Blue Mountain Bicycle trail

Trip Start Aug 05, 2011
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Trip End Aug 28, 2011


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Flag of Jamaica  ,
Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It was an early start for everyone as we had to be showered, watered, fed and out of the hotel for 0745. No school today so the kids were pleased. This morning we were off up in to the Blue Mountain range to do the Bicycle trail back down which would last about 2.5 hours. 

The Blue Mountains if you do not know are renowned the world over for the famous coffee that is produced there on the coffee plantations. Shame I cannot even stand the smell of coffee let alone drink it!! The Blue Mountains are so called because they are so high in the sky that when you look at them you cannot tell where the mountains end or the sky begins.

On the trip we would be given brunch, lunch, all the protective gear we needed and a bike. Our final stop off would be at a waterfall location where we could dip into the refreshing river and cool off. Trust me you need all the protection you can get risking life and limb cycling on Jamaican roads let alone Jamaican mountain side roads / tracks with pot holes and sheer drops that made your stomach churn! 

Only Kaisha and I were doing Blue Mountain cycle trail, Ericka was traveling in the coach with K as the cycling was way too steep and over sheer drops a lot of the way. Ericka was very nervous about Kaisha doing it but left her in my charge (oooopps)!

The coach arrived just before 0800 and we set off. Our driver Cleeve was a character, he was full of stories, jokes and puzzles to entertain us with as we headed ever upwards and into the mountains and clouds. Poor Ericka’s ears were popping she said! Cleeve was also very informative on route pointing out places and things of interest. I will give you a taste of the joker that was Cleeve:

“Hello and welcome, my name is Cleeve, if ya feget me name it is not a problem..but der will be a situation and I will lef you in de Mountains”!

“The drivers in Jamaica are crazy, don’t look at the road cos I don’t! I have also taken my medication so all is well”.

“Public transport is like sardines, you see a hand, foot, head hanging out of the vehicle but there is still room inside somehow to fit more people”.

“De hotel in de distance was so far away from any where else and difficult for people to reach that dem say it was for people who were either nearly dead, newly wed or want to stay in bed”

“Jamaicans are fast talkers but slow walkers”

“Soon Come - Could be next day, next week or next year”

Cleeve also gave us a little insight into Jamaica. Jamaica has a population of almost 2.2 million inhabitants with only 28 hospital between them. The population is made up of 90% black origin and 10% other. 

The Jamaican flag has 3 colours Green, Gold and Black. Green is for the vegetation, Gold is for the Sun and Black is for the struggles overcome and still to come by its people.

The Blue mountains span an area of approximately 44 miles and spreads across 4 parishes. 

There was 150 years of Spanish reign before the great wars between the Spanish and the English. Following the English victory there was 300 years of British rule before Jamaican independence.

On route Cleeve showed us the Fire Station in Port Maria that yes you guessed it ‘burnt down’ some years ago! I have forgotten the story now but it was entertaining. He also showed us the Police Station going up the Blue Mountain and pointed out the Police Cells outside the station that did not look inviting at all! He said that alone and the heat inside helped limit the jails visitors.

On the coach, Kaisha made a new BFF in the form of Alex, a 19 year old Jamaican on the tour with his girlfriend. I think Kaisha monopolised him for most of the journey to the Blue mountains :0). But to be fair he did encourage her an awful lot so i have no sympathy :0).

Our first stop was brunch before setting of again and reaching the top of the mountains in the coach. At the top Kaisha and I got our protective kit on, selected bikes and were all set to go. Sadly Kaisha’s initial decent down the first steep incline almost met with a serious accident and the guide managed to catch her on her bike as she speed past him out of control! You see the bikes were a hybrid chopper / mountain bike affair with brakes that operated by peddling backwards and applying pressure on them. This was very alien to Kaisha and she panicked taking her feet off the peddles free wheeling and re-enacting an Evil Kenevil stunt on two small wheels.

After her near miss she was shell shocked and in tears. I managed to calm her down and we then switched her to riding tandem with one of the guides. This again being a first for her was a little scary and she did not like it. In the end she had to admit defeat and travelled in the coach at the rear of the bicycle troop. Ericka and K were in the front coach.

Anyway cutting a very fun 2.5 hour cycle down the mountains short, it was excellent fun with breath taking views, sheer road side drops, mud, torrential rain for most of the time even though very hot. We were given flattering blue and red rain poncho’s to stem off some of the rain as it was very heavy indeed. Thankfully my knee was strapped up, but I had not bargained on having to press backwards on peddles for brakes. This was really painful to do with my left knee so I had to constantly break with my right leg. I thought my leg was going to drop off by the end of the ride.

There was a break for lunch where we met up with the coaches and Kaisha was re-united with the family and her coach. 

Our bike guides were great fun, very entertaining, silly and a scream. There was one casualty when an older lady fell off her bike about 2/3 of the way round. Luckily she did not drop near or over over one of the many sheer road side drops and she was able to recover and get back on. Another young girl at the start of the rider after seeing kaisha’s impromptu stunt, got off her bike promptly and requested her Dad get the tandem!

It was comforting to see that I was the only person who was able to ride up the two difficult slopes we encountered and everyone else apart from the guides got off and walked. I am sure I will pay for it in the morning lol.
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Comments

Cyber Buddy on

I think you forgot to add a photo of you in your blue and red poncho??!!

mcfarlne
mcfarlne on

Oh did I, how remiss of me!! Actually what i was meant to say is they were either red or blue colours not both. Could of been Black and Yellow, black and yellow and we could of had a song tune going on as we cycled....I know that will be way over your head but some will get it lol

Lyn on

Blue Mountain coffee best in the world, very expensive. Its grown at such altitude in a hot moist atmosphere making it really good

mcfarlne
mcfarlne on

....And who is a lucky vegetarian as I bought them some?

mcfarlne
mcfarlne on

...PS but i am regretting it as the smell is stinking out the room puweeee!!

The Wrings on

Hi everyone, glad to see you are having a wonderful time and you are all finding time to relax. We are green with envy, just back from Ireland, where we experieced a soft Irish summer, winter coats on the beach.

Fay on

Chris
well done.I am enjoying reading your blog and finding up out what Erika is not up to.Keep it up I hope to be in Ja later on this year.

Fay

Lyn on

Just catching up, I see what you mean now... huge thanks, the smell BTW is awesome. I did the same in the US, brought some back and my whole case smelled of coffee. maybe I shouldn't have said that :) Maybe, just get a new case, fill it with Blue Mountain !!!

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