I made my second trip to Nine Miles a week ago today (first trip was back in 2006). If you are a fan of Bob Marley and/or reggae music, and are in Jamaica, this trip is a must.
Nine Miles is a small town several miles south of Browns Town. It takes about an hour and ten minutes to get there from Runaway Bay and Discovery Bay, slightly more than that from Ocho Rios (it's not that far with respect to distance but there are no "main" roads to get there). If you have a problem with car sickness or think that you will get freaked out by having someone drive you over narrow, curvy roads that go up and down the mountains, I would not advise taking this trip (the roads getting there can be dangerous, but our driver was great). Also, if you have an aversion to people smoking (I don't mean cigarettes), do not take this trip.
If you can get past those issues, do it. Upon arrival, a large gate will be opened (the Marley family maintains a compound there that contains Bob's mausoleum, a very small museum, gift shop, and very small bar). You'll also note a small window on one of the walls next to the parking lot (about 2' by 4') where locals will sell you "stuff" (including baked goods, but not the kind that kids can eat if you know what I mean - - photos of the window are forbidden). If you haven't pre-arranged it through a tour company, you'll have to pay a small fee for the tour at the gift shop (not sure how much as mine was included with the trip). Smoking (again, not cigarettes) is permitted througout the property.
You'll be assigned a Rasta tour guide who will talk to you about the history of Nine Miles, Bob Marley, and Jamaica generally. You'll be walked up a hill to Bob's final resting place (in a small mausoleum, encased in marble and above ground), see his original house (actually a small hut with a bedroom and kitchen), and will also have a chance to see and sit on his meditation rock (a large stone embdedded in the ground next to his mausoleum). His bed from when he was a young adult is also there.
True story about the bed: when I first visited with my wife in 2006, our guide said to my wife, "You can sit on Bob's bed, but be careful, as Bob had lots of kids!" (the locals claim that sitting on it will cause a woman to become pregnant). My wife laughed and sat on the bed. Shortly after our return to the USA, we found out that my wife was pregnant!
The feeling of the place is very peaceful and serene - - hard to describe unless you're there. The views are beautiful, and you'll get to see and experience the beauty of Jamaica and its people that most tourists who never leave the resorts ever see. The compound is kept very secure, so you don't have to worry about anyone bugging you for money, trying to sell you anything (besides the window - - see above), or otherwise interfering with your enjoyment of the place.
You will be expected to tip your guide, but in my opinion the experience is worth it (our guide was great - - took the time to answer questions and was filled with knowledge about Bob, reggae, Jamaican history, etc.).
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