We rarely think about staying hydrated while we go about our daily routines but once we board a plane for a long flight, if we haven’t been hydrating we could begin feeling uncomfortable, or worse, almost right away. That’s because the air in the cabin is a lot dryer than outside and that dry air causes our bodies to lose water.
Dehydration can cause dry nose, dry skin, and scratchy eyes. In the extreme, it can also cause light headedness, fatigue and confusion. Some people have even passed out from being dehydrated.
That’s what happened to me recently. Two hours after we took off, my nose became so dry, I kept taking short breaths thinking that would make me feel better. It didn’t. I needed water, and I knew it.
So what can you do to stay hydrated during your next flight?
Drink Lots of Water: If you have a long trip coming up, start drinking lots of water the day before and continue drinking at least a glass for each hour of your flight. With strict regulations on the amount of liquids allowed on flights, many people have had to ditch their bottled water at the checkpoint. At many airports, however, there are concession stands after the checkpoint where you can buy water and water fountains where you can refill an empty water bottle. It is not advisable to drink the tap water on the plane.
Pack a Good Moisturizer and Eye Drops: Bring a good moisturizing lotion and apply it often to protect your skin, especially your hands and face. Use eye drops to relieve your scratchy eyes.
Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine: Both alcohol and caffeine absorb water from your cells so you’ll end up feeling more dehydrated. Avoid them all together.
Staying hydrated during a flight is easy if you follow the steps above.
What tips do you have for staying hydrated during your flights?
James Bond, the British super agent with a licence to kill, was introduced to the world, in 1962, in the now classic thriller, Dr. No. Bond, the brainchild of the British author, Ian Fleming, was ‘born’ in Jamaica. Fleming had visited Jamaica and fallen in love with the island. In 1946, he purchased a property and built Goldeneye, his Jamaica home. It is here that he escaped, every January and February, to write the Bond books. He has been quoted as saying he doubted the books would have been written had he not been on the island.
Dr. No, the first of the books to be adapted to the screen, was also set in Jamaica, and was filmed entirely on location on the island.
As you might imagine, the filming of the first James Bond movie was a big deal in Jamaica at the time. There were almost daily reports in the local paper, The Gleaner, of movie-related news, for example the arrivals of the stars, Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, the location where filming would take place, etc.
Several locals, including the men who played Three Blind Mice, the photographer, Freelance (Miss Jamaica 1961, Marguerite LeWars), as well as the band, Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, appeared in the movie but the real “star” was the island. Filming took place at different locations in Kingston, Port Royal and Ocho Rios, most notably:
Palisadoes Airport: James Bond makes his first appearance in Jamaica at Palisadoes, which is now known as the Norman Manley International Airport.
King’s House: In the movie, Bond goes to Government House though he actually went to King’s House, the residence of the Governor General, the Queen’s representative in Jamaica.
Morgan’s Harbor Hotel: Byron Lee and the Dragonaires are seen playing that infectious number, Jump Up, Jump Up, at Morgan’s Harbor Hotel, which is still located on the airport road.
Dunn’s River Falls: James Bond and Quarrel hide from Dr. No’s machine near Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios.
Laughing Waters: Probably one of the most eye catching scenes in the movie is when Urusla Andress walks out of the sea at Laughing Waters near Ocho Rios
Reynold’s Bauxite Terminal: Dr. No’s lair at Crab Key is actually Reynold’s Bauxite terminal in Ocho Rios
Filming on the island wrapped after about six weeks with the remaining scenes done in Pinewood Studios, London. Several months later, on August 6, 1962, Jamaica went from British colony to an independent country (More on Jamaica’s anniversary in a later post).
Dr. No was released on October 5, 1962 but didn’t have its premiere in Jamaica until September 17, 1963, it was till playing a year later.
Live and Let Die and The Man With The Golden Gun both have scenes that were in Jamaica, however Live and Let Die was the only other James Bond movie to be filmed here.
Fifty years later, Bond is as popular as ever. In November, the franchise will release its latest installment, Skyfall. I cannot wait!
