Booking a trip through our hotel in Ocho Rios to the home of Bob Marley where he was born and laid to rest is a must see for the music lover. I really didn’t know what the “whole” experience was about when I booked the tour? Loading several people into a bus, we took about a 45 minute drive through Jamaica’s rural scenic countryside. Along the way our Rastafarian guide told us interesting facts about Bob Marley and his family. He also tried to prepare us for what to expect on our tour and some items for sale
After arriving at Bob Marley’s Mausoleum, located at Nine Mile, our first stop passed through the gift shop, then our guide whisked us away to a back alley to do a possible drug deal. At first I felt a little creepy, but we were not pressured to buy or partake. I would not advise bringing children here though. In Jamaica the residents are allowed to grow five personal pot plants and can possess up to 2 ounces. We were cautioned in what ever we bought could not leave the Country, in fact, they told us if we had leftovers to leave it at the hotel and they would be sure it was returned to our guide. Ha Ha!!
Next stop was to sell Bob Marley’s medicinal drink white lightning, which included several types of alcohol, set on fire and drunk as fast as you can with the straw. Whew!!! It really does open up your sinuses. For only $10 you get drunk, a video taken on your phone slugging it down, and souvenir shot glass.
Going through another gift shop, in case you missed getting something the first time, we were led to an area to watch a Reggae band perform. Local beer and water were available to purchase while listening. (hold your cursor over the pics below to read what they are about)
Final stop was the actual Mausoleum, we were not allowed to take pictures, wear shoes or smoke regular cigarettes *note I say regular cigarettes* We were allowed to smoke a joint while walking around the mausoleum where Bob Marley rests. My lungs do not like any kind of smoke, but I figured since I ate Mopani worms in S. Africa and Cuy (guinea pig) in Peru, I might as well partake! After all the joint was smoked in honor of Marley. The guide told us Marley was buried with his Les Paul guitar, a bud, soccer ball, ring given to him by Prince Asfa Of Ethiopia and a Bible. When the tour was done we made a final exit through another gift to our bus and tour guide.
Overall the “Experience” was unlike any other tour I have ever been on. Caution, this tour should not to be booked by people who are easily offended with the medicinal products sold. While it is basically a tourist trap to extract money from us, I did learn some things about Bob Marley and his family I didn’t know. As an added bonus, if you don’t want to explore the island on your own or rent a car the scenic drive to the Mausoleum is worth the trip alone.
Please leave in the comments below some unique experiences or tour you think I would enjoy? Did a tour you booked ever surprise you and why?