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Thursday, 12 April 2007

Black River Safari w/ Yasmine & Rasta George - Page 4

Written by Vince Bogan
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This was my last full day in Jamaica. The week went by so fast. Next time I promised myself I’d stay at least ten days.  I don’t know why I was so nervous as I ate my morning vegetarian breakfast. So jumpy in fact, that when the lovely Yasmine appeared all packed and ready for our day on the road, I found myself apologizing for not being ready to go.

Rasta George is a tall thin Rastaman, his dreads were tucked into a tam bearing the Rasta colors of green, yellow and black, he wore wire-rimmed sunglasses and he bubbled with personality. He was a great guide; explaining all about the morass, what rivers fed it and how they come together to form Black River, he knew all about the flora and fauna, and he explained how the swamp’s eco-chain worked.

boat As if on cue, the boat driver Brant shouted something to Rasta George, and he pointed to another tour boat headed up river. The “Corporate” boat had paused, and all its passengers were ooh-ing and aah-ing. As we pulled closer we could see that just beyond the river’s edge was a small lagoon with a supposed crocodile swimming around. The tour boat was stopped about ten yards out in the river, but we didn’t even slow down as we approached!

“Brace yourself!” Called Rasta George as we crashed through the mangrove and slid into the small lagoon, and yes, there was a crocodile in there with us! At first I was freaked out, more so from the tour boat folks screaming than from the three foot crocodile hastily swimming away from us.

“Just a pickney,” he whispered to Yasmine and me as we went back out to the river, but as we passed near the tour boat he shouted, “No Mon! Can’t see dem giants from a dat tour boat,” his wink told us he was playing to the tour boat patrons. The tour boat guide gave us a dirty look and gunned the engines on the big boat, as we smugly waved goodbye, feeling pretty good about or decision to see the river with Rasta George.

“Tourists,” I said in a jokingly snobbish way, which made Yasmine laugh. I looked back a few seconds later and she was still laughing. “What?” I queried.

“You look like more of a tourist than anyone else on the entire island!” she said laughing with Rasta George and Brant joining in.

“Looks can be and obviously ARE deceiving!!” I retorted, and we all laughed and Yasmine gave me an apologetic hug. Yeah, OK, I was wearing blue shorts, sandals, a loud Hawaiian shirt, and a bright red Phillies baseball cap, all while furiously taking pictures.
Soon we came upon a little bar where the tour boat from earlier was docked. The tourists were drinking their punch, and dancing to reggae from a boom box. They were having a grand 'ol time.

(Page 4 of 6)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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