Set Your DVRs!
Now, if you are as passionate about James Bond movies as I am, I’m happy to report that on July 1, Encore is marking the 50th anniversary with an all day marathon of James Bond films. It’ll start at 7:00 a.m. with Dr. No and end with Never Say Never Again. Following the marathon, every Thursday nights in July, beginning at 8:00 p.m. they’ll show other Bond films uncut and commercial-free. Set your DVRs!
Traveling down a river on a bamboo raft is possibly one of the coolest experiences I can imagine. I have to imagine it as I arrived too late to make the trip. What I got instead was a mini demonstration of raft making and a lesson from a raft captain on what they have to do to maintain their crafts.
First, a little background. Rafting started with the Rio Grande River in Portland. Back when banana export was a major money earner for Jamaica, Portland farmers used rafts to move their produce down the Rio Grande to the wharf for shipment overseas, mainly to the US and other Caribbean islands. Boats taking bananas out would bring visitors into Port Antonio, Portland’s capital and rafts began doing double duty: ferrying visitors on a languid ride down the Rio Grande as well as carrying bananas to market. Over time, the idea was transported to other areas of the island that had large, navigable rivers.
How Rafts Are Made
Rafts are made from mature bamboo canes that are cut in lengths of approximately 30 feet, then lashed tightly together. Two or three layers of bamboo are tied together to form the floor of the raft, and a seat is created for up to 2 passengers. Another bamboo, cut several feet long, is used to steer the raft.
As rafts can get pretty heavy, pulleys are used to lower them into the water and hoist them back out again. A raft can last up to 6 months after which time it has to be replaced. Each captain has at least 2 rafts. Captains are trained to maneuver the raft.
Where to Go Rafting in Jamaica
Rio Grande, Portland: The Rio Grande rafting tour is the granddaddy of rafting tours in Jamaica. The 7-mile trip from Berrydale in the Blue Mountains to Rafter’s Rest near Margaret’s Bay lasts 3 hours.
Martha Brae, Trelawny: The 3-mile journey down the Martha Brae takes about an hour. If you wish, you can even go for a swim.
White River, St. Ann: If you’re in the Ocho Rios area, check out the 45-minute trip down the White River. Following the trip, your guide can take you to Mahogany Beach for parasailing and other beach activities.
Lethe, St. James: This hour-long rafting trip takes you down the Great River.
Raft trips are accompanied by knowledgeable raft captains who will explain the flora and fauna of the area or entertain you with stories while you meander down the river. If you’re interested in doing a raft trip, your hotel or cruise line can schedule one for you.
I’ll write a follow-up when I have my own rafting experience.
This is my submission to this week’s Budget Travelers Sandbox Travel Photo Thursday series. Be sure to check out other photo and story entries on their website.
Negril’s legendary 7-mile white sand beach and its laid-back attitude draw thousands of visitors annually. Most are content with relaxing on the beach that straddles two parishes, Westmoreland and Hanover, but there are several reasons to get out and explore what lies beyond the sand on the Westmoreland side.
The eighth largest of Jamaica’s 14 parishes, Westmoreland takes up the south western end of Jamaica. It was first settled by Taino and Ciboney Indians, remains of whom have been found in Negril and Bluefields, which lies several miles up the coast from Savanna la Mar, the capital. Christopher Columbus stopped in Bluefields, known then as Oristan or Oristano, and a settlement was formed there in 1519, making it one of the oldest settled areas in the island.
Westmoreland is also home to a large population of the descendants of indentured laborers who came from the Indian subcontinent to work on the island after slavery was abolished.
