Hike # 7 : Gordon Town - Flamstead

Saturday 2 September 2006

Sherona, Kaideane, Milton, Crispin, Paul

New school year and off to an early start with our hikes. Even the weather was kind - looked like rain but it stayed away until we reached back. Newcomer this time again - Crispin, from St.Lucia. Made for an interesting exchange of cultural similarities / differences as we walked along the trail.

We meet up in Papine by 8.30am and drive to Gordon Town, parking by the courthouse. Set off up the road by 8.45am towards the track that cuts up to Dublin Castle - but what a lot of dogs barking! Seems like they (or their owners) must be paranoid about.... something.

Familiar trail for the first 20 minutes (see hike # 5), steep at first before it wanders by an inviiting stream - weren't we supposed to be coming back this way, so that we could dip in the water??? No sign of the donkey by the bridge this time, but he / she did greet us from afar.

Soon we turn off to the left and join the driving 'road' through Dublin Castle, a surprisingly populous district hiding in the shadows of Craig Hill to one side and Derby Peak on the other. Quite busy too on this Saturday morning. As we near the end of this road, we get help in locating the track that takes us up to the ridge of Craig Hill that runs all the way to Flamstead.

From Craig Hill, we have fine views all around, looking east towards Content and more to the west is Newcastle, Peters Rock, Jacks Hill and the Liguanea plain (aka Kingston). Someone making a good pace here - could it be Kaideane?? The track eventually levels off and turns a little bushy as we catch glimpses of that now even-more fascinating red house on the hill top, built by the late Peter King. Soon in sight of Flamstead Square, thankful for our makeshift blocks seat ...

A brief rest before we complete our mission (by 11.15 am) to what was a fine Great House, perched some 3,700 feet above sea level, with amazing views of the city, Kingston Harbour, Portmore, Redhills and further on the cane fields which stretch in the distance towards Spanish Town and beyond. To the south the Good Hope Mountain presents its powerful presence, leading around to Mount Rosanna and Governor's Bench.

But the Great House from where Nelson kept watch on the harbour? Now an over-grown foundation remains of what was a fine piece of history.... not too many examples left to visit in the area these days...

A leisurely lunch break before we head back down to the square (at 11.45 am) and then a pleasant track with more fine views to the Mavis Bank main road (by 12.30pm). Few vehicles at first and quite a wait, but then a minbus with no room inside finds space for the five of us - and we are back in Gordon Town before we know it. Papine by 1.30pm and a pleasant adventure comes to an end - next time to???