was written about her, which provides some historical
backdrop, albeit it fictional and sensationalized. You can tour the great house
and grounds. If you are not traveling independently, your resort can likely set
you up with a tour and for cruise passengers, you can check the available
excursions. Rose Hall is a common destination for day visitors and longer term
Rose Hall Area Accommodations
Among the resorts in the
vicinity of Rose Hall are Half Moon, Seacastles, Jewel Grande Montego Bay
Resort, Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall, Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Iberostar Selection
Rose Hall Suites. There are numerous shops and restaurants in the area, as
well, for anyone wishing to venture outside their resort. This area really
provides no cause for concern, in my opinion, if you wanted to wander around a
bit. Of course, if you have any questions, or qualms, just ask the staff at
your hotel for suggestions.
As you continue eastward,
the highway meanders along the coast, providing frequent panoramas of the
turquoise Caribbean Sea. You’ll pass through little towns along the way and
will certainly notice a number of other hotels and resorts scattered along the
coast. In one of the areas where the highway veers away from the sea, you will
pass by Falmouth. Falmouth itself is on the waterfront, so if you want to
visit, you’ll have to take a small detour off the highway. In recent years,
this old seaside town has been revitalized. The impetus for this was the
decision to make Falmouth another cruise ship port.
If you arrive in Jamaica
onboard a cruise ship at Falmouth, there will no doubt be an array of
excursions available to you. Some of the attractions are in close proximity to
Falmouth, but many will involve venturing further afield. The Martha Brae River
is close to Falmouth and bamboo raft tours are available there. The town of
Falmouth itself is somewhat historic and worth a look, although it is not a big
place. There are, not surpisingly, beaches nearby for those who don’t want to
head off for more adventurous activities.
Moving on, it won’t be
long until you come to Discovery Bay. This town, and the bay its named after,
takes its name from Christopher Columbus’ arrival here in the 15th
Century. In fact, there is a small park here called Columbus Park. There are
few historical artifacts to see here, as well as a nice view of the bay.
Although there’s not a whole lot to the park, I consider Discovery Bay to be a
decent pit stop location. There are usually vendors at Columbus Park selling
crafts, as well as fruits and produce. Personally, I’ve found it to be a pretty
convenient and reliable place to stock up on fresh fruit when I arrive on the
Things to Look For in Discovery Bay
Puerto Seco Beach is
located in Discovery Bay and has undergone some rejuvenation in the past few
years. There are, also, a few restaurants and an easy access gas station right
on the main road. The Texaco Station in Discovery Bay has a patty shop next
door, if you want to grab some cheap eats on the go. If you aren’t familiar
with Jamaican patties, you definitely need to have some while you’re there.
They are the quintessential Jamaican fast food. The name “patty” may conjure
images of something like a hamburger patty, but Jamaican patties are actually
more akin to empenadas. Right behind the Texaco is another fruit stand you may
want to check out. I haven’t had great luck finding what I’ve wanted at that
stand, but to be fair, availability varies everywhere. That’s sort of the
nature of buying fresh fruits and produce, regardless of what country you’re
The Ultimate Jerk Center
When I fly into Montego
Bay, I intentionally book my flights so that I arrive sometime around midday.
By the time I get my luggage, clear customs and pick up my rental car, I
usually end up in Discovery Bay in the early afternoon – ready for some lunch.
It has become the tradition for my family to have lunch in Discovery Bay on our
arrival day. Our spot is The Ultimate Jerk Center. Discovery Bay is not a very
big town, so once you pass the “downtown”, be on the lookout. The Texaco I
mentioned will be on your right, if you’re heading toward Ocho Rios. That
junction is, essentially, the main commercial center of Discovery Bay that is
on the highway.
The Ultimate Jerk Center will be on the left, once you clear that commercial neighborhood. The restaurant occupies a fairly large area. It has a bar and plenty of outdoor seating. There will be a walk-up window where you place your order. Then you wait at the counter until your order number is called. If none of this seems obvious to you when you arrive, ask one of the employees how to go about ordering. For a more detailed review of The Ultimate Jerk Center, I actually wrote a whole blog post about it. If you love real Jamaican jerk, I’ve even written a how-to guide that will teach you how to make it at home.
Green Grotto Cave
Right across the street
from The Ultimate Jerk Center is the Green Grotto Cave. This cave system is
unique, in that it largely above ground, rather than being subterranean. There
is a small underground lake inside the cave, too. For years, part of the cave
tour involved a little boat ride on the underground lake. Unfortunately, that
has been discontinued (unless they’ve started it back very recently), but they
still take you down to see it. Aside from the bats that one would expect in a
cave, lots of cave swallows have their nests near the entrance. If you’re
waiting for the next tour to begin, the swallows flitting back and forth
provide a little lowkey entertainment.
The next town you’ll come
to is Runaway Bay. Probably the most popular hotel there is the Franklyn D
Resort and Spa. There’s a golf course nearby, also. The reason I go to Runaway
Bay, though, is to the beach. The main beach at Runaway Bay is Cardiff Hall Beach,
but it is better known locally as Flavour’s Beach. The latter name is taken
from Flavour’s Beach Bar and Restaurant. There is a traffic light right at the
entrance, plus you’ll see signs for Flavour’s. Free public parking is available
right beside the bar/restaurant.
