Negril- No Thank You!

Negril, Jamaica "Hey mon, what you say you buy me a bit to eat? Let me have one of those patties from that shop there."

"No." Mark replied evenly as we attempted to navigate the broken sidewalk with our enormous red stroller.

"No mon."

The man filled the tight space between us. His feet were swollen and his heels bled.

"You're going to stop here and buy me something to eat!"

"NO!" My voice startled even me.

I could feel the heat invade my face. My eyes became slits. The man's yellow eyes left Mark and met mine. Mark's eyes also met mine, his eyebrows furrowed in confusion. The man sucked his teeth and backed down. We hesitated for a brief moment before taking off.

Ten seconds later we are aggressively approached by another beggar, and then another, and another.

When we ventured off our laid-back eco-resort on Green Island to see what Negril had to offer, we weren't ready for what we would find.

The cab driver dropped us in the middle of a busy bus terminal, then barreled down the road before giving us change. To the right and to the left, Negril, weary and beaten stretched before us. One thin windy road at times unpaved, few sidewalks- Negril. Cars, vans, buses, barreled at top speed around sharp turns, vomiting exhaust fumes, rattling buildings, scattering debris.

We walked beneath the glare of the sun for forty minutes. Every few steps we were approached, had something shoved in our faces, were told what we were going to do with our money (not asked).

There are few places in this world that I don't like, Negril is one of them.

If you visit Negril and you don't know a local who can personally show you around take a taxi directly to your intended destination. You don't want to make our mistake of saying "Oh just drop us off in the center of town so we can explore..."- big no no! Don't walk around with anything valuable and keep your eyes open (especially when crossing the street!).

There are two main tourist attractions in Negril: Ricks Cafe and the Negril Lighthouse.

Have you been to Negril? What was your experience?