Freezing me nuts off

Trip Start Oct 01, 2006
1
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Trip End Ongoing


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Where I stayed
wildflower lodge

Flag of Jamaica  ,
Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The ride up to the mountains was a little adventure itself.. the "getting there" always is.. i was ready to go the budget cheap way.. a route taxi to papine 50 jmd, a 100 jmd bus to mavis bank and then try to find a lift to hagley gap.. it was pretty complicated and as i'm writing this a couple of weeks later i'm having trouble remembering the route of small towns.. anyway 'john' the local taxi driver that always hangs out at the entrance to the chelsea hotel gave me an offer i could easily refuse, $4000.. yeah rioght i thought.. i was feeling lazy and needed to stop off and get a patty for breakie.. i offered him 2000 and he took it..

on the map it looks like such a little distance from kingston to hagley gap.. i thought maybe 20 mins.. the journey took about an hour and a half and went down roads which weren't really roads at all, well maybe they were many years ago.. but now it is total 4x4 country.. we crossed a few rivers and john smashed his chassis hard and knocked a couple of dents in his oil sump to get me there.. he's a real nice guy and i was betting he'd get a puncture or his way back to new kingston...

so i was dropped off in mavis bank when it was lashing with rain, the rain was so heavy the windscreen wipers were useless and we couldn't see the ten metre run i had to make to get to the cover of the bar.. my cheapskateness had also failed with the weather as i was planning on walking the last leg up to the hostel as it was a 2000 jmd drive in a land rover.. i got some local guy to drive me for 1500 and it was still canning it down with rain... i think if i attempted the walk even in cool dry weather i don't think i could have made it up there..

i was greeted warmly by noel and his wife/girlfriend/baby mother or friend (i couldn't work it out) and was shown my lonely 900 jmd a night dorm room.. the place was cold and had no electricity in the rooms but i had a great balacany which overlooked the valley down to the town of yallahs.. i was told by a friend wes, that i needed to bring food up there.. i was too lazy to follow his a advice and paid for it as i was starving hungy, i found a little shop which sold biscuits about half a mile down in penlayne castle but got stuck there for an hour whilst a thunder storm came straight over us, including a lightning strike about 10 meteres from the store which knocked out all the power to this mountaintop hamlet..

the hike started when i was woken by noel at 2am, i was ready and psyched up within a couple aof minutes and we were off follow a track by moonlight.. i had my powerfull led torch but used it for dodging puddles under canopy growth than to see the route.. Noel, my guide didn't talk much.. my couple of conversation starter questions came to zero so peacefully sat back into a easy mediational march up the slopes of blue mouintain.. I wasn't cold one bit during the hike up there until which reached the peak and sat in the grafitti covered, half demolished rat infested cabin at the top.. we beat sunrise by a good 45 minutes because of our good pace which made things even colder by having to wait around running and star jumping on the spot..

the view is beautiful, before sunrise the slopes of the mountain range are a stunning blue and the towns of kingston and yallahs sparkle like fairy lights. once the sun comes out the slopes change to green and you can see the north coast very cleary.. i got my celebratory photo and then we were off back home on a quick pace to keep myself from getting hyperthermia..

back at the hostel i stripped my cold wet clothes of and slepty like a baby for a few hours before my midday check out.. i really wanted some sun and chose ochi over kingston and made my way there to heat my bones back up to normal..

over the next few days my travels would take me back to kingston for the green synergy finals, then to negril for a couple days then to mobay before i managed to change my flight to london to miami..
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Comments

pranagirl
pranagirl on

Really Kool Stuff!
Hey Kris!

Love your shots! I am from Jamaica, now living in Ireland, I think you realy captured the real beauty of the island. Happy you had a good time! Certain you would freeze more off here in Dublin!!

e on

nice experiense u had, check out my blog if you have time.
godhelpjamaica.com

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