Flavour’s Beach is my family’s go-to beach. Even though we may be staying in Ocho Rios, we make the drive to Runaway Bay. It’s only about a 30-minute drive, each way, from Ochie (the local slang Ocho Rios). The beach here is nice and, especially on a weekday, it’s rarely crowded. Although there may be a few tourists, this is more of a local’s beach. All of that combined makes it worth the drive for me.
Flavour’s Restaurant and Bar
As for the restaurant, I
have eaten there, but I don’t go for the food. The service was slow, even by
Jamaican standards, and the food was rather average. It was a little pricey,
too. Honestly, I try to time our beach excursions so that we’re not stuck there
for lunch. If you’re not able to time it that way, it’s not that the food is
bad. I just wouldn’t go there specifically for the purpose of eating. The bar,
on the other hand, is convenient if you’re working up a sweat in the sun. At
the bar, the prices are geared more towards locals, which is a plus. One of the
vendors by the beach is usually selling jelly coconuts, too, if you want
something more naturally refreshing.
It bears mentioning that only a few hundred yards down the beach from Flavour’s are some private rental properties that are right on the beach. I’ve never stayed in any of them, but I have looked them up online. The prices may be a bit too rich for budget travelers, but they are nice places. I have seriously considered booking one, or more, of them for a group trip someday. There are many other houses and villas between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. Check AirBnB to see what’s available. New to AirBnB? You can get a $30 credit if you sign up with my invitation code.
Before you get to Ocho Rios, you pass through a couple of small towns in short succession. The communities of Priory and St. Ann’s Bay have a number of villas and hotels clustered around them. Most are off the main highway. As a word of caution, if you are driving, take care through this stretch. The road narrows here, with shops and houses on either side. There isn’t much of a shoulder, but there will be vehicles parked there anyway. Look for traffic coming in and out of the main road and, most importantly, watch for pedestrians. None of this is a big deal, but it’s worth being aware. Most of the highway from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios is more open and less congested. The closer you get to Ocho Rios, you will see things getting a little more crowded.
Just before you drive through Priory and St. Ann’s Bay, you pass a place called Llandovery. There’s a good chance you won’t even be aware of it, except you will see Chukka Cove on your left. Keep this in mind for later, if you’ve haven’t planned ahead. Chukka Caribbean Adventures is a popular source for tourist activities. If you stay right in Ocho Rios, you will probably notice their large catamaran. They have a variety of activities available, but the only one I have partaken of is horseback riding. My last visit to Jamaica, my daughter and I went horseback riding at Chukka Cove and we had a good time.
If you choose Chukka for their horseback tour, they will come to pick you up wherever you are staying. They provide shuttle service to all the area hotels and resorts, but they will also pick you up at least some of the condo complexes. Even though I have my own car, we still took the complimentary shuttle. In fact, I don’t know that I could have found the place on my own, if they’d allowed it. Where they do the horse-riding tours is separate from the main Chukka Cove location you see from the highway.
As for the time spent riding horses, we had a good time. The staff is excellent. My daughter had never ridden a horse and they made sure she was comfortable and looked after. After a nice trail ride through what was once a sugar plantation, you get to ride in the sea. The views along the way, especially when you arrive at the water, are pretty awesome.
Arriving in Ocho Rios
From the airport in Montego Bay to Ocho Rios is about an hour and forty-five minutes, if you don’t stop anywhere along the way. In other words, it’s taken longer to write this blog post than to drive to Ochie from Mo Bay. When your trip is over, you simply retrace your steps from Ocho Rios to Montego Bay. Let’s not worry about that yet, though. This virtual trip is just getting started. You are now arriving in Ocho Rios.
As you come into town, you’ll start to see signs for some major tourist attractions. Namely, you’ll pass the entrances to Dunn’s River Falls and Mystic Mountain Rainforest, in that order. Both will be on your right, with the sea to your left. Lastly, on the sea side of the road, you’ll pass Dolphin Cove. After that, you are entering almost immediately into Ocho Rios. If you happen to choose Turtle Beach Towers, or Fisherman’s Point, you’re going to make a left pretty quickly.
If you’re staying at one of the other Ocho Rios hotels, or resorts, in town, you have just a bit further to go. From here on out, I’ll focus on what to do in Ocho Rios. I certainly haven’t done everything there is to do, or eaten at every restaurant. However, this guide offers some insight and reviews that should get you give you plenty to occupy your time. Trust me, there are plenty of things to do in Ocho Rios and the surrounding area.
Ocho Rios Bay Beach (aka Turtle Beach)
The main beach in Ocho Rios is hard to miss and many of the town’s hotels and condos are located on, or near, the beach. I have some nostalgia for this beach, because I’ve been going there since I was a young boy. It’s actually where I learned to swim. If you’re staying in Ocho Rios, it is hard to beat it for convenience. Truth be told, though, there are other, less crowded, less touristy beaches that I prefer.
