Even though I’m in Jamaica to work and run a business now, sometimes I get to mix a little pleasure with that business if I plan my time smartly.
Last week I wrote about my little daytime jaunt through the town of Lucea in Hanover but that jaunt actually began a day earlier. As I wrote in that blog post I had a delivery to make in Negril and had already pre-planned to spend the night in Lucea. My friends there were going to hook me up at a guest house and I was quite satisfied to just go with it. Once I arrived into Lucea that evening they had changed my plans for me and said if I wanted to save the fifty bucks on accommodation I was welcome to stay at their home. Well duh…who doesn’t want to save fifty bucks and stay in a local home?
The interesting part about it was that I had no idea where they live. I just knew they live in Lucea. I also didn’t know that Lucea extends WAAAAY up into the mountains until we started driving there.
I met my friends at a little Rasta cook shop in the town, we hung out until well after dark and then decided to head to their house. I followed them in my car with no clue how much of a drive it would be. So there I was following a lonely car on a pitch dark country road which soon turned into a mountain road that continued on for about twenty minutes. After about ten minutes of climbing I said to myself out loud, “Like, are we there yet or what?” I was alone in my car following them so I picked up my phone and was going to send them a voice note on Whatsapp just for fun, when I realized there was absolutely no cell phone reception on this road lol.
If you’ve been following my blog for a long time you’ll know that in these situations, this is always the point where I say to myself, “Yep, this is the part where they lead me into places unknown, chop up my body and throw it in the ditch”. Thankfully, this time I wasn’t following strangers like I usually do, I was following friends.
Anyway, to make a long story short, when we arrived at the house I felt like I was on top of the world but it wouldn’t be until morning that I would REALLY be able to see where I was. This excites me. I love arriving at strange places in the night and uncovering where I’m at in the daylight the next day.
That night we only stayed up until around 11pm chatting and drinking. We opted for an early bedtime so we could get up at sunrise and head to the beach for a morning swim.
The next morning I woke before 6am to the sound of them already up in the kitchen making coffee. It was still dark outside but I walked out the front door anyway and smelled the cool, crisp mountain air. It was lovely! And just beyond the trees in the yard I could see the sun waking up as well. When it rose a little bit more I was stunned at the beauty. This was a lot like waking up in the Blue Mountains!
The one thing I love about staying with locals is that they know everything about where they live. I asked where I was and they said the area is called Askenish. Never heard of it. They also said that the mountain peak I was looking at was called Dolphin Head mountain which is the third highest peak in Jamaica and here I was practically standing on it! I was in heaven seeing it unfold with the sunlight before me, pictures do it no justice at all.
Once our coffees were finished we threw some swimming bags together and hit the road. I thought we’d be going down the hill but first they took me farther up the hill so we could finish watching the sun come up from a better spot. It was amazing to watch through all the palm leaves up there.
After sunrise we did the drive down the hill and for a change I got to be a passenger and just sit back watching the scenery. It’s been a long time since I got to be a listless passenger and let someone else do the driving. I finally got to see the area we drove through in the dark the night before and I’m telling you, there was almost as much bamboo in there as at Bamboo Avenue. The area was so lush and green, filled with thousands of bamboo trees and a river running beside the road most of the way down. If not for the lack of cell phone coverage I swear I’d move there!
Twenty minutes down the hill and we were at Bulls Bay beach right in the town of Lucea enjoying a fresh, cool swim in the sea before any other person even set foot on the beach!
Seriously, I am blessed with the people I know here.