Hampden Estate Rum Tour, Trelawny

Nestled deep in the Queen-of-Spain valley of Trelawny, Jamaica lies the Hampden Estate. Hampden Estate was established in 1753, and still produces rum to this day using centuries’-old traditions with just a few modern upgrades. This relatively small sugarcane estate and rum distillery occupy roughly 3,500 acres and have remained in continuous operation for over 260 years, making some of the world’s most sought after and award-winning rums. Their aged rums are bottled as Hampden Estate rums, while their unaged rum is sold as Rum Fire white overproof rum. Interestingly enough, majority of the rum produced by this estate is exported to Europe, and the waitlist for a shipment of Hampden rum can be as long as two years. Very little is available on the local market so many Jamaicans are unfamiliar with the Hampden brand, but the Hampden Estate Rum Tour will change that.

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Where To Get An Adrenaline Rush In Jamaica

Adrenaline is a hormone released by two tiny organs located atop the kidneys, known as the adrenal glands. Adrenaline, also known as epinephrine, is the “fight-or-flight hormone.” Adrenaline is released in response to stressful, exciting and dangerous situations. Adrenaline helps the body to react more quickly by increasing the heart rate, increasing blood flow to the brain and muscles and stimulating the body to release energy stores for fuel. When adrenaline is released suddenly, it’s referred to as an adrenaline rush. That rush is euphoric and addictive and makes people willingly put themselves into situations which could potentially be dangerous! Today, let’s take a look at eight ways one can experience an adrenaline rush in Jamaica.

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Brae Head Falls, Clarendon

Clarendon is not a parish which comes to mind when one thinks of a Jamaican adventure, but it’s a parish which has been on my mind to explore for nearly two years as an adventurous nature lover. Clarendon is a parish on Jamaica’s south coast in the centre of the island and has a population of 246,000 people, most of whom reside in and around May Pen on the Vere Plains. Clarendon is bordered by St. Catherine to the east, Manchester to the west and St. Ann to the north. The parish, like all 14 parishes of Jamaica, is washed by the Caribbean Sea and has attractions like Milk River Bath and the recently crash-landed plane at Rocky Point on its south coast. Up north is mountainous with rivers, a nature reserve and the geographic centre of Jamaica at Bull Head Mountain Peak. It’s surprising that the area isn’t marketed for ecotourism, but again Jamaica is a country which is full of unmarketed potential. This is the first time I’ve ever ventured into this side of Jamaica and it didn’t disappoint. The waterfalls in Brae Head are often listed as being located in the neighbouring communities of Crooked River or Trout Hall, just because Brae Head isn’t on the map of Jamaica! Here’s how to find this remote corner of Jamaica.

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I Got the Oxford/ Astra Zeneca CoVid-19 Vaccine!

Outside has been “locked” since March 10, 2020 when Jamaica recorded its first case of SARS-CoV-2, or CoVid-19. Dozens of deadly diseases have been eradicated due to vaccines, and now it seems this coronavirus could suffer a similar fate! Astute scientists around the world have come up with vaccines which can either prevent us from getting the virus, or decrease the severity of illness should we get it. However, the conspiracy theorists, doctors with degrees from social media university and a few fear-mongering headlines have driven fear into a population which is already overwhelmed and inundated with news regarding this pandemic. Three cases of blood clots in Europe and every side effect or allergic reaction to these vaccines have made news with little additional information provided for comparison and clarity, placing more skepticism and worry in people’s minds.

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Sheldon Levene: A Jamaican Content Curator To Watch

Sheldon Levene is a Jamaican photographer, app creator, motion and graphic designer who curates Jamaica’s history, natural beauty and experiences through digital media. I first found him on Instagram, my favourite social media platform, in 2018. At that time, his feed was already populated with dozens of photographs documenting Jamaica by air which invoked feelings of awe, nostalgia or a combination of both. His growth since then has been remarkable.

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Millbank Falls, Portland

By some stroke of luck, my favourite parish of Portland in the northeastern side of Jamaica remains lush, green and untouched by mass tourism. Portland is home to the Jamaican Blue and John Crow Mountains which has species not seen in other parts of the island, let alone the entire world. It houses the Windward Maroons, an indigenous group of Jamaicans who are direct descendants of runaway Africans and Amerindians. The Jamaican Maroons are a proud people and have called the rugged inhospitable mountains home for over three centuries. Their governance is largely independent of mainstream Jamaica, they live off of and respect the land, and have managed to preserve their rich heritage and traditions to this day. It’s in this region of Jamaica that Millbank and its majestic waterfalls are located: the Upper Rio Grande Valley which is Windward Maroon country. Here’s how that adventure went.

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Worthy Park Estate Rum Tour, Saint Catherine

Rum is an alcoholic beverage that is intimately intertwined with Caribbean history and culture. That history is cruel and downright abhorrent, where millions of West Africans were taken against their will to the Caribbean to work as slaves on sugar plantations, growing sugarcane from dawn till dusk, reaping, grinding and boiling sugarcane juice to make muscovado sugar and molasses, the latter of which was then fermented to make rum. Our ancestors likely never got to consume much of it, but now rum is the liquor of choice for their descendants and remains a quintessential part of the Caribbean spirit. There are at least three surviving Jamaican sugar estates and distilleries to this day, namely the Appleton, Worthy Park and Hampden Estates. I’ve taken the Appleton Estate Rum Tour twice and had a great time with each visit, therefore I feared another Jamaican rum tour would be repetitive. Well, thankfully that was not the case. In fact, I even preferred this experience. Here’s why.

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Treasure Beach, Saint Elizabeth

There is a little corner of Jamaica which is stuck in an era before the crime, high-end tourism and commercialization. That little corner is known as Treasure Beach. Treasure Beach is a small coastal town which prides itself on community tourism where foreigners co-exist with the locals in harmony. Mom-and-pop shops reign supreme and there are no large all-inclusive resorts. The accommodations are only small boutique hotels, Airbnbs and villas. Crime is almost non-existent in this side of Jamaica. Sounds utopian, doesn’t it? Well, it’s true.

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Decorate Your Home With PhotoWall Wall Prints

A home ought to tell a story of the people who live there, their passions and their history. A home should also inspire its occupants and fuel their creativity. Photowall is an international wall-art company headquartered in Sweden which does just that. Passionate about creating inspiring living spaces with their canvases, posters, framed prints and wallpapers, Photowall was founded in 2006  when brothers Niklas and Charlie Johansson realized that the selection of personalized wall art on the market was relatively limited. With their technical background and a strong interest in design, they decided to try something new by printing wallpaper digitally. Without any previous printing experience, the brothers bought their first digital printing press in 2006, and the rest is history.

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Mayfield Falls, Westmoreland

Mayfield Falls is a delightful series of 21 widely-spaced mini cascades along the Mayfield River, a tributary of the Cabarita River in rural Westmoreland, bordering on the parish of Hanover. In fact, most of the attraction lies in Hanover, but you know how Westmoreland is always stealing Hanover’s attractions, or we pass everywhere off as Negril for the travel brochures. Anyway, I knew about this waterfall long before I ever heard of Benta River Falls, but somehow ended up visiting there first– likely because it was more accessible. Both attractions are located on the same road, but are 20 minutes apart in terms of driving time give or take. I went to Mayfield Falls as a staff trip one month ago. One of my colleagues was recounting a previous staff trip to the falls which they held several years ago and I encouraged her to plan a second trip. The date ended up even clashing with work but.. errr, here’s how the trip went. 🙂

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