If you have some means of transportation, I would recommend exploring different beaches. If not, there’s nothing wrong with this beach. Besides swimming and soaking up sun rays, you can go a on a glass bottom boat ride to the reef, or engage various other paid activities. You should note that some stretches of the beach have lounge chairs and other amenities which may only be for the patrons of certain hotels.
The Dunns River Hype
If you’ve ever
seen a TV commercial for Jamaica, you have almost certainly seen footage of the
famous Dunn’s River Falls, located on the outskirts of Ocho Rios. From tourism
brochures to posters and more, these impressive cascades are one of the most
recognizable icons of the island, long known as the land of wood and
What you might
not know, though, is that Jamaica is practically teeming with spring fed
rivers, often set in beautiful, lush rain forests and, quite often, featuring
picturesque waterfalls. It is true that Dunn’s River is one of the largest and
most impressive of the numerous waterfalls on the island. It is also easily
accessible from some of the country’s main tourist hubs. However, it is also
more likely to be packed with tourists. When I was a kid, it was not so crowded
and people were free to climb the falls freely, without joining one of those
human daisy chains of hand holding tourists being guided to the top. Forgive me
if it sounds judgmental, but neither my nostalgia for simpler days, nor my
dignity, will allow me to climb the falls in such a manner.
isn’t really about Dunn’s River, though. It’s about the fact that there are
alternatives and some are quite nearby. One such place is Konoko Falls and
Park. Perched in the mountains overlooking the town of Ocho Rios, the Konoko
Falls are smaller than their more famous counterpart, but you can enjoy their
beauty in a less crowded and more unobstructed manner. Yes, they provide
guides, but you’re given more freedom of movement and the entire experience
seems a tad less orchestrated. Aside from the cool waters of the tumbling
falls, you are surrounded by a lush, well-appointed botanical garden.
Things to Do
falls and the botanical garden are the main attractions, one serving to
highlight the other, but there are a few other items of interest on the
grounds. A small, simple museum provides visitors with an overview of both the
Taino Indian heritage of the area, as well as a look at the history of slavery
on the island. Although the museum is, essentially, a one room display area, it
does well at providing a summary of its subject manner. For those unfamiliar
with the history of Jamaica, it is worth the extra few minutes to pop into the
Retail and Restaurant Amenities
A gift shop is
located in the Spanish courtyard area of the park and there are also a couple
of restaurant options. Although I’ve not eaten there, there are bars located at
both on-site eateries, so I did enjoy a refreshing beverage at the Arawak Jerk
Pit. Although I can’t speak from personal experience about the quality of the
food, I would say by the looks of the actual jerk pit, they take their cooking
seriously. I found myself pondering how hard it would be to build a pit like
that in my backyard.
vary, depending on what you choose to do at Konoko Falls, but they accept cash
(US or Jamaican), travelers checks and major credit cards. Personally, I would
recommend setting aside a half day, give or take, to enjoy the waterfalls and
grounds. If you are staying in Ocho Rios, it’s only a ten-minute drive, or
less, from the downtown area. Inquire with your hotel about the best
transportation options to get there. If you have your own car, basically you
get on the A3 and turn right onto Shaw Park Road, just past Ocho Rios High
School. Simply follow the signs the rest of the short distance up the
When I think of
Dolphin Cove in Ocho Rios, Jamaica the first word that comes to mind is expensive.
There, I said it. It costs a lot of money. Period. Maybe you can afford to
spend a lot of money, maybe you can’t. Maybe you really can’t afford it, but
you spend it anyway. Everyone’s interests and financial situations are different,
but whether or not you think Dolphin Cove is a good value, relatively speaking,
understand that your day there will most likely cost more than a day at Disney
World. From my own experience, I can tell you that for what I paid for my
family of three to visit Dolphin Cove, I could have brought another person to
Jamaica with us.
Weighing Your Options
So, am I telling
you not to go? Nope. Not at all. I’m just being up front with you. On our trip,
my family decided to do one, big, expensive touristy thing and Dolphin Cove was
our choice. The cost has given me pause when it comes to
recommending the place, but the reality is – we had a blast! We swam with
dolphins! Dolphin Cove is generally cited as the #1 tourist attraction in
Jamaica and, in fact, we were far from being alone when we visited. Clearly,
people love the place and it continues to be a fond memory for my family.
The grounds of
Dolphin Cove are gorgeous. Much of the ascetic beauty is simply the natural
environment of the tropical vegetation, coupled with the clear, turquoise
waters of the Caribbean. The developers of Dolphin Cove did a good job of
blending their attraction into its surroundings, so the natural and man-made
complement each other quite well, for the most part.
Getting Friendly with Dolphins
Of course, the
highlight of this destination is the dolphins and if you do nothing other than
pay for general admission to the park, you will definitely see some dolphins.
