For once I took pictures on my way to St. Elizabeth, home of one of my grandparents and where one of my roots is planted deep in rich red earth. We travelled by car out of Kingston and St. Andrew, through St. Catherine, Clarendon, Porus, Royal Flat and Mandeville as I clicked and clicked out the window indiscriminately hoping for some good shots… and boy oh boy was I rewarded!
Moving out of the lowlands to the mountains
You can see the mountains in the distance and the air gets cooler and cleaner the longer you drive. In Jamaica one misses out on the experience by driving with the windows up – our windows are always down and we never miss the smell of a bush fire, a scallion truck, the chicken farms or the ganja burning as we ride hard through the towns and villages.
The mountains of Manchester loom ahead as we pass through Clarendon
We have been gradually climbing for some time but the mountains of Manchester loom high and dark. Every day in this season and in the summer rain falls in Mandeville, the main town in Manchester. This parish and St. Ann compete for the reputation of being the coolest parish in the country.
Rastaman and his goat
I almost didn’t catch him! Driver was flying at this point.
Riding behind a fast-moving truck packed tight with sugar cane headed to the rum factory
This brought back memories of me as a child riding with my daddy and my uncle to visit my grandfather. They used to call it the Rasta Truck because the cane looked so much like dreadlocks coming off the truck. My grandfather is on my mind every time I travel this way. I miss being his girl.
A Jamaican Sports Bar!
Not sure how many flat screens they claim to have but I’m sure West Indies Cricket is NEVER MISSED in this particular watering hole.
Typical roadside shop/bar
Rastaman not supposed to be drinking fire water or eating pork! What’s THIS?!
A place called Pon Di River - I kid you not
I had to take a stop and get this little Oasis. At this point we are very near Porus and Royal Flat.
P.O.N. D.I. R.I.V.E.R. See?
Fruit Stand - one of many on this route
I was to find out that the season for certain fruits has come early this year. Mango trees have ripe fruit, oranges and star apples (the purple round ones) are everywhere, and bananas are on sale.
The Jamaican Patty is known worldwide for it’s flaky crust and juicy meat in the middle. I used to find this particular piece of home in England, take it to my flat and stick it in the oven for a warm and familiar meal. Here in the heart of JA the patty is enjoyed sandwiched inside a Cocoa-bread. Hours into our trip to St. Bess we had to make a pit stop.
Spur Tree Hill
This is my favourite hill in the WORLD! It’s actually not a hill but a mountain and marks the border between the parishes of St. Elizabeth and Manchester. It has at least three miles of road zigzagging down across the mountain face to the bottom. It is one of the most dangerous driving roads especially when wet. In his youth, my dad would fly down this bad boy on a bicycle!
Sunset over the mountains of South St. Elizabeth
Breathing fresh relief and thanking God for travelling mercies as I look over the bauxite-rich valley to the proud mountains of South Saint Elizabeth. Almost at my place of rest.