Royal Palm Nature Reserve: Part of the 10,000-acre Great Morass, the wetland area extending from Westmoreland into the neighboring parish of St. Elizabeth, this 300 acre expanse of towering Royal Palms, is the largest stand in the world. The half-mile boardwalk allows you to see up close many of the more than 300 species of reptiles, birds, and butterflies, and over 114 species of flowers. There are also extensive deposits of peat. Open daily, 9-6. Cost: $15 adults, $7 children. Located in Sheffield, a few miles from Negril. 876-364-7404
Mayfield Falls: Billed as Jamaica’s #1 eco-tourism destination, Mayfield Falls boasts waterfalls, 21 natural pools, 52 varieties of ferns, and flowers, butterflies and birds. 876-610-8612
Roaring River Park & Cave: The park and cave are located on the Roaring River Estate that was once owned by the Hay and Beckford families and later taken over by the West Indies Sugar Company (WISCo). The property gets its name from the river that provides water for much of the parish of Westmoreland. The limestone cave and a blue hole, which sits on private property, are both major attractions for the area. Guided tours of the cave and community can be provided by residents of the community for a fee. Located near Petersfield, a visit to Roaring River can be paired with a trip to Abeokuta (below) a few miles away.
Abeokuta Private Nature Park: When slaves came to this part of Jamaica, they brought with them the memory of the place in Nigeria where they had come from. To them, this small corner of Westmoreland reminded them of it and they named it Abeokuta. Now a nature park, it was officially opened in 2003 by the Nigerian High Commissioner to Jamaica. On the grounds are the ruins of an old great house, an aqueduct, which channels water from a river a quarter mile away into a near Olympic-size pool. The pool is possibly one of the oldest swimming pools in Jamaica. From Abeokuta, you can see as far as the coast. 876-891-0837 Located near Dean’s Valley.
Blue Hole Mineral Spring: I have not checked out this spring yet but it looks very inviting. Pool and mineral spring. Wabba 876-860-8805 Near Negril.
Negril Hills Golf Club: 18 holes, par 72, 6,333 yards, tennis court, pro shop and restaurant. 876-957-4638. Negril
Seaford Town: One of Jamaica’s best known German communities, Seaford Town, welcomed immigrants from Germany in the 1830s. A small museum documents the history of this community.
Hilton High Day Tour: A day tour of Hilton Plantation can be combined with a trip to Seaford Town, a few yards away. The tour includes a buffet lunch of roasted pig. Enjoy a relaxing stroll around the plantation, which is located in Westmoreland’s Montpelier Mountains.
Although Seaford Town and Hilton Plantation are located geographically in Westmoreland, they are best reached from Montego Bay.
Manning’s School: Although not a tourist site, Manning’s, founded in 1738 on land bequeathed by Thomas Manning in 1710 for a free school, is the second oldest high school in Jamaica. Its main building, now a library, is a Georgian structure that was constructed of timber. It has a vented gable roof, a cupola with fixed jalousie to provide ventilation, and deep verandahs on the sides. Located in Savanna la Mar, the capital.
Negril Point Lighthouse: Built by a French company in 1894 on a 14 foot deep tank which is filled with water to keep the lighthouse stable in the event of an earthquake. The lighthouse is painted white and rises 66 feet above ground.
Chebuctoo Great House: This Georgian style great house was declared a national monument in 2008. Chebuctoo, which is located on a pimento farm in Cave (near Bluefields) got its name from the Indian name of Halifax, with which Jamaica had significant trade in the 18th century, especially in salted fish.
Peter Tosh Memorial: A few miles up the coast from Bluefields is the community of Belmont where a monument to Winston McIntosh, popularly known as Peter Tosh, a founding member of The Wailers and a son of Westmoreland, is located.
Note: My roots go deep in Westmoreland. I also graduated from Manning’s.
Pick a weekend between now and 26 July, book a few days leave and a room at any of the Manchester hotels – Screenfields is back for 2012.
Begin a spring/summer weekend in Manchester with an open aired film screening in the heart of Manchester’s Spinningfields square. Shown every Thursday night from now until the final screening, Notting Hill on 26 July, films change every week and are just 2 GBP per person.
A full programme can be found on the Spinningfields website, along with other information about the area.
If you’ve chosen one of the Manchester hotels close to Spinningfields, in the centre of the city, Hey Little Cupcake! is an excellent start to your days.
