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Turn Your Phone into a Personal Tour Guide with GPS-Guided Travel Articles

Like most people, I make a list of places I want to visit when I travel and bookmark articles about interesting sites I’d like to see or restaurants I’d like to try. But the lists are just that and since my cell phone plan doesn’t include international travel, I can’t read the articles I’ve bookmarked without incurring fees to access them.

All isn’t lost, however. GPSMyCity is a new service that created a city walk app that embeds GPS navigation into travel articles. It also maps the route described in the article to show you the best attractions in over 750 cities around the world.

GPS-Related Travel Articles

The Holy Trinity article as it looks on my phone

All you need to use the GPSMyCity city walk app as a guide is to download it to your phone – you won’t need an internet or a WiFi connection. Once you navigate to the city you’d like to visit, the app will show you where you are on the map and guide you to the next location. You can read any article from GPSMyCity however, if you decide you’d like to use a GPS-guided feature, you’ll need to pay $1.99 to upgrade. That’s less than a cup of coffee! 

As a way of introducing you to this lovely concept, beginning today, January 30, 2017, I’ll be offering free upgrades to two of my article apps, The Awesome Splendor of Kingston’s Holy Trinity Cathedral and A Visit to the Bob Marley Museum.

To access these and other GPS-guided article apps or to browse by city for available article apps, click this link. Articles are free to download to your Apple device. Once you’ve downloaded the article, choose UPGRADE and pay $1.99. You will be linked automatically to an offline map and GPS navigation that will guide you through your tour. You only pay for the offline GPS-guided use.

Announced today, GPSMyCity announced today the addition of two new features to the iOS app: Audio and Custom Walk.

Audio. The audio function offers the option of having the article read to you as you walk rather than reading it yourself. 

Custom Walk. This new Walk function allows you to select some or all the sights featured in the article and create your own self-guided walking tour to these sights.

The GPSMyCity app is available for download at the App Store. 

The giveaway lasts until February 7, 2017.

 

 

 

Here are a few more articles that I have on GPSMyCity:

Note: If you choose to upgrade to one of my downloaded travel articles, GPSMyCity will send me a few cents to help me defray some of the costs of operating my travel blog.

Negril’s Rick’s Cafe Turns 40 Years, Folks!

I was rushing towards Times Square around 5:20 p.m. a few weeks ago when I noticed the unmistakable colors of the Jamaican flag high atop one of the buildings in the heart of the square.

I slowed my pace and looked. Sure enough, it was the flag. It was emblazoned on the finely chiseled body of a man, his arms outstretched as he prepared to take a dive, his movements magnified frame by slow motion frame. I was still fixated on his body when I it registered: the Rick’s Café logo.

Before I knew it, before I remembered that I had my digital camera in my bag, the ad was gone, replaced by another not so memorable one. Darn!

I did the next best thing: I took out my phone and sent a text to everyone in my address book. “Rick’s Café is 40, they have an ad in Times Square!!”

Yes, folks, Rick’s Café, voted the Best Beach Bar by the Travel Channel, is 40 years old. Forty? I was surprised. When did that happen? Wasn’t it just the other day? Time sure flies, I thought.

I still remember the first time I heard about it. I was in a taxi on my way to JFK to catch an Air Jamaica flight home. The driver asked where I was going and when I told him, he asked if I’d ever been to Rick’s Cafe. I hadn’t, even though it’s located in Westmoreland, close to where I was headed.

Rick’s Cafe was founded in April 1974 when Negril, then mostly a fishing village with few amenities hadn’t even started dreaming of tourism – at least, not on the scale it is now.

I can’t remember the first time I visited but after that, it became a regular place to hang out and watch the sunset, a place to take friends who were visiting. Seriously, if you’re in to watching the sun as it slowly paints everything in its path orange, purple, red, gold, blues as it moves behind the horizon, drink in hand, then Rick’s Cafe is the place for you. (That finely chiseled body, I mentioned earlier, yeah, Rick’s known for that too. They’re usually several more like him and they’re like the icing on the cake.)

Rick's Cafe Turns 40 Years, Folks!

Rick’s Cafe ad, Times Square

The next day, I told all my Jamaicans friends at work to go check out the ad and I looked for it every day after that, camera and phone at the ready, but I didn’t see it. I was disappointed. Did I imagine it?

