The verdant view from Good Hope during a rainy day in Jamaica // (c) 2013 Kelly Rosenfeld
On a recent trip to Jamaica, I was looking forward to the traditional sun, sand and surf experience for which the Caribbean is known. Soon after I arrived, however, it started to rain — and it did not stop. The storm was so forceful that the thunder was setting off car alarms in the parking lot of a restaurant where I stopped for lunch. So, needless to say, there was no beach for me.
Instead, I headed up into the mountains to visit Good Hope, an 18th century great house overlooking the Queen of Spain Valley. The estate is part of a sugar fortune, and guests can visit a number of historic buildings that have now been restored. During my visit, I took a tour of the Great House and was served lunch on a covered patio, where I could enjoy both the outdoor scenery and the beautiful architecture of the property — in spite of the rain. In better weather, the estate offers a variety of outdoor activities on the property as well, including hiking, biking, horseback riding, river swimming and more.
So although I wound up soaking in Jamaica’s history instead of its sun, my trip turned out to be a valuable lesson in seeking out the unexpected offerings that are sure to be found in any destination.