Located on Little Quay Street, next to Nando’s, this little bakery cum café sells the most delightfully charming cupcakes complete with the Teapigs cuppa of your choice.
Hey Little Cupcake! can also play host to private parties as well as pre-bookable scheduled sugarcraft and decorating classes.
The shopping opportunities surrounding the Spinningfields area are sensational. The estate is located just a few steps away from Deansgate with its House of Fraser department store and nearby designer boutiques as well as high street names. The Arndale Centre is a ten minute stroll away.
There is such a variation of dining options in Spinngfields, even the fussiest of eaters will be spoilt for choice. From basic bagel bars to wondrous meals at Wagamama, whether you want a light bite or a full meal, all bases are covered.
A little distance away from the square, other eateries and bars such as Browns Bar and Brasserie and The Hard Rock Café give some additional eating options for your stay. The clubs and pubs on Canal Street are fabulous fun, but for classier cocktails head to The Living Room followed by Bijou.
The best deals on Manchester hotels are online. Book yours now for your Spinningfields, Screenfields summer stay.
There is nowhere else in the United States that captures the imagination of holidaymakers from the UK quite like Florida, in the country’s south-eastern corner. The pan-handle state has a reputation as being one of the most amazing places in the world for tourist to visit and check out the attractions. Families tend to be particularly won over by the quite wondrous array of theme parks and purpose-built centres of fun like the Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Studios. For adults and couples in particular, there is no shortage of stunning scenery to take in or more leisurely pursuits to enjoy amidst the sunshine.
And for British tourists there are dozens of low cost Florida holidays to choose from at any given time and flights now head out of a lengthy list of UK airports throughout the year. So whichever part of the country you’d like to set off from and whatever activities attract you to the sunshine state there are package deals to suit your needs and your budget.
There really is nowhere else in the world quite like Florida, with the theme parks in and around places like Orlando well worth the airfare alone. But when you add to that the quality of the beaches, the nearly non-stop local nightlife, the belt-busting restaurant portion sizes and the general sense of adventure that pervades the place, you start to understand why Florida remains so relentlessly popular with British tourists from one generation to the next.
And if you’re more interested in making par than meeting Mickey Mouse and friends over at Disney World then you’ll be interested to know that Florida has a selection of some of the best golf courses to be found anywhere in the world. There is something very special about taking a trip to Florida and there aren’t many more perfect destinations for cheap family holidays.
Though Judy Mowatt is best known as a member of the I-Threes, Bob Marley’s back up vocalists (Rita Marley and Marcia Griffiths were the other two), she is also an accomplished songwriter who enjoyed a separate career as a solo recording artist.
Born Judith Veronica Mowatt in Kingston around 1952, Mowatt sang in a church choir and as a teen, was part of a dance group that toured the Caribbean. Later, she was a member of the trio, The Gaylettes, which had a major hit with the song, Silent River. Mowatt continued recording following the break up of the group and wrote several tracks for Bunny Wailer. However, because of contractual disputes, she used a number of different pseudonyms. Two of her tracks were on The Wailers’ Burnin album.
In 1974, Mowatt had a second hit with a cover of I Shall Sing, a song recorded originally by Miriam Makeba. When she and Rita Marley backed up Marcia Griffiths, they hit it off and a new group, the I-Threes, was born. They joined Bob in 1975 and continued to back him up until his death in 1981. During that time, Mowatt continued to record on her own. Her first solo album, Mellow Mood, was released in 1975. Her second, Black Woman, the first album recorded at Marley’s Tuff Gong studios, is thought to be the best album by a female reggae artist.
Mowatt followed up with Only a Woman and Working Wonders then took over producing her own music. She even founding her own label. In 1985, she became the first female to be nominated for a Grammy in the reggae music category for her album Working Wonders.
Formerly a member of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, a Rastafarian group, Judy Mowatt converted to Christianity in 1990 and now sings Gospel music.
In 1999, the government of Jamaica awarded her an Order of Distinction for her contribution to reggae music.