Given the fact that you can walk pretty close to the dolphin areas and that the
water is so clear, you’re going to see them. It’s a given. However, I can’t
imagine that too many people that visit Dolphin Cove don’t want to get in the
water and have a personal experience with these lovable marine mammals. Why
wouldn’t you? Afraid of water, or can’t swim? Okay, so maybe some people just
want to look, but we wanted some personal time with a dolphin and you probably
would, too. Different “experiences” come with a different price tag. You can
wade in and touch a dolphin, you can swim with a dolphin (which is what we
did), or you can get the two dolphin experience. Your comfort level in the
water, as well as your pocketbook, will probably steer your decision on which
There is also an
opportunity to have a “shark encounter”. This involves a separate, fairly hefty
fee, but if you have a thing for sharks, maybe you’ll want to spend the extra
money. If so, you will wade into the waters where you can touch, feed and give
a hug to a nurse shark. Nurse sharks are known for being pretty docile and,
although they can get up to 14 feet in length, the ones at Dolphin Cove are not
that large. It’s a pretty mild shark encounter, not like descending underwater
in a cage, while a great white circles you hungrily. From the boardwalk, you
can easily see the show, listen to the employees tell you all about the sharks
and watch as other people pet the big fish. It’s free to watch.
Other On-Site Activities
Most of the other activities on site are included with your admission. There are shops, craft vendors, a restaurant and if you want a photo package of your dolphin experience, make sure to factor those into your budget. For no additional charge, though, you can walk along the lovely Jungle Trail, where you’ll encounter parrots, love birds and rabbits (yeah, I don’t get the connection either, but my daughter loves rabbits, so it was all good). You can take an excursion on a glass bottomed kayak, or let a guide zoom you down the coast a bit in a mini-boat.
Pet a Stingray
Another experience you can have with an aquatic critter is actually included in the regular admission price and, for me, I thought it was more interesting than the sharks. You can get into the water with and give a belly rub to a stingray. Don’t worry, though. Their barbs are removed, so they’re not going to impale you, or anything quite so vacation ending as that.
dolphins is an unforgettable time and Dolphin Cove does a great job of
providing a safe, fun filled environment to do just that and so much more.
Although I can only vouch for the Ocho Rios location, there are three other
facilities on the island: Dolphin Cove Montego Bay, Half Moon Dolphin Lagoon
and Moon Palace Jamaica Grande. The activities and associated costs will surely
vary from place to place, but I can only assume the same high standards will
apply at each location.
One of the more
popular and, frankly more contemporary, shopping areas in Ocho Rios is at
Island Village. There are a few restaurants to choose from at Island Village.
There is also a coffee shop and quite a few retail stores. I’ve never seen a
movie there, but Island Village also has a movie theater.
As the name
suggests, this little eatery combines typical taco shop fare with Jamaican
cuisine. The Mexican-ish aspects of the Rasta Taco shop are reminiscent of the
American West Coast. In fact, one of Rasta Taco’s two locations is in Laguna
Beach, California. The menu isn’t very complicated. Each of their offerings
comes in vegetarian, or chicken. You can get the Rast Bowl, a Rasta Burrito, or
Rast Taco. Well, let me correct myself. The one exception to the
vegetarian/chicken choice is their fish tacos. If these sound like typical West
Coast dishes, they are. The difference is the Jamaican twist in ingredients and
seasonings. The fish is done Jamaican escovitch-style. The chicken is jerk
chicken. You get the idea. The couple of times I’ve eaten at Rasta Taco, I’ve
been satisfied with my order. Another thing it has going for it is that there’s
really no other place in the area doing something similar.
Island Village is Island Coffees Café. They also have two locations in
Kingston, if you happen to go that way. The coffee at Island Coffees Café is
sourced from the world famous Blue Mountains of Jamaica. You can get all the usual
coffee house options, including a cup of fresh pour over coffee. Light menu
items, particularly breakfast fare, is also available. Being a coffee shop,
their opening hours are a bit earlier than most places. This makes it a good
spot for grabbing a brew and a bite before heading to the airport on departure
Near the beachside of Island Village (yes, there’s a beach – more on that later), is the Boardwalk Bistro. This restaurant is actually owned by the same company that owns Island Coffees Café. Boardwalk Bistro offers buffet-style meals, as well as offerings off a menu. Their food covers a range of both Jamaican dishes, as well as items more familiar to foreign guests. I have had a variety of things here, from burgers to curry goat with rice and peas. Neither myself, nor my family, has ever been disappointed with our food choices at Boardwalk Bistro. I won’t go so far as to say it’s a budget diner, but being in the middle of a tourist town, it’s easier on the wallet than a lot of places.
Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville
Margaritaville, the now-famous restaurant chain of musical entrepreneur Jimmy Buffet, is probably familiar to anyone who dreams of chasing the permanent vacation. They have become ubiquitous enough, that I don’t really feel like I need to go into much detail about the place. Plus, these kind of American visions of “paradise” aren’t my primary focus. But…it is, arguably, the anchor establishment of the Island Village Shopping Center.
