Me and my sister decided that we wanted to do something different when we got to Jamaica. We are 2 city girls who had never been hiking before. We decided to give Valley Hikes a try.The company offers hikes on more than one trail. You can choose a trail based on length and your physical agility. They range from a few hours to 1-2 day camping trips. We chose a hike that lasted about 4 hours. It costed about $40.00US each.
Finding the office in Port Antonio was difficult ( it was in the downtown area of Port Antonio) and luckily we had a driver already, because he had to drive us and the trail guide to the trail which is quite a distance from the office.
Once we got to the start of the trail, we had to cross the Rio Grande River on a bamboo raft. It was a short ride and quite fun. The surroundings were beautiful. There was lush vegetation everywhere. Our guide was very knowledgeable, he new the names of just about every plant we pointed out as well as any healing properties. We were the only hikers on the trail. So it was like we had the whole area to ourselves.
As we walked we were greeted by friendly little dogs. To our surprise there was a little community in this valley called Barrydale. There were a few houses and all of the residents we encountered greeted us with hellos and smiles. We did notice that all of the residents had the exact same skin color and their eye color was a mix between brown and green. From the young to the old.
We were able to see what they planted and again all of the beautiful flowers and exotic fruits in the area. After we passed Barrydale, we had to cross over a rapidly moving stream by way of a log. It wasn't that bad and the stream wasn't deep.
After this, the trail got very steep. We were sweating. I don't recommend this for persons with handicaps. Our guide had to hoist us up at certain points. He gave my sister a big stick which helped her greatly.
After this incline, we in front of a hole. We had no idea that going into a cave was a part of the tour. The hole seemed small, but we all made it thru. So here we are 2 city girls in a cave. I must admit, we navigated thru it with ease. Our guide had like 5 flashlights in his pockets. We each had one. I must warn you, there were bats in the cave (which the guide failed to inform us about). They will fly over your head, which elicited many shrieks from me and my sister.
We saw all of the formations in the caves, and there was an underground river there as well. All of this was very interesting. Our guide gave us the option to take a swim in this underground river, we declined.
We learned that this river in the cave will lead u to a waterfall. So the route continued downwards this time. As we walked, we could hear the water. This waterfall was called Scatter Falls. This waterfall was beyond beautiful. It was breathtaking. Again our guide gave us the option to climb the falls. I could not refuse. The water was extremely cold, but very refreshing. He waited patiently for us, never once did we feel rushed. Piece of Advice: Wear a bathing suit under your clothes, bring a towel and a large bottle of water. After spending a good bit of time the fall. We decided that it was time to head back . The way back was easier.
I highly recommend this tour if you want to do something off of the beaten path. You are up close and personal with nature. I had never hiked nor been in a cave, so this definately took me out of my comfort zone. I am so glad we did this hike. And there is nothing like have a whole waterfall just for yourself. DO IT !
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