BOB'S cruises & tours's Blog

A 'Treasure' of Authentic, Sustainable Jamaica at Treasure Beach

Many visitors traveling to Jamaica never see the island outside their all-inclusive resorts. But if you're an adventurous traveler who's willing to brave a few potholes driving on winding country roads, you'll find a 'treasure' of old Jamaica in the South West part of the Caribbean island.

Treasure Beach is a village on the coast in the agricultural heartland of Jamaica where farmers and fishermen are said to outnumber tourists 50-1. The region supplies the country with more produce than any other parish. Are you an early riser? The rhythm of daily life in Treasure Beach starts with the first catch coming in with the dawn, and sunset sees fishing rods on the beach.

Farming and fishing are the cornerstones of the Treasure Beach community. The local 'scene' that puts Treasure Beach on the map revolves around Jake's. The resort founders call their travel experience 'community tourism': where visitors and locals come together for arts, culture, outdoor and sporting activities that include weekly outdoor movies, cricket matches, live music and DJ's, monthly full-moon, farm- to-table-dinners in the fields, a yoga deck over the sea, and activities that focus on sustainability and world class festivals

Don't Miss These Events in Treasure Beach, Jamaica:

Fitness: Jake's Off Road Triathlon has been rated one of the top 5 international triathlons, and raises funds for the community. It welcomes both elite and amateur competitors who love to travel and maintain a healthy, athletic lifestyle. The annual spring event brings competitors and Treasure Beach's landscape together during a 300M coastal swim, a 25K off-road hill cycle, and a 7K run along country trails.

Outdoors: Hook 'n' Line Fishing Tournament isn't your standard fishing competition. In a sporting version of local concierge programs, this three-day tournament pairs local fishermen with visitors - very helpful for non-local participants, since teams compete using traditional fishing techniques!

Culture: The Calabash International Literary Festival is a free, three-day, biennial (in even years) event that taps into a global 'book tourism' trend. A crowd, that ranges from backpackers, hipsters, Rastafarians, international intellectuals and government ministers, celebrates the tropical destination as much as the global and Jamaican literary stars it features. Readings under breezy awnings, the festival's signature 'open mic' audience participation, and daily concerts round out the literary travel experience.

Want to discover the treasures of Treasure Beach, Jamaica? Contact us to start your trip!

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Go ahead stay in a castle on your next travel adventure

​Have you ever thought about living in a castle while on vacation? 

In countries such as Germany, Ireland, France, Italy and Scotland, you can often stay in a castle for far less than a hotel.  

•    Castle Hotel Auf Schönberg  This castle is surrounded by a beautiful view of the Rhine River along with vineyards and trails for hiking and is perfect for touring the wine country. The castle was inherited by all the sons in the family instead of just the eldest; it accommodated up to 250 people from 24 families during the 14th century.  

•    Castle Hotel Liebenstein This castle is the highest castle in the Rhine River Valley. Is is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Upper Rhine Valley. Liebenstein is furnished in medieval style with decorations that rival those of the luxury Hotel Wernberg. Rumor has it that the castle hotel was built for the younger of the two brothers whose feud over a woman split the family line forever. From the hotel, it is only a short walk down to the river pier where Rhine cruises depart daily. 

•    Castle Sababurg This castle is surrounded by the oldest zoological garden in Europe (Tierpark Sababurg) and an ancient forest with oak trees that are over 650 years old (Urwald Sababurg). It is also the setting for the Sleeping Beauty fairytale. Each of the hotel’s rooms is named after an animal, a nod to the castle’s history.  Performances and parties are held both in the castle’s vaulted cellar and in the castle ruins. 

•    Burghotel Schloss Staufenberg This castle is located near Giessen, Marburg, and Wetzlar. It has replaced room numbers with the names of important historical persons.  You can stay in Count Gazmar’s Suite or Countess Sophie’s Apartments.  During World War II Staufenberg was occupied by Allied troops and used as a refugee camp.   

•    Castle Hotel Colmberg Set in Bavaria, the thousand-year-old Castle Colmberg is a destination on both the Romantic Road and the Castle Road. This hotel has it all: ancient stone towers, fortified walls, overgrown royal stables, and a deer reserve. Ask for one of the historic rooms that have four-poster beds, centuries-old paintings, antique furniture, and wooden ceilings.

Ready set jet!!! Contact us today for more information.

