Hike # 13 : Holywell - Gordon Town

10 November 2007

Shaniek, Ramon, Chad, David D, David W, Steffi, Tracey-Ann, Dravon, Javon, Paul

It was considered early for us as college students; 10:00 a.m. we got ready to trek to Holywell. For me just the thought of going was an experience in itself, my “Jamaican experience”. After a long wait, the bus finally arrived for us around 10:45 a.m. and we piled in.

On our way up towards Gordon Town, we learnt that the other hikers were left at UTECH, because they missed the bus, so for us early-risers, the hike had begun on the paved road – which was for us a little bit too soon.

Thought the sun was hot, we were gone and kicking, especially Biggs who was way ahead of us. After a walking for quite a while the bus returned – that meant air conditioned comfort – and we were happy at that prospect. The journey continued... Fruits were in abundance. The picturesque landscape floated by; the occasional gurgling currents of spring water rushing down along the rocks as they passed along the green of the mountainside. There was the soldier camp, New Castle, and then the sign appeared...

Holywell at last! We stepped out of the rather cold bus and were greeted by an even colder temperature, the mountain air. We casually proceeded to explore this cold territory, visiting the cabins which were in need of major repairs from the passing of Hurricane Dean. Although the cabins were a wreck the view from the across the mountains were spectacular... It thought to myself; “I could stay at this place forever”. We had to anyway and so our fun began.

We left Holywell Park, cantered our way down the winding road, stopping to buy fruits and coconut drops at Hardware Gap. Occasionally we would stop to view some of the most extravagant and beautiful houses that I had ever seen perched on the hillside.

Then the test of survival was upon us as we trod down the hill and into the bushes of the hiking trails, Holywell to Gordon Town. The path downhill was rugged, and at points also slippery. We were engulfed in vegetation, and the winding trail presented a few surprises: prickly bushes, slippery pine needles that covered a large area where we had to walk and the rushing sound of a cold spring kept us company for the entire journey

The challenge was very especially exciting for me because back home in Barbados there are no rivers and as the roar of the spring increased so did my pace. Then there is was, a pool of water muddy from land slippage but still lovely.

The hike started to wear on me since it was my first. Upon learning that we were one thirds into our journey my feet went on auto pilot (they were just simply moving). We exited the first trail in Red light District which has an “interesting” history and took a short break on the roadside. We bought and refuelled ourselves with snacks and oranges and hog plums that we had picked on our journey.

The second trail was less steep than the first and the path was wider. We encountered a lot more houses than before and the stream became a river which had many picturesque views. We reaped and ate more fruits along the way and when it began raining I felt more in touch with nature than ever before. When we got to the highlight of our journey, a relatively large waterfall, to our demise it was flooded with muddy rain waters so we couldn’t indulge ourselves with a dip in the fresh waters that earlier lapped the boulders on the cascading falls into the blue still waters I imagined people swam in.

When we got to Gordon Town we were tired, hungry and dirty but satisfied and fulfilled. As we waited for a taxi to take us back home and to UTECH, I reflected on the unusual way I had spent my Saturday afternoon and the new friends that I had made. What can I say? My body ached the next morning but it was so much fun, just look at the pictures!

Story provided by: Steffi Sealy from Barbados (in the white shirt on the left)