Following the recently concluded Caribbean Tourism Summit in Montego Bay, the Jamaican government announced that it had revised its proposed tax on the tourism sector.
Under the tax plan announced on May 24th by Finance Minister, Dr. Peter Phillips, hotels would be charged an accommodation tax from US$2 to US$12, depending on the number of rooms they had, while starting August 1, arriving passengers would be charged US$20.
The proposed tax would bring in J$6 billion from the tourism sector to help close the J$19 billion shortfall in the 2012/13 budget.
Tourism stakeholders were outraged over the announcement.
Former tourism minister, now opposition spokesman on tourism, Ed Bartlett, called the move “ill-advised and punitive” and cautioned that it would “damage the only sector in Jamaica that has shown consistent growth over the last five years.”
The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) also expressed its disappointment at the government’s decision and through a technical working group, put forward alternatives, including an environmental tax on cruise ship passengers.
The revised tax was reduced to US1, for accommodations with less than 51 rooms; US$2 for 51-200 rooms and US$4 for those with 101 rooms or more. Accommodations with more than 200 rooms saw the biggest cut from US$12.
Other Tourism Tax Woes
Under the recently passed Airport Administration Charge Act 2012, passengers traveling to the Caribbean island of Antigua will see an additional US93.75 (up from US$63.75) added to their airfare.
Another issue discussed at the CTO Summit was the Air Passenger Duty (APD), a tax assessed by the British government on travelers to the region. The APD, which has been in place since 1994, taxes countries in groups based on the distance of their capital cities from London. The tax for travelers to the Caribbean rose last November from £50 (US$78.54) to £75 (US$117.92), and again in April to £81 or US$127.20.
Caribbean tourism officials argue that the increase puts the region at a competitive disadvantage. Their arguments, however, have not found traction with the British government.
There’s nothing quite like summer in New York City. School’s out, buses and subways are less crowded, restaurants spill out onto sidewalks, beaches are open, and there are free concerts and movies in the parks.
Although I won’t be in New York City the entire summer, I’ll be there next month. Just thinking about it makes me feel giddy with excitement. I’m really looking forward to doing a few things while I’m there, like:
Try out a new restaurant. With more than 3,000 in New York City, there’s always something new to try. My favorites: Thai, Mexican, Spanish, Brazilian, Italian, and Indian.
Catch a Broadway play. High on my list, the revival of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire. I’ll check TKTS for half price tickets.
Watch the fireworks at Coney Island. No matter how many times I’ve done this, it always feels like the first time. Fridays 9:30 p.m. Ends August 31st. FREE
Take in a movie at Bryant Park. It’s Monday, I’ve found a spot on the lawn and I’m waiting for dusk and the start of another classic movie. Ends August 20th. FREE
Experience The Ride. Never heard of it? The Ride is a bus with seats facing sideways and a huge picture window so you see what’s happening on the sidewalks. It’s like moving theater with the action changing as you drive by. Best of all, this summer, The Ride is offering a special rate of $59, down from $74.
Walk the High Line. The High Line is an elevated park that runs over the old New York Central Railroad line. 10th Avenue from Gansevoort to 30th Streets. FREE.
Cross the Brooklyn Bridge on foot. One of the oldest suspension bridges in the country, and definitely one of the most beautiful, it spans the East River and connects Manhattan and Brooklyn.
So that I can soak up more of New York’s frenetic energy (wish I could bottle some and take back with me), I plan to stay in the city and have identified a few places, including B&Bs and hostels near my old neighborhood.
Now that I’ve made my list, I can’t wait to see New York City again, and hear what my friends have been up to. It’ll be just like old times.
Appleton Estate is the oldest sugar factory and rum distillery in Jamaica, the second oldest in the Caribbean. The sprawling 11,000-acre estate dates back to 1655, however, it did not start producing rum until 1749.
Appleton Estate’s location in St. Elizabeth‘s Nassau Valley provides the perfect combination of characteristics — a special soil composed of a limestone formation, known as Cockpit Karst, and favorable climate, sunny mornings and tropical afternoon shower (a slight shower started while we were on the tour) — that produce some of the finest sugar cane on the island.
