The day after the wedding, a bunch of us decided to do something touristy. It was a toss up between the Appleton Estate Rum Tour and a visit to the YS Falls. They are both about actually in the same vicinity about an hour away and with good planning one could probably do both.
But we were majority Africans (I know, stereotyping like no-one’s business), we had had an organized brunch that same day, and by the time we had made a decision and were ready to go, YS Falls and that alone it was to be.
On our way, we passed through Middle Quarters where there was yummy peppery shrimp being sold by roadside traders. These ladies were quite aggressive in getting us to buy from them, surrounding our van like vultures on a carcass. It was all good though once we had pepper shrimp safely within the vehicle. I found them a tad salty, but despite that, kept chomping them down. They look like prawns, or little crayfish, rather than shrimp and are quite meaty for their size. They are from the nearby Black River, and not from the Caribbean Sea as one might imagine. We asked the driver how they are cooked and learnt that they are boiled with the fiercely hot Scotch Bonnet pepper and vinegar.
Either Middle Quarters is quite close to YS Falls or I lost track of time once the pepper shrim] were the focus of my attention for in no time we had reached our destination. Centered within a privately owned valley in the “breadbasket” south coast Parish of St. Elizabeth, the YS Falls are a hidden paradise. They consist of seven waterfalls surrounded by luscious forestry that cascade into pools, some of which are safe to swim in, others too rocky. The tourist attraction itself has been in existence for about 20 years and now also includes river tubing, zip-line canopy rides, and gardens.
We arrived close to closing time (naturally). We purchased our tickets and drove about a mile or so through beautiful pastures dotted with cows via a tractor driven jitney to the waterfalls. Here, two lifeguards attached themselves to our group, I suppose they were our tour guides, and accompanied us to the highest platform for pictures. I was so out of breath and luckily others were too leading me to believe that the altitude must have been high. I won’t accept any other theory.
We then walked down to each platform enjoying photo-taking opportunities and eventually dips into the cool waters. Actually, the water was cold but once fully submerged I found it quite rejuvenating. It was such an exhilirating adventure most likely because I shared it with a large group of friends. We hooted and laughed and posed and strutted our stuff. I felt like a little child again with no care in the world. None! Honestly, there was nothing else on my mind that afternoon.
Since they were almost closed, we were a bit rushed. Prior to descending, our guides encouraged us to call in food requests down to the eatery. The jerk chicken I split with others was so delicious I would have ordered one for myself were it not for the grill being closed!