Location, Location, Location
Margaritaville’s small beach offers a nice alternative to the main beach in Ocho Rios. It is also very conveniently located to the cruise ship port, Fisherman’s Point and Turtle Beach Towers. So, it may be one of the easiest places to grab a bite and a beverage, depending on your location. It’s overpriced, which shouldn’t be too surprising. If you have finicky eaters, though, it does offer a predictable menu for American palates.
WiFi – It’s the Only Thing You’ll Get for Free
Perhaps the handiest reason to keep them on your radar is the free WiFi. I have gone there more than once for that reason alone. If you are in Ocho Rios without cell phone data and your accommodation doesn’t have free WiFi, you can count on Margaritaville. This is normally not a problem for me, but on one trip, I found myself technologically challenged. Their WiFi allowed me to check in for my departing flight, which was much appreciated.
The Taj Mahal Shopping Center is another popular collection of souvenir shops, restaurants and boutiques. It is actually close to Island Village Shopping Center, so you could double up on both at one time for a full-on shopping spree. Unlike Island Village, the Taj Mahal Shopping Center has been around since I was a boy. For reasons unknown to me, the building in the center is shaped like a miniature Taj Mahal, thus the name.
I’m not really a shop-til-you-drop kind of guy, but they do have a variety of stores worth checking out. One of the main reasons that I go to the Taj Mahal Shopping Center, though, is that they have a cambio for exchanging currency. If you are staying on that side of Ocho Rios, in my opinion, it’s the most convenient place to change your money.
There are a couple of bars and restaurants, as well. The one I usually go to is the Cafe Express, which is located upstairs. They serve a decent breakfast. My family likes to get waffles with fruit, while I prefer a traditional Jamaican breakfast of ackee and saltfish with callaloo. You can get all of that at Cafe Express, so it works well for us. The prices aren’t overly inflated for tourists, either. It’s nothing fancy, mind you – just some reliable comfort food at a reasonable price.
How to Find It
Evita’s is up the hill from Ocho Rios, one the same side of town as the cruise ship port and Island Village. If you have a vehicle, the road leading to Evita’s can be found behind the Taj Mahal Shopping Center. You could take a cab, if you don’t have your own car. From the area of Island Village and Taj Mahal, it is really not a very far walk, either. Maybe 10-15 minutes, but keep in mind that much of it is uphill.
Ambiance and Setting
Evita’s offers delicious Italian with an excellent view of Ocho Rios from above. In the evenings, you can enjoy a nice breeze on their open terrace, with the city lights glistening below. Although Evita’s isn’t necessarily a “fancy” restaurant, it is well appointed with a professional wait staff. Showing up in your swimwear for dinner probably won’t get you barred from entry, but you will be under-dressed.
My Personal Pick
I have tried a few things on the Evita’s menu over time, but one of my personal picks is their One Love Penne. It is penne pasta in an alfredo sauce with steamed callaloo and jerk seasoning. It has just the right amount of spice to it. I will admit, I have tried unsuccessfully to duplicate it at home. That just gives me a reason to keep going back to Evita’s.
Tracks and Records
Not only from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios, but beyond to Kingston and even London. That’s where you’ll find locations of Usain Bolt’s chain of sports bars: Tracks and Records. As I write this, I am aware that the Ocho Rios location of Tracks and Records is moving from its original location. It was not too far out of the way, but hopefully it will be a little more conveniently located.
Come for the Food, Stay for the A/C
All that aside, this establishment is still worth a mention. The interior features plenty of imagery of the sprinting legend. Although it is a sports bar, also offering up music, I have to say that the food is really quite good. In particular, I was impressed with the traditional Jamaican offerings on the menu. The curry goat was actually some of the best I’ve had in Ocho Rios. Everyone else in my party on my last visit seemed equally pleased with their choices.
If there’s one thing I hope they duplicate in their new location, it is the air conditioning. After a week on the go, in the heat, Tracks and Records had some of the best A/C in the city, which was well received by my crew.
Calabash Ital Restaurant
If you are vegan, vegetarian, trying to eat healthy, or simply curious about the Rastafarian influence on Jamaican cuisine, you may want to try Calabash Ital Restaurant. Ital cooking is the common Rastafarian approach to food. It may be easiest to simply say it is vegan, but with some differences. Most notably, ital cooking does not use salt.
Calabash Ital Restaurant is not located in central Ocho Rios, but is a fairly short walk from the town center. The food is served in plentiful portions and is priced for everyday people, not for gouging tourists. In fact, you may see some tourists eating at Calabash, but it’s not an authentic establishment. Unless you are already familiar with Jamaican produce and dishes, you may need to ask questions, but that’s no problem. They offer friendly service, as well as high quality home-cooking.
But Wait, There’s More…
If you made it this far, thanks for sticking with it. In reality, there is so much more to see, do, taste and enjoy than what I have covered here. This guide only scratches the surface of all that awaits you on Jamaica’s north coast, from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios. I hope this, at least, gives you a foundation from which to enjoy your own exploration of Jamaica.
Have you been from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios, or points in between? Let us know your recommendations, and experiences in the comments.
Have You Had Authentic Jamaican Jerk?
