Blue Mountain Trip
Trip Start Jul 06, 2005
21Trip End May 31, 2007
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I was going with another volunteer and her visiting friend. We left Ochi on Saturday morning, and we chose to go through Kingston to get to the town of Mavis Bank where we started our hiking
Most people that live in these mountainous towns must travel by land rovers (the older versions) to get to the nearest towns that are accessible to public buses and taxis. Children that continue on with their education past primary school stay with friends and family closer to Kingston during the school year and then return to their homes in the summer. You do what you got to do. Right?? Anyway, we finally made it to our destination, a quaint lodge set on the eastern face of the hillside, which is perfect viewing of the incoming weather and sunrise over the mountains. Wildflower Lodge provides comfortably rustic accommodations for hikers, and the surroundings make up for any potential discomfort. The landscape is breathtaking, green everywhere, fluffy clouds, and cool mountain breezes
A cold shower, warm clothes, and a hot meal settled us in for the evening at the Wildflower. Our plan was to get up at 3am to begin our hike to the peak so we could see the sun rise and take in views of Jamaica below before the clouds roll in. It's recommended that hikers go with a guide, especially since the hiking commences in the dark, so we arranged for a local guide through a friend of the other volunteer on the trip. Unfortunately at 3am, that plan fell through and our guide was indispensable, so we altered our plans to begin again at the break of day. So at 6am we were on the trail, on our way to the peak. To our surprise the trail was well signed and easy to follow. In retrospect we could have started at 3am but we weren't sure what to expect. Next time I go I will feel more comfortable about hiking in the dark without a guide. The other volunteer and her friend are from the Pacific Northwest, and they agreed that the vegetation and terrain reminded them of their home. We walked past stands of pine trees, wild begonia, and ferns were abundant along the entire trail. This area receives more than 300 inches each year, which provides water to half of Jamaica's population. Together with the John Crow Mountains, this area is Jamaica's last remaining rainforest where many rare and exotic plants can be found
The entire trip took about 8 hours, and we returned to Wildflower Lodge at about 2pm. We were all pretty tired from getting up early and our long hike. I spent the afternoon napping and reading and taking in the views. It was nice to have nothing really to do other than just being.
I was sad to leave that place because it offered so much peace and joy for me, hiking, observing nature, and being quiet. But duty calls, I must return to my responsibilities in Ochi. Even though I was only there for 2 days, it was an adjustment to return to the city and the heat. I definitely will go back in the next 10 months, before I leave Jamaica. If you have the opportunity to come to Jamaica, skip the resort scene and journey to the Blues, you will see the real Jamaica.
I took some photos along the way so take a look for yourself.