I returned for several more days, no luck. Honestly, I kinda gave up. Then one morning, as I was passing through at 8:30, which is late for me, I glanced up halfheartedly, and caught the last frame of the ad. Big smile brightened my face. Okay, I though, it’s still playing. And it seems to rotate on the hour at the half hour.

But just to be sure, I made a plan: I’d pass through Times Square at 5:30 to see if I’d catch it. Sure enough, I did. I left work late, the following evening not even thinking about the ad and saw it again. This time, it was at 6:30.

A few days later, I ran into Paul, one of the people I had told about the ad, in Times Square. He was in the right place – at the corner of 43rd Street and Broadway — but he was looking away from the ad.

I set him straight and we waited together. Several ads cycled through then without fanfare, the Rick’s Café ad appeared. Paul was still holding his cell phone staring at the ad instead of taking a photo – it happened to me too. I shouted at him, “Paul, tek di picture!”

That night, I sent out an email to my friends. We were going to Hell’s Kitchen for dinner the following evening. Let’s meet in Times Square, I said, so we can catch the ad together. Despite the rain, I hustled to the spot we had agreed on but they didn’t make it. Their loss, but I’ll try again. (Seeing it is such a joy, it’s like watching Usain (Bolt) or any of our athletes win. It fills me with tremendous pride, a pride we all share. It’s a Jamaican thing, an island thing. You understand?)

I have no idea how long the Rick’s Cafe ad is running but if you’re ever in Times Square and would like to see it, head for 43rd and Broadway. If you stand at the northeast corner and look up at the billboard above Europa, you’ll see it. It seems to run every hour on the half hour. At least that’s when I’ve seen it.

Happy Birthday, Rick’s Café! You’re aging gracefully and still managing to maintain your wild side. Here’s to another 40 years of providing us the best vantage point to enjoy the most spectacular sunsets in Negril.

Rick’s Cafe is located on West End Road in Negril, Jamaica. 876-957-0380

Rick’s Cafe, Negril Jamaica

Rick’s Cafe has been a fixture in Negril’s West End since 1974. That’s when Richard Hershman, after whom the bar is named, decided to put a bar on a slice of land with a beautiful cove. Rick’s Cafe was the first establishment of its type in the West End and soon became the place where mostly visitors meet, drink and watch the spectacular sunset for which Rick’s Cafe is now famous.

When we arrived at Rick’s Cafe just after 1:00 p.m., only a few tables were occupied. By the time we finished our lunch and had a few drinks, the place was crawling with people. Most came to watch the divers —  local guys who began taking headers off the cliffs and performing acrobatics at Rick’s as a way to make some money. I was surprised to see that visitors are now cliff jumping as it can be very dangerous for the inexperienced and especially for anyone who’s been drinking. I wasn’t close to the jump area or watching those who did to see if they had had anything to drink prior to jumping. To their credit, one of the lifeguard/divers did warn people loudly not to try a hand walking stunt as it could be dangerous.

If some come to watch the divers, the overwhelming majority visit Rick’s Cafe to watch the sunset. And it’s breathtaking. It’s always amazing to watch how quickly the sun seems to drop behind the horizon. I’ve promised myself that the next time I’m at Rick’s Cafe, I’ll just sit and watch the sun set instead of catching glimpses of it between shots.

Once the sun sets, the house reggae band takes over the stage and those who want to, can dance or just vibe to the music. Rick’s Cafe is available for weddings, reunions and corporate retreats for up to 300 people.

Rick's Cafe's cove

Rick’s cove

Seeing Rick’s now, it’s hard to remember what it looked like back in the early days. Harder still to imagine that this bar has been destroyed by hurricane twice (Gilbert, 1988 and Ivan, 2004) and rebuilt, bigger each time.

Nighttime at Rick's Cafe

Nighttime at Rick’s Cafe

Getting to Rick’s Cafe

Rick’s Cafe is located in the West End of Negril, about an hour’s drive from Montego Bay. Open daily it serves typical seaside and bar fare. In addition to beer, it also serves drinks with suggestive names like Sex with Rick, which is recommended for women and Front End Lifter (for men) 876-957-0380. No entry fee.