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I was travelling alone in Jamaica and I didn’t want to go to an all-inclusive compound resort and spend the holiday behind a fence feeling that I could be anywhere sunny in the world.
Free-I , the owner of Zion Country, is a busy, hardworking guy, but took the time to introduce me to people in the local community and share his time and company. Owen is a great cook and a lovely guy and chilled out with me and offered me good insights into life in Jamaica. Tamar is also a very nice person and was very welcoming and friendly. The scenery is absoultely stunning , the cabins are comfortable and the facilities are excellent. Reach falls and the Blue Mountains are within striking distance and you can chill out at Zion Country, have a beer and a chat to folk in the community or plan trips from Zion Country to many more great places in Jamaica.
There are beautiful beaches very nearby where you can chill with a beer and meditate in the sun or shade as the waves massage your mind. I visited reach falls with other guests and it was like the garden of eden. We had a Rastaman called Ray-i as our guide and as well as the scenery , you could literally feel how in tune he was with nature and the spirit of the place- it was a totally positive vibration, gentle, yet very powerful. My stay at Zion Country was the perfect start to my trip in Jamaica and gave me the confidence to fully experience Jamaica during the rest of my trip. I would encourage people to visit Zion Country and other places like it, to experience the real Jamaica and get to know some of the amazing people and rich culture and history of this country. Places like this are sometimes called ‘alternative’ but to me, this is a misnomer: you can gain a taste of the real Jamaica by avoiding the huge resort complexes , and relaxing, listening ,learning and supporting businesses like this which help people experience Jamaica without destroying the natural environment and exploiting the place and the people. I didn’t see my trip as alternative at all – it was a safe way to learn something profound about this beautiful part of the world and to appreciate humanity, culture and art which has influenced the world.
One Love, Robbie Handy (Scotland)