Remembering: My Friend and Jamaica’s Fern Valley

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Around 15 years ago, I did a lot of traveling with a good friend. We saw so many wonderful places. I feel like we went around the world together and I feel a lot of nostalgia about these trips. I remember each and every one. We spent much time on the island of Jamaica as my friend had business there. His home base for business was Kingston, the capital of Jamaica. Kingston is not exactly a tourist spot. That is probably an understatement. But, we used it as a jumping off point for some wonderful adventures on that beautiful island. Allow me to tell you about one of those adventures.

Above Kingston lies Jamaica’s Blue Mountains. You can look down from them and see Kingston. You can drive from Kingston, where you endure sweltering heat, to the relative cool of the Blue Mountains, though the humidity is high. The city of Kingston has temperatures, even in the fall of the year, in the 80s and 90s, as Jamaica really has no seasons. Then, you drive up one of the steepest gradients to be found to get up the Blue Mountains where the day time temperatures drop to the low 70s and 50s at night. Their peaks rise and fall for about 24 miles.

In the fall of the year, when I was often in Jamaica with my friend, there was rain in the Blue Mountains – from 9 – 15 inches per month. A tropical climate.

We took many drives in the Blue Mountains but there is one in particular that I’m feeling particularly nostalgic about. We drove from Kingston over the Blue Mountains and eventually arrived at Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

The Blue Mountains are something to see all by themselves and my friend was a wonderful tour guide as he had spent much time in Jamaica. The Blue Mountains are full of coffee plantations, something I had never seen and which fascinated me. But, what was most thrilling were the tall trees that made the road almost dark. Speaking of the road, it was just almost a road. The road over the Blue Mountains is notoriously bad. Every sort of tropical tree imaginable was in the forest and banana trees lined the road along with vendors selling all sorts of delicious tropical fruit. There are over 500 species of plant life on the Blue Mountains.

Then we came to the most beautiful site of all. Jamaica’s Fern Valley. The ferns were so prolific it was like they were piled on top of each other for miles. It made for a very romantic setting! Driving through Fern Valley is something you never forget. I wanted to stay there forever.

We then arrived in Ocho Rios and decided to do a touristy thing which was climb Dunns River Falls. It is a natural waterfall with naturally terraced steps. At this spot, the Battle of Las Chorreras was fought in 1657 when the English defeated the Spanish Expeditionary Force from Cuba.

In modern times, Dunns River Falls has been used in the 1988 film, Cocktail, starring Tom Cruise, and the first James Bond movie in 1962, Dr. No, starring Sean Connery.

After that climb, we were hungry and ate dinner at the most wonderful Indian restaurant in Ocho Rios. When we do Nostalgia again, I will tell you about the trip back to Kingston over the Blue Mountains – at night! #amwriting #amblogging #writing #Jamaica #DunnsRiverFalls #BlueMountains #nostalgia

Business Consultant and Freelance Writer

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Posted in #Nostalgia, Creative Nonfiction Essays, Travel
5 comments on “Remembering: My Friend and Jamaica’s Fern Valley
  1. […] Remembering: My Friend and Jamaica’s Fern Valley – Writings from the Heart […]

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  2. I was in Jamaica once many years ago, a beautiful place full of contrasts. Had my first lobster pizza there. 🙂

    janet

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Such fond memories, there are lots of treasures in those mountains. Just a note, it’s actually called Fern Gully, and even as a local it is one of my favourite places to drive through.

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