This was an experience of not just the Rio Grande, but the life of those who live on it. We visited in February of 2013 and were introduced to a LOVELY couple with the most unusual names, Roach, our licenced rafter and his wonderfully bubbly wife Handsome (one of the best dang cook I've ever met!). They are a duo you must meet when you plan to visit the Rio Grande.
Our day started with a cab ride (call Jookie 18763870123 I trusted this man with my children's life on the crazy Portland road for two weeks!) to the river and a personal pick up by Roach to bring us across the river to their house. There we relaxed, had some red stripes, cold drinks, "sweeties" (lolly pops), snacks while enjoying their million dollar view of the river and mountains from their little humble yet enchanting rural Jamaican home. We met friendly neighbours and saw children enjoying a swim in the river (my children got to join in the fun). The couple also has a farm, chicken coup, a pig and friendly cats and dogs around their house which was quite the entertainment for kids.
It was an amazing way to spend a lazy Jamaican afternoon while our master chef was busy in her outdoor wood fire kitchen preparing an authentic "food" (dasheen, dumplings, and banana) and fish coconut rundown. Let's just say I licked the plate clean!
Full and content we were then taken on our adventure down the River Grand with Captain Roach. The lazy river ride was breathtakingly beautiful. It was quiet and peaceful and ended with a sunset that captured our experience that day...warm, comforting and spectacular!
We spent two weeks in Portland and let's just say after hitting all the popular hotspot in the first week, we went back up to spend the day with Roach and Handsome two other times in the second week. One to swim in the river and enjoy her amazing cooking and another to visit Scatters Waterfall around the corner to their house and of course for her amazing cooking...
I promised Handsome that I will spread the news of her cooking and brag about the amazing experience we had with her family to everyone. I travel at least 2 times every year, have been a member on trip advisor for many years, but this is my second post because I truly feel that this off the beaten track experience is the Jamaica that everyone must get to know. The beauty of Jamaica is not only the island but the people. Roach and Handsome of Berry Dale Portland Jamaica you are now on the map because you are the authentic Jamaican "One Love" experience!
With their permission I am posting their number so that others can call to book a rafting ride with Roach and convince her to cook them one of her famous rundowns :)
Roach and Handsome: 1 876 403 1232