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History of Reggae Music

I am going to share a secret with you about the history of Reggae Music. I think now is the opportune time as I think you are at a place that you can handle it. This genre did not originate with Bob Marley nor his world renown song One Love.

The term reggae was derived from rege-rege, a  Jamaican phrase meaning “rags or ragged clothing,” it is used to denote a raggedy style of music. The  reggae genre  came into to being in the 1960’s as an evolution of the Rocksteady and Ska musical styles.  Reggae music is a soulful entertainment in Jamaica. It expresses in words the pain, struggle, hope and emotion that is felt by the average person.

Reggae music is recognized by its lament-like chanting and emphasizes the syncopated beat. It is distinguishable from other genres in the heavy use of the Jamaican vernacular and the African nyah-bingi drumming style.

Reggae began to rise to international acclaim as the 1970s progressed. A seminal moment for the genre was the release of the 1973 movie The Harder They Come starring Jimmy Cliff. The movie soundtrack consisted of only reggae hits; this contributed in elevating the music to a internal platform.

Of course, Bob Marley is the world’s best known and loved international Reggae ambassador. Marley’s career spanned more than a decade, beginning in 1963 with Rocksteady band, the Wailers, and culminating in the release of his 1977 solo album, Exodus, which achieved international acclaim. Marley was not only a Reggae singer, but a committed Rastafarian and a political activist. Through his music, his words and his actions, he earned forever a place in Reggae fans hearts around the world. Marley’s music was first popularised in the Wes by Eric Clapton performing a cover of Who Shot the Sheriff.

Since the 60s and 70s, Reggae music has spread and developed in many different ways around the world. Reggae is still going strong in its pure form around the world too, with many modern Reggae bands achieving success in the mainstream.

For authentic reggae experience you can visit the following places for a reggae cultural experience.

  1. Visit  Nine Mile which is the birth place and final resting place of reggae legend Bob Marley. Listen to the knowledgeable guides tell stories of Bob’s childhood! Stand on Mount Zion Rock, where Bob used to meditate and rest your head on ‘the pillow’ that was made famous in the song ‘Talking Blues’.

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  2. Take a family-friendly tour of Bob Marley museum. The Museum is the former home of the reggae legend. Bob’s home is filled with rich memories and treasured mementos, which seek to preserve the life and accomplishment of this great Jamaican and outstanding musician.

    http://www.caribvacationsguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/bob-marley-museum.jpg

  3. Participate in Sumfest Reggae Festival. This is Jamaica’s biggest reggae festival, It is a three-day festival in Montego Bay is a three-day extravaganza (from July 12 through the 18th. It features internationally known music acts and contemporary takes on reggae alongside more tried-and-true originals.

    http://img.bulawayo24.com/articles/Reggae-Sumfest.jpg

  4. For Beach Lovers – To experience reggae in its most relaxing setting, nothing beats the soft, welcoming vibes of a sea-lapped Caribbean Beach. In Ocho Rios, you’ll find the appropriately named Reggae Beach, with the notes of improm ptu jam sessions (and the scent of jerk chicken) emanating from small beach bars, and late-night bonfires with DJs supplying the sound track. This quarter-mile beach is small but secluded, and you won’t have to battle huge crowds for beach real estate.

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  5. Visit Horace Andy Record Studio – Horace Andy is best known for his 1973 cover of “Ain’t no sunshine,” Take the opportunity to explore this famous record studio, and access a once in a lifetime opportunity to have a studio session with Andy personally.

  6. Visit Randy’s Records – This record shop was opened in  1958 by Vincent”Randy” Chin; a legendary record producer. Although Mr. chin is deceased the shop is still heavily visit from persons from all across the world.

    Outpostings-RootsofRootsTour-11

  7. Visit Tuff Gong International Recording Studio – a visit to Jamaica would not be complete without stopping by this world renown studio that contains Bob Marley’s original recording equipment.

    Outpostings-RootsofRootsTour-10

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Chihuahua: Take a stroll down memory lane in Batopilas

By Anita Draycott

Batopilas, a small town nestled in the Western Sierra Madre at the bottom of a cliff has tales to share. It’s home to beautiful plazas and bridges built of rope and river rocks, but the main surprise is a beautiful aqueduct built in the 19th century.

Walk its streets and Batopilas will reveal stories about the discovery of silver deposits and its glory days during the Porfirio Diaz era when its most notable buildings were erected, such as the impressive City Hall, built around 1890 and the San Miguel and Shepherd Haciendas. Visit La Bufa mine, where the mining entrepreneur Alexander Robert amassed a fortune.