The Appleton Estate Rum Tour begins, appropriately, with a complimentary glass of rum punch, a proprietary blend of 5 rums that give it an uncharacteristically dark brown color. I’m so used to the strawberry syrup-colored rum punch that this made me think of lemonade made with brown sugar, well, except for the taste. This definitely was not lemonade! Surprisingly smooth, it went down so easily, I asked for another cup. This time, the bartender gave me a larger one and this time, I savored it. I was so busy enjoying the rum punch, I missed the video on tasting and rum types that preceded the guided tour.
Starting with a look back at the time when sugar cane juice was extracted by inserting the stalks into a donkey-driven mill, the tour wends its way pass an impressive display of tools and equipment that have been used over the more than 260-year history of the estate.
It then moves to the distillery, where Appleton Estate’s pot and column still production processes are explained. The factory can produce up to 160 tons of sugar of sugar daily with the distillery producing 10 million litres of rum annually. Approximately 80% of this rum is exported to about 70 countries. At the ageing house, we saw the thousands of oak barrels in which the rum is stored for fermentation.
As a part of the tour, we sampled cane juice, wet sugar and molasses, by products of sugar cane. It ended with a tasting of thirteen rums, including the award winning Appleton V/X, Appleton, Appleton Special, and Wray & Nephew Overproof (63% alcohol by volume). We were given a small souvenir bottle when we finished the tasting. Other Appleton rums that have won awards are Appleton Estate Reserve 8 year old, Appleton Estate Extra 12 year old, Appleton Estate Master Blenders Legacy, Appleton Estate 21 year old, Appleton Estate Exclusive, and Appleton Estate 30 year old. Rums are available for sale in the gift shop.
Jamaicans purchase nearly 90% of the overproof rum produced by Appleton. This clear rum, called locally white rum or whites, is an “all-purpose rum” that is used in cooking and baking, and is believed to be good for headaches and fever, and if you feel a cold coming on, just pour some liberally on the top of your head or wipe some over the soles of your feet. It’s the one rum you’ll find in almost every Jamaican household.
Appleton Estate marks Jamaica’s 50 anniversary of independence with the recent release of Jamaica IndependenceReserve, a very rare Limited Edition Appleton Estate 50 Year Old Jamaica Rum that retails for US$5,000. Only 800 bottles were produced.
One more thing to know about Appleton Estate, in 1997, they appointed Joy Spence master blender, making her the first woman in the spirits industry to hold that position.
Before You Go:
Cost/Duration: The tour costs US$25.
You’ll spend about 2 hours total time between watching the video, the actual tour, and tasting. No reservation is necessary.
NOTE: Because there is alcohol consumption involved, this is an adults only tour. I was told however, that if parents showed up with children tow, they would be included in the tour but not in the tasting. The tour is free for children under 12, half price for those over.
If you’re interested in doing the Appleton Estate Rum Tour, ask your hotel to make the necessary arrangements.
For more information, contact Appleton directly firstname.lastname@example.org or call 876-963-9215
Hours: First tour – 9:30 a.m., last tour: 3:30 p.m.
In a punch bowl, combine
1-750ml Appleton Estate V/X
1-750ml Coruba dark Jamaican rum
1-750ml Wray & Nephew white overproof rum
2L orange juice
2L pineapple juice
1 cup lime juice
1/2 cup grenadine and several dashes of Angostura bitters
Stir to mix and add a block of ice to chill. Serve in punch cups and garnish with fresh fruit.
Rum Punch (Traditional)
4 cups water
1 cup lime or lemon juice
3 cups strawberry-flavored syrup
2 cups Jamaican white rum
Mix all ingredients together in a punch bowl.
Serve over ice cubes with a piece of lime or lemon.
Water and rum maybe added to weaken or strengthen as needed.
This is my submission to this week’s Budget Travelers Sandbox Travel Photo Thursday series. Be sure to check out other photo and story entries on their website.