Fran Capo, the Guinness Book of World Records Fastest Talking Female and TravelingAdventureMom blogger, revisits the five star Royal Plantation and finds new adventures in Jamaica…from camel trekking to bob sledding.
Fran Capo, the Guinness book of world records fastest talking female and travel adventure mom, stays at Five Star hotel, Royal Plantation and finds new adventures to do in Jamaica…from camel trekking to bob sledding. She also what it truly means to be fast in Jamaica.
I first visited Jamaica as a teenager as a cheap place to scuba dive with a friend. Then I went back for my honeymoon with my second husband, (you expect the fastest talking woman to be married only once?) Last year, I went with my boyfriend and his cousins, on that trip I wrote about it extensively…my dive with Charlie the Crocodile that was featured on their “tourism adventure” brochure, my ziplining adventure and my swimming with the sharks and holding one on my lap adventure…but then again as an adventure mom, I pride myself on finding different life adventures. Each thing I would absolutely do again…but there is a whole world to explore.
New Things to Explore
So when my boyfriend asked if I wanted to go back a third time…even though it was to the five star Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios with his cousins Lisa and Jeff, I hesitated. I know most people would jump at it. Now don’t get me wrong, I love his cousins…I just felt that I had already explored the adventures Jamaica had to offer…Boy was I wrong…. I learned on this trip…that every year things change and there are always new places to explore.
Of course the first thing I did was check out the free hotel adventures…they included kayaking, sailing and that big orange wheeled water tricycle. Although my cousin Lisa likes to just relax…she said she felt the need to indulge me in an adventure or two…so she joined me.
Of course, kayaking itself wasn’t exciting enough for me, so I told her that I thought we should paddle out to the anchored cruise ship. We started to head away from the resort, we were hitting some niece size waves. All of a sudden, she says, ‘Fran I think we are being followed.” Sure enough one of the hotel water guides was blowing a whistle and saying, ”Ladies…where you going, mon? You trying to get to the other side of the island? You must come back.” Like kids being sent to a principal’s office we started paddling back. Lisa said, “Wow, in all my 10 years of coming here I never got reprimanded. How embarrassing.” I said: ”Wow, isn’t it great.” We laughed.
My boyfriend Steve wasn’t surprised, and Lisa’s husband Jeff, said, “Take her out for another adventure.” So we went sailing. This time the water guide insisted on joining us. We were out for about a half hour. It was very relaxing until we got splashed in the face with the water. That woke me up.
For the next few days I planned adventures. Sometimes I flew solo, other times I had a volunteer.
A new camel trekking place opened called, Prospect Plantation. I was excited, the brochure said, “Take a ride on camels through the jungles of Jamaica.” I envisioned myself running through thick brush with a machete bopping up and down. I brought my Flip and captured the moment. BTW I also found out that camels don’t spit. At least not all the time.
Last year I went zip lining in another place in Jamaica. I wanted to do a comparative study. This new place called Mystic Mountain had zip lining and snow-less bobsledding. I convinced my boyfriend to join me in the bobsled…he passed on the zip line. He’s worried the line won’t hold him. The lines in zip lining are strong…it’s not that they won’t hold him, it’s just that he would come in so fast he might knock down the instructor and take out a tree. So he stuck to the bobsled.
Jamaicans are really proud of their bobsleds, especially since in 1988 a Jamaican bobsled team made its way to the XV Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, Canada.
I really liked the bobsled. It was on tracks. It was like a roller coaster that you could control the speed of. You had your own lever so you could go as fast or slow has you wanted. I zoomed around corners and experimented with the speed. I tried to Flip the moment, but decided I needed two hands to operate the bobsled and that going 40 MPH on a self propelled track probably wasn’t the best time to be taping. Safety over footage.
The Rainforest Zip Line it was a great course, had five zip lines, one vertical descent and one suspension bridge walk…a little something for everyone.
We knew we had arrived when a man greeted us at the gate.
“My name is Breezy. Do you want some weed?”
“Ah no that’s OK.”
He smiled, “Tis the real ting mon.”
I have never smoked pot in my life, and I wasn’t going to start in the wilds of Jamaica. Besides the thing was the size of a cigar!
We paid the entrance fee and were appointed a guide by the name of “Crazy.”
I had to ask, “So, Crazy, who named you that? “ “My mother, mon, when I was 6. I do stupid tings and she said, ‘Son, you is crazy.” So there you have it.
Crazy showed us around the estate it was very cool. Found out a lot I didn’t know, like his songs have biblical verses in them, and that he is the only one in Jamaica to get special permission to be buried above ground. If you are a fan, heck even if you’re not…it’s an experience.
Chef for a Day: Last year, Jeff had convinced the chef at the Royal Plantation to teach him how to cook an exquisite meal. I guess the hotel liked the idea, because it became a “Thing you could now do at the resort.” Jeff, being a 10-year veteran of the place, got a free lesson. Hey there are perks to being a preferred customer.
He surprised us with his culinary talents.
The rest of the trip was spent going to the spa and trying new kinds of treatments, like the hot stone massage.
As always, we ate as if the word dieting didn’t exist. I was trying to be considerate of Steve’s money, so I wouldn’t always order the lobster (besides I’m not a lobster fan…boiling something alive just doesn’t cut it for me…) It wasn’t until the last day of our trip that I found out the hotel was all-inclusive! I could have eaten whatever I wanted and didn’t have to keep refilling those water bottles from the tap.
Lisa, Jeff and Steve thought it was hysterical that I had no clue. At the “Special Dinner”, which is made for all returning customers, they told the manager, that I had been watching what I ate to save money. He laughed, “Now you’re the kind of customer we’d like every year.”
I smiled, ”Actually I think you owe me money, if not can I at least take a lobster to go?”
After that we listened to a native Jamaican group, I got called up to dance. What a surprise. Of all days to wear a flimsy dress…it flew up in the air…. luckily no camera shots were taken.
Then we all took photos at the beautiful resort. They asked our perspective mates to stand behind us as the shot was taken. Steve stood behind me. As the camera snapped, everyone heard me yell, “Stop.” They all turned to look. Steve had pinched me on the butt.
Everyone asked if I was okay. I told them what happened. A very elegant gentleman next to Steve said, “Jeez and I thought I was the only one that did that.” His wife smacked him.
We all had a great laugh.
Apparently Steve has booked us again for next year. All I know is I learned that I can always find new adventures in old places, that even old adventures seem new when a year as gone by and that the next time I go back I’m bringing a doggie bag and a bib.