Saint Michael Archangel Temple is another emblematic building with a triple dome that dates back to the 17th century. To reach the temple, you need to travel 8 km on foot from the town to the Satevo Valley. It’s a bit of a hike but the views are worthwhile.

The warm climate of Batopilas is ideal for the tropical and semi-tropical vegetation. Expect to find orange, mango, avocado and papaya orchards. Likewise, it is not uncommon to find bougainvillea, tabachines and ceibas along the streets.

From La Bufa viewpoint, located in the surrounding area of a Tarahumara community called Quirare, you’ll get a fantastic view of the canyons, the Batopilas River and the minerals at La Bufa. Another viewpoint is Piedra Redonda, where you can admire the Banana Canyons.

Along the Batopilas River you can set up camp and take a refreshing dip. Close by, the La Bufa bridge, which crosses one of the canyon’s deepest sections. You will soon discover that Chihuahua, the largest Mexican state, has a multitude of charms, attractions and surprises.

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Enjoy a fairy tale stay at the Montaña Mágica Lodge, Chile

One of the coolest hotels in the world, the Montaña Mágica Lodge will mesmerize you with its uniqueness and setting. If you want to experience an enchanting vacation, you must book a room at the Montaña Mágica Lodge in Chile.

Montaña Mágica Lodge is nestled in the Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve right in the heart of the Andes. Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve was established in 1999 and owned by businessman Víctor Petermann. The reserve covers a total area of 232 square miles of forest which aims to conserve the flora and fauna of the area.  Montaña Mágica Lodge is part of the Hulio Hulio complex which includes the Nawelpi Lodge, Nothofagus Hotel, Reino Fungi Lodge, and Le Chatelet Hotel. The only way to get to Montaña Mágica Lodge is via land travel from the city of Valdivia located 80 miles away, where Pichoy Airport is located. It is your gateway to Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve and Montaña Mágica Lodge. Transfers to and from the hotel can be requested, but you must be forewarned, to get to the hotel, you have to cross a wooden bridge!

Montaña Mágica Lodge is where you can get away from it all! You can enjoy a luxurious stay while enjoying a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere. No traffic, car noises, and rowdy tourists; just you, your family, and nature. The lodge is made out of local wood and stone, and shaped like a volcano with water instead of lava spewing from the top. The lodge has nine rooms that are equipped modern amenities. Its facilities include hot tubs made out of huge trunks of trees, a mini golf in the forest, a bar, restaurant, spa, and a game room. You can enjoy numerous activities including rafting, hiking, horseback riding, trekking, and guided expeditions.

Be immersed in nature, book a room at the Montaña Mágica Lodge in Chile. Consult your travel agent for more details. 

Treat your kids to a stay at the Nickelodeon Suites Resort, Orlando, Florida

The city of Orlando spells lots of fun and activities for the entire family, and Nickelodeon Suites Resort is where the fun starts!

One of the most visited cities in the United States, the city of Orlando is also known as "The Theme Park Capital of the World”. It is one city that caters to kids of all ages! If you are planning to bring the kids for a vacation that is centered on them, the city must be on top of your list! You and your kids will enjoy the Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Magic Kingdom, Discovery Cove, Universal Studios Florida, Walt Disney World, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, SeaWorld, Orlando, Fun Spot America, SKELETONS: Animals Unveiled, Madame Tussauds Orlando, The Orlando Eye, SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium, K1 Speed Orlando, and Ripley's Believe It or Not, just to name a few. There is so much going on in Orlando that will make your kids the happiest in the country, and if you stay at the Nickelodeon Suites Resort, you will make them the happiest kids in the world!

Nickelodeon Suites Resort is a theme hotel resort where your kids can be up close and personal with Dora, Sponge Bob, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and their friends. It has three types of accommodations ranging from one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom suites. It’s amenities and facilities include two water parks, pool side entertainment where you kids will enjoy being slimed, a 4-D Experience Theater, a kid’s spa, a nine-hole miniature golf course, a 3,000-square-foot arcade room, Studio Nick, shops, and a number of restaurants where the kids get to meet their favorite Nickelodeon characters, and sing and dance with them. It also features scheduled events throughout the year. The resort also offers complimentary scheduled shuttles to the major theme parks in Orlando.

