Before going to Jamaica, I had this picture in my head of this perfect little beach that I would see photos of as a kid. It turns out this beach was the Dr. Caves beach in Montego Bay. On booking this holiday, we had been torn between staying in Negril and Montego Bay, and in the end picked Negril, which turned out to be a great experience. By the time our holiday came to an end, we had been all over the island, but not yet to Montego Bay. Our return transfer got us to the airport with three hours to spare so, on a whim, we decided to stroll into Montego Bay and see it finally.
It would have been quicker to have taken a taxi, but at this point we didn’t have any money left and weren’t going to bother getting more cash out for just a cab. We walked the mile into town (with our backpacks). It was actually quite pleasant until we reached the outskirts, and here the locals looked oddly at us, sneered, and approached us constantly for money or to sell us drugs. This had happened in Negril, but there was a lighthearted feel, and no one seemed offended when we said "no." Here, though, the guys were very aggressive, and we did not feel comfortable at all. Whereas Negril was full of hippies and Rastas, here the locals had a gangster feel, with low trousers and gold teeth. We made it to the Dr Caves beach, which was all I really wanted to see anyway. You had to pay to go on this beach, but the bloke let me just wander on to take a few photos, and then we high tailed it back to the airport as quickly as we could. The beach was not as special as I remember from the photos I saw as a kid. The town was more condensed than Negril and looked to have some pretty good bars and clubs, but there was a definite seedy, threatening feel to this place. It was July, and yet the streets were deserted. Not sure if the town got better or worse after dark, if the tourists came out and if the feeling of threat went away, but we didn’t stay around long enough to find out. Perhaps during Spring Break, when the hordes of teenagers come to town, I would feel safer!