Wild Jamaica

Stepping into the reservoir at the bottom of the falls, I was shocked at how cold the water was considering how hot and humid things were. There was also slick water weeds that felt gross even with my swimming shoes. In truth, I wasn’t ready for the sensory discomfort but had already committed. To my left, groups of wet tourists were pulling themselves up on the edges of the falls by the ropes that had been installed, carefully following their respective leads. To my right, my own group and family, looking mildly uncertain at the trek ahead.  Above, was the falls, cascading down in multiple levels, surrounded by trees and other vegetation, twisting cocoa colored vines and branches, and a lush, flourishing canopy overhead. It was like being in the Amazon rainforest as you’d imagine it the movies. Moving to nonverbals, our lead pointed towards the other groups and blew his whistle when we took a wrong step. We largely did as we were told. As our lead moved we moved, carefully feeling the stone against our feet, moving cautiously and with purpose. After some time, it became easier to see where the paths were to go up and slowly the ick-factor went away, my body warmed a bit and I began to enjoy the rigor of the falls.