Are you a fan of spicy Caribbean flavors? If so, you have probably tried Jamaican jerk. You’ve at least heard of it, right? Jamaican jerk is a style of meat smoking that is unique to Jamaica. You might call it the Jamaican version of barbecue. A lot of places these days have a jerk dish on their menu to give their menu a little spice (no pun intended). Not a lot of them are making authentic Jamaican jerk pork, though.
If you’ve ever been to a
Jamaican restaurant, you may have noticed that what you get is different than
in big, chain restaurants. Chances are, it’s more authentic. Here’s the thing,
though. If you’ve been to a Jamaican restaurant in the U.S., or elsewhere, and you’ve
had jerk in Jamaica, you may have noticed a difference. The jerk in American
restaurants, even ran by Jamaicans, isn’t quite the same. It’s not typically as
good. It’s not typically as authentic. There’s a reason for that and it’s not
just some magical vibes floating in the air in Jamaica.
Getting Jerk In Jamaica
When traveling to
Jamaica, there are many great Jamaican jerk pits to be found. Often, they are
called “jerk centres”, or something along those lines. Usually, they involve a
big, open barbecue pit for smoking meat. That’s what jerk is all about –
smoking meat. And that also happens to be why most jerk dishes in America do
not taste authentic. It is fairly rare to find a restaurant outside of Jamaica that
smokes the meat they serve. There is a particular type of seasoning involved in
jerk, also. Usually these restaurants will use jerk seasoning and that’s it. It’s
good, but not as good as it could be. It’s definitely not as authentic.
One of my favorite lunch stops when I arrive in Jamaica is The Ultimate Jerk Center in Discovery Bay. Heading from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios, it is a convenient stop along the north coast highway. It is right by the Caribbean Sea, so you can enjoy a nice breeze, some salt air and some good jerk chicken, or pork. It’s one of my recommended places if you happen to be going to Jamaica. I even wrote an article about it. You can check it out HERE.
What’s the Secret to Making Authentic Jamaican Jerk Pork?
You want to know a secret, though? I make jerk pork at home that tastes pretty much like what you buy at The Ultimate Jerk Center. It tastes like what you would eat all over Jamaica. That’s the secret. You can make real-deal, authentic Jamaican jerk pork right at your own house. Making authentic jerk that is better than what is served in American restaurants – even Caribbean ones – is simple. First, you just need to know how.
I’m going to break it down for you on how to make wood smoked, authentic Jamaican jerk pork at home. I will walk you through the process that I use. Most of the time, I make jerk pork. I think pork takes smoke better than chicken, in general. Also, the wood for making jerk is pricier than many other woods. It takes the same amount of smoke for a big pork shoulder as for a medium sized chicken. Getting the most bang for my buck is part of the equation.
To Make Authentic Jamaican Jerk, You Need A Smoker
My smoker of choice is the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker. These instructions will assume the use of an electric smoker, but can be adjusted to whatever smoker you use. I know there is a debate among grill and smoker aficionados about using electric, gas, or charcoal. When it comes to grilling, I agree with the purists. Charcoal is better. When it comes to smoking, though, I don’t think that’s necessarily true. A system that produces smoke and allows for controlled temperature is all you need. Admittedly, electric smokers do not crisp the skin of poultry as well as charcoal smokers. That’s another reason I usually smoke pork. That being said, there are ways to deal with that issue if you want to smoke chicken. Just finish it off in your oven broiler to crisp the skin up before serving.
Electric smokers are easy
to use. Digital controls let you set the temperature where you want it. They
also come with built in timers. Wood chips for electric smokers are readily
available and are easy to use. The whole process with an electric smoker is
simple and clean. Well, cleaner than with charcoal, at least. There are
multiple brands on the market, but if you are interested in investing in a
smoker, I recommend Masterbuilt. I am on my second Masterbuilt electric smoker
and they have worked well for me.
The Most Important Thing You Need to Know
So, let’s get down to business. We’ll assume you have your smoker and know where to find the meat of your choice. What you need now are the ingredients to turn that uncooked meat into authentic Jamaican jerk pork. Really, there are just two things you need – the right seasoning and the right wood.
The most important thing
for authentic Jamaican jerk is not the seasoning, it’s the wood. Real Jamaican
jerk uses a specific type of wood. That wood is not widely available in much of
the world. Actually, that’s one of the reasons authentic jerk is hard to come
by outside of Jamaica.
If You Don’t Use Pimento Wood, It’s Not Real Jerk
To make real, authentic, Jamaican jerk, you need pimento wood. There is a saying that “if you aren’t smoking with pimento wood, you can’t call it jerk. I agree. I know of only one legitimate seller of Jamaican pimento wood in the United States. Pimentowood.com will sell you genuine, Jamaican pimento wood in different forms, for use in all kinds of smokers. Pimento wood has one of the most distinct flavors out there. If you use something else, it will not taste authentic. Splurge on the pimento wood. It should last you a long time. Without the pimento wood, you are just another cook making second-rate jerk dishes.
