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Archive for May, 2016

Climbing Dunn’s River Falls In Jamaica Makes For A Hands-On Brotherly Experience
by Staff Writer

Special To Wisertraveller.org -reporting from Jamaica.

It’s almost like a spiritual experience climbing Dunn’s River Falls. The group of us await patiently as we await the group’s leader, a burly Jamaican who tells everyone to call him “Big Foot.” He tells the group of tourists, young and old, to mind our manners, as we will be climbing the Dunn’s Waterfalls, a magnificent natural attraction that is not to be taken for granted. In fact, he does a short prayer and crosses himself, before we gather down below to climb what clearly looks dangerous but inviting. At 180 feet and 600 feet long, the waterfalls are terraced like a staircase, which makes it a popular excursion near Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

Before we begin, he tells everyone that climbing the falls would be a group effort –we would have to hold each other’s hands and pull each other up, one excruciating step after another. It’s a scary experience and for those who want to continue, they sign waivers, while the rest opt to watch the climbers along the side.

“Big Foot” tells us that it could get slippary on the rocks, hence, the reason why we are wearing water shoes. He makes everyone chant, “All for one and one for all!” Then, suddenly, he asks quickly, ” What happens if a lady falls?” Someone says outloud, “We all fall!” “Big Foot” is not happy with the answer and advises that the correct one is that we aid each other. Seeing and hearing the waterfalls, I feel my desire to climb this natural wonder fade slowly. But an older man chimes in and says even with his surgery, if he could do it, anyone could. Well almost everyone.

As we climb up the first level, I hold the man’s hand tightly in front of me. The first steps are a bit easy but as I climb more, every step gets harder and pretty soon, the actual waterfall is literally in my face! Huge torrents of water flow quickly past my face and I am told not to stare at it. But it is tortuous and I moan and groan in fear. Finally, we have passed the major waterfall, but I am spent and I seem only to have completed 25 percent of the falls. I walk towards one of the exit signs and seem comfortable taking pictures.

As these photos show, the climbers go up the falls, passing through various levels and during the adventure, the guides take videos and photos to sell to the tourists later. There are opportunities for some great photo ops –which happens when the guide tells the climbers to fall back into the water –a refreshing and a memorable dip! If you climb with the group, it will take 1 to 1.5 hours with short breaks for photos and a dip in the small pools that surround the waterfall.

If you go, be prepared to get wet! Wear a swim suit and take water shoes. It’s quite a tiring hike but the experience will last a lifetime. For those who choose to watch from the sidelines, that’s ok, too. You’ll have photographs to admire for years from now.



































































































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