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A couple of Blue Mtn Qs

San Francisco...
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A couple of Blue Mtn Qs

Hi... I am planning on spending a couple of nights in the Blue Mountains. I was wondering if anyone had been to the Wildflower Lodge? Also, what is the best route if coming from Port Antonio?

Thanks!

Central Ohio
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for Negril, Port Antonio, Treasure Beach
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1. Re: A couple of Blue Mtn Qs

Can't help on the lodge but it is my understanding that the road over from Buff Bay is still closed (that would have been most direct form PA)...check on that before you go. I assume the main road from St Ann's Bay is fine (the A1), and also access from Kingston is OK.

Ashland, Oregon
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2. Re: A couple of Blue Mtn Qs

I went on the road from Buff Bay (two weeks ago)and it was open except for the part where the road suddenly disappears and you have to turn around get a running start (empty everyone except the driver out of the car) and go straight up and over the mountain to avoid the gaping hole where the road used to go. It was quite an adventure, the trip up to the top took 8 hours, only 2 1/2 to get back down though. Next time I would go from Kingston, it would be a lot shorter trip. But it was beautiful. It made be realize that the island is a whole lot wider than 150 miles!

San Francisco...
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3. Re: A couple of Blue Mtn Qs

Thanks for the great responses! Cookie64 - would love to hear more about that trip! Sounds like a crazy drive! I guess I should clarify my plans a little - we will be in JA Dec/Jan and I am trying to decide if we should drive from Negril to Blue Mts to Port Antonio or from Port Antonio to Blue Mtns before heading to Kingston for New Years. This will be our first trip to JA so excuse my complete lack of knowledge about the roads... From Port Antonio could you get all the way up to Hagley Gap? or is it still best to go to Mavis Bank, then have the lodge pick us up (we'll be in a rental).

Thanks again!

Ashland, Oregon
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4. Re: A couple of Blue Mtn Qs

Well I had planned to go to the Blue Mt on Monday and Tuesday , then back to Falmouth on Wednesday then on to Negril on Thursday -Sunday, but after spending 5 hours driving from Falmouth to Portland then 8 hours to the top of the mountain, then 2 1/2 back to Portland, then 5 hours the next day back to Falmouth, I called and canceled my hotel in Negril because I just couldn't spend 2 more percious days in the car instead of on the beach. I had 10 days and thought that would be enough time to see both ends of the island. BUT that's only if you really like being in the car and going around and around on the windy roads. I really enjoyed the beach more than the car. But that's not to say I'm not totally glad I went up in the mountains. The story is really crazy and long. I will post some pictures soon of the drive and put the whole story on here if you are interested. One thing was when we got to Mavis Bank (almost to the top) in our rental car and some men we met said they would take us to the top in their four wheel drive for $5000 JA I said no way - total rip off! you should pay that from your hotel to the top - not from the top to the tippy top! So plan on a nice long hike to the top or plan on hiring a driver from the bottom so they don't try to gouge you up there. We rented a toyota corolla and it was fine for the drive except at the very very top.

Let me know if you want more of the story or any more info!

San Francisco...
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5. Re: A couple of Blue Mtn Qs

Yeah, that does sound like a lot of driving! That's why I was thinking of going Negril to Blue Mtns then over to Portland...don't know that that would really be any better though. We have a little more time so we'll be able to spread things out a bit, but it still sounds like a lot of driving... Don't know if I can resist though! I would love, love, love to hear the story and see the pics. And just to be clear... you're suggesting hiking from Mavis Bank to Hagley Gap/Penlyne Castle? Do you know the distance? And is it really safe to leave the car in Mavis Bank?

Thanks again!

Ashland, Oregon
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6. Re: A couple of Blue Mtn Qs

I'll get iinto the details later hopefully over the weekend, but I did post some pictures of the road that was washed out and the road around the wash out. They are under my profile Blue Mt area, I posted them this morning and haven't checked to see if they are up yet.

No it's too far to hike from Mavis Bank, but it's not much further up the road.

I think the only way to travel in Jamaica is with a friend/guide that way the local is doing all the negotiating and you will get better advise and rates than going it alone and paying as a white person. Plus you will have a lot more fun as you will be living in the culture rather than looking at it through the window. Hire a driver and have them bring a friend if there's room. There are penty of people on this board who can give you a name and number (including me) of someone trustworthy and fun to be with drivers.

As far as driving up I would say go from Kingston, I believe it would cut down on the time considerably. I loved Port Antonio and Portland, the area was exquisite and not touristy and I wished I had spent more time on the beach there.

I stayed on the Swift River, and we bathed in it since there was no running water or electricity for miles around. It is a beautiful river and so clean nothiing like the Martha Brae (dirty and crocs!).

The water falls were outstanding on the drive up the mountain, and the climate so nice and cool. I can see why so many people live up there, it's very nice. I was amazed at the number of houses and communities - all the way up to the top!!!

Well this has been a bit strem of consciousness, but I'll tell more later if you're still interested!

Central Ohio
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7. Re: A couple of Blue Mtn Qs

Trvl, you might consider skipping Negril and just doing Portland and the Blues. At least before Hurricane Dennis, it was easy to get from Kingston and the blues to Portland via the coast road.

Lots less driving that way.

Ashland, Oregon
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8. Re: A couple of Blue Mtn Qs

I second that, I've tried twice now to see the east coast/mtn and west coast in one trip and failed both times. Now I've decided to just try to relax into one area at a time, or at least one half of the island at a time. I've come to the conslusion that Jamaica is way wider than 150 miles! That is so disceiving! I think it's more like 1500 miles wide! Never again will I factor a 3 hour drive into the equation when traveling from one end to the other! For a small island it's very big and it takes time to get anywhere!

9. Re: A couple of Blue Mtn Qs

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