As important as the wood
is, the seasoning is a very close second. Like I said, most Jamaican
restaurants outside Jamaica simply use authentic seasoning and call it done.
They usually don’t smoke the meat and, even less often, will they smoke with
pimento. So, good seasoning is good enough for some people. It’s not good
enough to be called authentic Jamaican jerk, though. Given my appreciation for
real Jamaican jerk, you might be surprised at what I tell you next.
When it comes to seasoning my jerk meat, whether it’s pork, chicken, or anything else, I use store bought seasoning. Sure, you can find plenty of recipes online for Jamaican jerk seasoning. Some of them may be good, or even great. In my opinion, though, there is one company that makes a commercial jerk seasoning that is as good as homemade. Rather than spending the time, energy and money on tracking down authentic, quality ingredients, let them do the work for you. My go-to Jamaican jerk seasoning is made by Walkerswood. It is real, authentic Jamaican jerk seasoning and it’ s all I use. I absolutely do not use any other commercial jerk seasoning, nor would I recommend any other brand. I’ve been using Walkerswood for more than 20 years and have never regretted it. If you want to make authentic Jamaican jerk pork, Walkerswood is authentic seasoning.
Walkerswood: My Go-To for Jerk Seasoning
The name Walkerswood actually comes from a small, village in rural St. Ann, Jamaica. It’s not far from one of the main tourist centers on the island, Ocho Rios. The Walkerswood brand evolved out of a local farmers co-op and much of the ingredients are still grown right there in the community.
What’s not grown in the village of Walkerswood is still grown in Jamaica and the company prides itself on using the best ingredients. I can’t argue with them. You can buy the traditional jerk seasoning rub in either mild, or hot. They also sell a jerk marinade. Personally, when I am making jerk, I use both the rub and the marinade. Whether you choose hot, or mild, is up to you and your taste buds. If you’re unsure, I’d recommend starting with the mild. Mild is a relative term. Jerk seasoning is spicy, flavorful and packs some heat. Mild versus hot is a relative term.
Once you have your
seasoning and your wood, all you need is to buy your meat and you’re ready to
roll. The general rule for smoking meat is “low and slow”. That’s true for
jerk, or anything else. It’s true for pork, or chicken. You want to cook it on
as low a temperature as possible, for as long as possible. That will help the
meat not only maximize the flavors, but helps it retain its juicy goodness. A
good digital thermometer is handy for keeping track of the meat’s internal
temperature. The fewer times you open the smoker, the better. So, if you can
get a digital smoker with a remote reader, that’s even better.
Let’s Talk About the Meat
Another rule of thumb for
a pork shoulder (also known as a pork butt), is 1 hour in the smoker per 1
pound of meat. I usually get a pork should that is 8 – 10 pounds. That means I’m
looking at approximately 8-10 hours. The cooking temperature should be kept
between 225-250 degrees Fahrenheit. Even with a digital smoker, the temperature
will fluctuate a little. Although you may have a long smoking time, be sure to
keep tabs on your progress.
Smoking meat is one-part
science, one-part art. Don’t simply wait for the timer to go off and pull the
meat out. It could either be undercooked, or overcooked. What you are going for
is a final internal temperature of between 190-195 degrees Fahrenheit. You may
know that pork is safe to eat at an internal temperature of 145 degrees
Fahrenheit. When cooking a pork butt, though, you are aiming higher than that.
When it’s done, you want to be able to “pull” the pork. In that regard, smoking
jerk is much the same as smoking American-style barbecue. At 190-195, the pork
is easier to pull apart, but still tender and moist.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Authentic Jamaican Jerk Pork
Here are your step-by-step instructions for smoking, authentic, Jamaican jerk at home:
Trim the fat cap off of the pork butt.
Using your Walkerswood marinade and a meat injector, inject an ample amount of marinade into the pork butt.
Using the Walkerswood rub of your choice (mild or hot), apply a coat to the entire outside of the pork butt. Thicker, or thinner, will have some affect on how hot and spicy it ends up, regardless of which rub you choose.
Using the Walkerswood rub of your choice (mild or hot), apply a coat to the entire outside of the pork butt. Thicker, or thinner, will have some affect on how hot and spicy it ends up, regardless of which rub you choose.
Once you have applied the marinade and rub, place the pork butt in the refrigerator to marinate. I recommend no fewer than 4 hours. Personally, I marinate overnight, at least 8 hours.
If you are using an electric smoker, you will need to soak your pimento wood chips before use. For an 8-10-pound pork butt, you should plan on 3 to 5 good handfuls of wood chips. Soak the chips between 20 and 30 minutes before using.
Pre-heat the smoker to between 210- and 220-degrees Fahrenheit.
Once the smoker has reached the desired temperature, place the pork butt inside the smoker.
For an electric smoker, fill the wood chip tube with pimento wood chips (drain excess water first) and insert into smoker.
Smoke the meat for approximately 1 hour per pound. Smoke only penetrates the meat during the first few hours, so make sure you are keeping a good flow of smoke going. If you see the smoke diminish during the first few hours, add another handful of wood chips.
