Hike # 19 : Abbey Green to Blue Mountain Peak

3/4 May 2009

Chad, Dravon, Javon, Sherona, Shaniek, Terri-Ann, Jerome, John, Dwight, Peter, David, Karl, Sheree, Dickeesha, Paul

Fifteen of us meet up in Papine and leave at about 9.20am for the nearly two-hour drive through Gordon Town, Mavis Bank, Hagley Gap and Penlyne Castle. Some of those roads are STEEP but 4WD technology seems to be able to cope. At Abbey Green we try to find enough shoulders to load with the supplies of warm clothes, tents, sleeping bags, pots, gas stove and cylinder... and lots of food, yes, LOTS of food.

Jacobs Ladder doesn't look too steep here, but for those who've not had the pleasure, believe every word of those who have (eventually) made it.

Ancient forest foliage paints a pretty picture as we make our way to Portland Gap, our stopping point for the night (well, only part of the night in fact). One hour's walk for some, two hours for others....

First things first with a cool evening ahead of us, at over 5000 feet above sea level. Collecting firewood it seems is a male preserve...

Well, so is the cooking. Javon, Davon and Chad hard at work fanning fire into life on which to cook rice 'n peas, set off with seasoned (corn) beef, or fish / vegetables for those with a more principled approach to their food.

Waiting for dinner and time to relax with rather old Gleaners / up-to-date firelighters. Dominoes for others.

Serenaded by Chad... whilst the bunks look inviting for those with weary limbs.

But before bed, a few hours around the fire, roasting vienna sausage and supping from a big pot of broth, with more stars in the sky than the less adventurous have ever seen.

Before 3am we struggle to wake up for the walk to the Peak. Enough flashlights this time, and just as well as there has been a serious breakaway along the path. But most of us reach up before 6am, not missing the sunrise hidden behind a bank of low cloud.

The sun soon escapes the clutches of those clouds and we are treated to a warm and beautiful morning.

The views are spectacular, on top of the world fi tru. Its only downhill now...

Pretty flowers along the way, but also that break-away again and thoughts by some that it was just as well it was dark on the way up.

Back to Abbey Green. Earl arrives with his minibus right on time (thanks, Earl sorry no picture of you this time). We set off quickly to beat the threatening rain which has the potential to make the downhill descent a little challenging.

So another adventure done, with aches and pains already being displaced by a sense of achievement and a quiet appreciation of the beauty that abounds in our island home.