Hike # 29 : Abbey Green - Blue Mountain Peak

22 April 2011

Alicia, Dwight, Aja, Paul

We leave Papine on time at 6.45am, although a few are missing.... After the drive through Gordon Town, Guava Ridge, Mavis Bank and Mount Charles we reach the Yallahs River crossing.
Stopping for a picture, the pointed shape of Catherine's Peak is in the far distance. Then much is missing here in terms of the steep climb (in the truck!) up from Hagley Gap to Penlyne Castle.
As we pass Jah B's place we pause to say 'hi'... defintely a place for an overnight stay sometime.

A little further on is Whitfield Hall where Granville showed us the sleeping accommodation inside, the spacious main room, Aja smelt peaches which we could not resist returning for later....
Abbey Green is next, where we parked and geared ourselves for six or seven hours walking! Watch Alicia flexing muscles and warming up for the long walk ahead.

Jacobs Ladder did not defeat us despite the challenges Aja and Alicia pulled on their jackets preparing for winter, watch the smiles as they enjoyed mother nature... we were rewarded with
a superb rainbow as we looked back towards Penlyne Castle now far below.

We took a short break at the view-point to the top of Jacobs Ladder before moving on up the trail. Some of the chunky spread of fog that stood above us was now below...
Dwight checking out Alicia's footwear while Aja pulled the pack.

Portland Gap came up more quickly than we expected, in just an hour and ten minutes. A little refreshment, the spring water from the peak at Portland Gap was colder than Alicia's
frozen bottled water. Onwards and upwards, Dwight geared up for the role of donkey... Aja still in front.

Not that Alicia and Dwight were lagging. In fact it was quite incredible that Alicia was managing at all, given her footwear! It just meant Dwight being the donkey a few times to cross
the muddy patches. Soon Dwight Burst into singing - I can see clearly now the rain is gone - alternating lines with Aja and Alicia. The sun disappeared, the dark clouds posed and
soon there was rain a degree Celsius short of hail.

Finally at the peak, Alicia doing the new '2011 Blue Mountain Log On' dance move, Aja confessed "As a child I believed I could touch the clouds, if only I was on the mountains"
Dwight doing the jungle call like Mowgli in the newly possessed Elfin Woodland. Alicia stayed at 7402ft above sea level Aja went approximately 7404ft and Dwight approximately 7408ft.

A bag of huge tasty ginger bullas was used to start 'The Feast at the Peak'. Easter is not without the traditional Jamaican bun and cheese. At temperature near freezing Alicia
put her Gatorade to defrost, while Aja's stomach churned happily for the celebration.

It's 'Graffiti Time' and UTECH made its mark. Alicia's cane down the now sunny path was replaced by a human one. Aja ran 2 metres for every metre walked down the trail.
Soon it was old story time and hilarity straight to Portland gap!

The breath taking view of Yallas, St. Thomas in the distance... a scintillating to walk with the twittering sounds of the birds from St. Andrew to St. Thomas and Portland in a few hours
being intimately and passionately immersed in nature not experienced at sea level.

A break from the trail to have a look at the cabins at Portland Gap... later posing for a photo shoot at the park entrance...

A stop to view the peak above from whence we came and view the distance below to be travelled back to Papine...

Back at Abbey Green 'track star' Aja cooled down from all that run down the trail, while Alicia was being advised to search for the vendor of her footwear and pay her a second time!

All intrigued with the contents of the bag with Granville feeling the very expression of gratitude! Black scandal with tantalizing treats…the peaches had Aja humming, Dwight eyes
rolled as they spotted the ripped bananas while Alicia searched for her interests… uptown party girls turned hikers in a day!