Smoke the meat for approximately 1 hour per pound. Smoke only penetrates the meat during the first few hours, so make sure you are keeping a good flow of smoke going. If you see the smoke diminish during the first few hours, add another handful of wood chips.
Once the internal temperature has reached to between 190- and 195-degrees Fahrenheit, you are ready to remove pork from the smoker. Allow the meat to rest for 15 – 30 minutes.
After the meat has rested, you are ready to pull it apart. You can simply use forks and/or a knife, or some handy “bear claw” devices made specifically for the task.
Making It Your Own
And there you have it – authentic Jamaican jerk pork, smoked with pimento wood. This process has never failed me, but once you’ve tried your hand at it, you will get a feel for what works best for you. You can always adjust the seasoning to your taste the next time around.
If you prefer to smoke a
chicken, or other poultry, there are a plethora of instructions online for
doing so. To make jerk chicken, simply apply the lessons learned here to the general
instructions for smoking chicken. As you now know, the main thing is to get
your pimento wood and your authentic Jamaican jerk seasoning.
If you use my instructions for making real, authentic Jamaican jerk pork, drop me a comment. I’d love to know how it turned out.
Pro Tip: If you are in Jamaica, pick up a few bottles of Geddy’s Pimento Marinade (pictured above, to the right). This isn’t part of my jerk pork strategy, but it will give you something different to do with pimento wood. I like to marinate a pork tenderloin in Geddy’s Pimento Marinade and smoke it with pimento wood. If there’s anything that beats authentic Jamaican jerk pork, it may be this pork tenderloin. I have never seen Geddy’s in the U.S. and have never found it available online, so this is a genuine insider tip if you visit Jamaica.
Updated August 2, 2019
Getting the Real Deal
I’m a fan of jerk. No, not rude people. I’m a fan of jerk: the Jamaican-style of barbecuing meat. It’s very difficult to find authentic jerk in the United States. That includes at most every Jamaican restaurant I’ve eaten at in the States. If I want good, authentic, jerk pork, chicken, or whatever else, I usually have to make it myself at home. What I prefer, though, is to go to Jamaica and get it there. In fact, my first stop after leaving the airport is usually The Ultimate Jerk Center.
As much as I enjoy firing up the smoker and cooking at home, it’s not the same as going to Jamaica and eating freshly cooked jerk. Even better is eating it while looking at the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. Yeah, that sounds way more fun, right? Even in Jamaica, though, not all jerk restaurants are created equally. Honestly, I’ve never eaten anywhere that I simply didn’t like their jerk. However, some places have established a bit more of a reputation than others.
Before booking your Jamaica vacation, read our guide to the north coast, from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios.
Ultimate Jerk and More
The main raod that hugs the north coast is the A1 highway. If you are meandering along the A1, you are likely to pass one of the better known jerk restaurants, so you might as well stop by for lunch. “Jerk Centre” is a common appellation for the roadside eateries that specialize in this uniquely Jamaican style of smoking meats. This one, as the name indicates, considers itself to be the “Ultimate”. Is it really the ultimate? Eh…who’s to say? Tastes are subjective, so I don’t normally like to declare things to be definitively “the best”. I do consider the Ultimate Jerk Center in Discovery Bay to be a solid example of the style and definitely worth a visit.
At the Ultimate Jerk Center, you will get the usual options of jerk pork and jerk chicken. At least occasionally, they serve up more exotic items, such as jerk rabbit. Whichever you choose, you can’t really make a bad choice. You also have the usual sides – rice and peas, festival (a type of bread), breadfruit, etc. If someone in your party isn’t a fan of jerk, you can always get some fish and bammy (another type of bread), or go for the curried goat.
While there are other jerk centres along the north coast, some of which may prove better in the jerk department, if you’re vacationing in the area, it’s hard to beat this place for location. Discovery Bay is right on the well worn path from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios and beyond. The Ultimate Jerk Center is on the beach side of the highway, so you can enjoy a nice, sea breeze, while dining in the open air facility.
Almost directly across the street is the Green Grotto Cave, a popular attraction that is open for tours. Right behind the restaurant is the grounds of the Ultimate Sports Club, which is essentially a cricket field. If you’re lucky, there will be a game underway, offering the opportunity to watch a game that is rarely seen by North Americans, despite being quite popular throughout much of the world. Columbus Park is nearby, as well, marking the original landing of Christopher Columbus. It is from this event that Discovery Bay takes its name.
Making Your Own Ultimate Jerk
If you have a grill, or smoker, at home and would like to try your hand at authentic Jamaican jerk, I have written some step-by-step instructions for making your own authentic Jamaican jerk pork at home. I grew up in Jamaica and have been eating jerk pork for over 40 years. I’ve been making it myself at home for more than 20.
You can make authentic Jamaican jerk pork at home (or chicken, or anything else, for that matter). Don’t let others fool you, though. If you’re not smoking the meat, it’s not authentic jerk. Find out how to bring the taste of Jamaica home with my Jamaican jerk pork instructions.