Book a suite in Nickelodeon Suites Resort and have fun with the entire family! Consult your travel agent for more details. 

Take a trip to the First German Settlement in Texas, New Braunfels

A tourist destination in Texas, New Braunfels is where you can see street signs and billboards with German sounding names.  A quick trip to the city will afford you lots of activities to experience, and sights to visit.

Founded in 1845 by Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels and a group of German settlers, the city is located just 32 miles from San Antonio, 48 miles from Austin, and 19 miles from San Marcos. It has more than 66,000 inhabitants and covers a total area of 44.3 square miles. Blessed with a humid subtropical climate, the city can be visited at any time of the year. It draws in a large number of tourists from all over Texas especially from the cities of San Antonio, Austin, and San Marcos, who are lured by its attractions and numerous outdoor activities.

There is so much going on in New Braunfels! For history buffs, you can visit the New Braunfels Railroad Museum, Sophienburg Greune,  Antique Company, and the Museum Of Texas Handmade Furniture. Kids will love the McKenna Children's Museum, Schlitterbahn New Braunfels Waterpark, Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo, Jumpy Place, and the Texas Ski Ranch. For everyone else, have fun enjoying water activities including tubing, river rides and jet skiing at the Comal River, Canyon Lake, Landa Falls,  and Prince Solms Park. The city is not all about outdoor activities, you can also take a tour of the New Braunfels Brewing Co., the Dry Comal Creek Vineyards, Winery on the Gruene, and the Vineyard at Gruene. For the ladies, you must shop at the Downtown Antique Mall and at the The Gruene Flea Antique Mall.

New Braunfels is one city that must be visited annually. It is a great place for a family vacation. Consult your travel agent for more details. 

Enjoy an Authentic Indian Experience in Little India, Singapore

Comprising about 9% of Singapore’s population, the Indians have their own enclave in Singapore which will make you feel like you are in a neighborhood in Delhi, Mumbai or Chennai.  It is where you can relish an authentic Indian experience right in heart of Singapore.  

An ethnic district in Singapore, Little India is located east of the Singapore River and across from Chinatown. The third largest ethnic group after Chinese and Malays, the Indians started migrating to Singapore in 1819. Most of them were young men who were workers, soldiers or convicts. In fact, the area where Little India is located was said to have been a settlement of Tamil convicts. It was during the turn of the 20th century when it became an ethnic Tamil neighborhood. The community is served by Little India and Farrer Park MRT Stations which links Little India to the numerous neighborhoods in Singapore.  It is 19 kilometers from Changi International Airport.

If you can’t visit India, then you must travel to Singapore and enjoy Little India. Although the community is an attraction by itself, you can take a stroll along its streets and visit the  Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, Leong San Temple, Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, and the Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple. Enjoy shopping at Tekka Market, Mustafa Centre, Little India Market, and Tekka Mall where you can practice the art of haggling. Craving for authentic Indian cuisine? Head to Jungle Tandoor Restaurant, Komala Vilas, Jaggis North Indian Cuisine, Khansama tandoori Restaurant, or the more expensive Delhi Restaurant and Mustard Restaurant.

One of the most vibrant and energetic districts in Singapore, Little India will awaken all your senses. Take it all in when you book a trip to Singapore to visit Little India.

 

Good Eats in Barbados

By Anita Draycott

The Cliff

Chef Paul Owens's mastery is the foundation of one of the finest dining experiences in the Caribbean (with prices to match) at The Cliff. Steep steps hug the cliff on which the restaurant perches and every night hundreds of lit torches create a magical ambiance. Every candlelit table has a sea view. Service is impeccable. Reserve days or even weeks in advance to snag a table at the front of the terrace for the best view.

www.thecliffbarbados.com

Round House

On the wind-blown east coast, the Round House has fabulous views of the sea and surfers. Bajan specialties include flying fish, macaroni pie and pumpkin fritters. They also make the best rum punch on the island.

www.roundhousebarbados.com

Lobsters and Jazz

Lobster Alive, just outside of the capital, Bridgetown, is small and rustic with seating both indoors and on the beach. Fresh spiny lobsters are flown in daily from the Grenadines and kept in the restaurant’s own large tank. The best time to go is for a long lunch on Sundays when a jazz band performs.

www.lobsteralive.net

Cin Cin

Serving Mediterranean cuisine with a Caribbean twist, glamorous and contemporary Cin Cin teeters over the sea.

www.cincinbarbados.com