Trip # 3 : Holywell overnight

21/22 March 2009

Sheree, Crispin, Chad, Dravon, Javon, Benny, Dickeesha, Gareth, Shaniek, Jahosa, David, Paul

An unknown number begin to arrive in Papine, and in the end there are twelve of us. Money collected and we go shopping for foodstuffs. Eventually set off (at 10.30am) through Irish Town and Redlight (familiar from two weeks previously), past the Catherine's Peak bottling factory. Thankfully the break-away at Newcastle is fixed, as we had been told - it would have been a long way back down and up the back road through Woodford.

The gabion basket work is extensive, so the journey turns briefly into a field trip for the QS students among us. We enjoy the views through the trees, looking down on Kingston, far below.

A little misty when we reach the entrance to Holywell. The rangers' cabin looks good, set above the grassy slope and untroubled by Gustav, the rainy storm that damaged the road at Newcastle.

Almost before we stop at our cosy cabin, the tents are going up. Thought we might be cramped for space in the cabin, but not yet... Camping in this safe and serene setting is obviously attractive - well, that's until (see below...)

Some set off along the Waterfall trail, which is now in good condition. Ripe bananas and coconut drops from our dear lady vendor keep us nourished.

Clambering back up from the small waterfall become quite a challenge with that same Gustav having caused a large landslip nearby. But with rock-climbers among us, we had no need to worry.

Back along the road towards the rangers' house and we stop for a look at the displays in the visitors' centre.

The sun is going down as we reach back to our temporary home. The tents and cabin looking pretty in the mellow, fading light.

Having collected firewood realier, the fire is set and blazes well. The city lights far below provide a magnificent backdrop as we enjoy its warmth, albeit that the breeze is carrying too much of the heat away....

Inside, some play whilst others have to cook. And soon enough we are well filled with rice, bully-beef and callaloo. Thanks, Shaniek who did most of the work

Little known to those not in the tents, all of this changed around midnight and those warm snug tents and sleeping bags began to feel decidedly cold. The rainwater was coming in and everyone fled inside the cabin, finding sleeping spots somewhere, it seems.

The morning is cool, and wet. Breakfast is cooked - fried dumplings this time. But the rain just continues and thoughts of a hike / walk disappear. Taking down the tents and putting the cover on the truck-back becomes are very wet business.

By the time we reach Newcastle, the rain has subsided but it was not the sunny day we had hoped for. The ride back down puts some to sleep, and Papine eventually greets us - we are beginning to feel warm again! So, those who didn't come this time, how did you know???? Never mind, all good fun and our fondness for Holywell cannot be washed away by one of God's many blessings on Jamaica.