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Quashies River Caves (Michael Stewart's Tour)



waterfall in quashies river caves

Waterfall and pool in Quashies River Caves

It was a significant day for me, so I thought I should treat myself to something special, something I really like doing. My family and friends said not working would be a good start.

Although windsurfing is my favourite pastime, I had already enjoyed a day of tough conditions in winds over twenty knots at Brian's Windsurfing at White Bay in Trelawny a few days earlier. So I decided to do something completely different.

Michael Stewart, one of our independent contract drivers, had told me about the success he was having in taking our visitors on his tour of the area where he grew up. He had mentioned trekking through hillside farms, caves, and a river. I didn't take it seriously until I read the comments of some guests in the visitors' book at The Orchid House. They raved about Michael's Tour and concluded it was the best experience they had in Jamaica.

I hired Michael to take me on his tour and arranged for him to pick me up from Silver Sands at 10:00 AM. I know I was not supposed to work, but I had to check my email and answer the urgent ones. That was all done in good time, but then the phone started ringing and people started dropping in. At 10:30 AM, I literally darted out the door and hopped into Michael's bus. I only grabbed my camera and diary as I bolted out the door, forgetting all my plans to take water and a picnic lunch. Friends, scheduled to go with me, couldn't make it, but that's a different story. I decided I would go on my own.

Silver Sands to Comfort Hall

We drove out of Silver Sands and up through Duncans heading South, inland, to Clarke's Town. It was a beautiful sunny morning, and the sugar cane fields near the Long Pond Sugar Factory made a beautiful picture with the low hills of the interior in the background.

At Clarke's Town, we turned left, heading East to Jackson Town. More lush cane fields floated by as we passed through this relatively flat area. At Jackson Town, just before the Tax Office, we turned right, headed South, following the signs to Albert Town. The road quickly began to snake uphill as we drove through very small settlements, including Sawyers and The Alps. From the winding roads I enjoyed the views, not just of nature, but also the tiny old houses with zinc roofs, many rusted to that rich burnt-orange colour that one sees in so many paintings of Caribbean scenes. There was the usual washing, i.e. laundry, hanging out to dry on lines tied between makeshift posts like trees. And a sight not seen in many towns anymore, donkeys carrying water and other loads in their hampers.

Typical zinc roof house

In German Town.


Introduction : Comfort Hall, Hiking Trail Up Caledonia Hill, German Town, Jelly Coconuts, Top Of The Cavern, Natural Waterfall, Dam Waterfall, The Caves, Cavern Greenery, Further Reading