Sunday 23rd March 2014
The taxi picked us up this morning at 7.30 to take us to the Knutsford Express bus station in New Kingston. The slick operation of the Kingston to Negril service left five minutes before our 8.30 scheduled departure as we were full.
It was a most delightful trip. Our route took us to the edge of Clarendon, past Linstead, Ewarton, before branching up to Fern Gulley. I have fond memories of Fern Gully. As a 21 year old undergraduate Biology student I did part of my field study here tracking the many different species of ferns that grow here. There’s a broody feel to the gully, broken occasionally with vibrant splashes of red flowers.
An hour and a half after leaving Kingston we were in Ocho Rios and I began to feel the vacation atmosphere. Hard not to as we drove past miles and miles of resorts, Sandals, Couples, and Riu to name but a few.
Quite a number of passengers decanted here, and we made a ten minute stop for food and toilet. Unfortunately the only food on offer was manish water* and curry goat and rice. As I don’t eat red meat and it was too early to start on the alcohol from the bar, I settled for a bottle of water.
We made a brief drop off stop at Falmouth before pulling into Montego Bay at 12.30 p.m. which was the final destination for all but five of us. We were decanted into a smaller bus and told our leg to Negril would take 85 minutes.
It was ironic that we drove past our hotel in Hanover to get to Negril and had to get a taxi at a cost of approximately £15 to come back to it.
I stayed awake throughout the seven hour it took door-to-door because I didn’t want to miss a single sight of this amazingly beautiful island of mountains, valleys, rivers and sea. I could fully appreciate why Jamaica is called the land of wood and water.
*Manish water = soup made from the testicles of the goat