Visiting the Rum factory, enjoying the scenery of St Elizabeth

We drove past vast fields lined with hand made wooden fences, carved branches from the vast forests of Jamaica, used for the fences to keep in the good looking brown cows that are raised here on the South Coast. This part of Jamaica is wide open, spacious, and utterly perfectly undeveloped. Just those fences keeping in gigantic hanging trees that form huge canopies, and in the distance, bigger green hills, and then some goats.   We drove up from Treasure Beach to YS Falls in St. Elizabeth, winding our way up and around these straight on roads, with miles of fields and woods all around us. I was surprised, I didn’t appreciate how big this island is…it’s 189 miles x 80 miles.

This attraction is famous here, a seven-layer falls with far smaller crowds than Duns Falls near Negril. We slipped on harnesses and ziplined over the granite blue water. Then a stop at a famous rum maker, one of the island’s biggest, Appleton Rum.  Started way back around 1649, at first they were a sugar maker then in the 1700s they began using the molasses that came out of the brown sugar making process.

When we visited the storage building with thousands of barrels of oak that held the aging rum, the tour guy told us that the barrels allow air to come in, and for the booze to evaporate out. They lose about 6% a year, so it only  takes so many years to lose most of your booze. That’s why it’s much more expensive to buy the old stuff.