It's official, the town of Falmouth is reclaiming its Georgian glory and all of Trelawny is bound to benefit! Gone is the quiet, uneventful Falmouth that only came alive with Wednesday’s “Ben Dung” shoppers in search of attractive bargains.
In its place, is a town renewed and reinvigorated with purpose and excitement! What is responsible for this change? The newly built $7.5 billion Falmouth Pier has already welcomed thousands of visitors and is poised to restore the economic influence of this small town.
The parish of Trelawny is now eager to showcase its rich colonial history which once boasted the largest and most sugar estates than any other parishes. Chief among these is the Good Hope Estate.
And who better to combine the old and the new worlds than Chukka Caribbean Adventures with its award winning tours?
So off we went to rediscover a time when Jamaica was ruled by the English and sugarcane was king! No we didn’t do this horse and buggy style (which is an option) but instead we chose the modern Dune Buggy to traverse the rugged but spectacular countryside.
Back in time!
The 18th Century Good Hope Estate spans over 2000 acres of land and was owned John Tharpe, the largest planter in Jamaica. The Dune Buggy is not for the faint of heart and requires an expert driver but safety is the main priority of any Chukka tour! Helmet in check , I did not need to be reminded to hold on to the handle bar as we made our way through dirt tracks, large puddles of water and rugged terrain.
You are bound to be captivated by the lush greenery of the country side set against the amazing backdrop of rolling hills and inviting rivers. At our first stop by the orchard, we picked juicy ripe oranges which were devoured on spot.
Our next stop was by the cotton tree which has been standing for over 200 years. We snapped a few photos of the majestic tree which is believed to be the home of our spirit ancestors.
Our friendly guide regaled us with stories of the beautiful home that Tharpe built as a gift to his wife who later succumbed to yellow fever and was buried beneath the floors. The romanticism was somewhat lost as I wrestled with the coconuts that we had just retrieved to get to its tasty jelly.
Mission accomplished! With full bellies we were back on the trail to see the old waterwheel.
Jane of the jungle!
“Wohoo!” It was my turn to be “Jane” and I couldn’t help but scream as I soared through the jungle on the exciting canopy zip line. It’s sure to go by quickly but within the moment I marveled at the beauty of the jungle and the pristine waters of the Martha Brae. It is no wonder Jamaica is called the “land of wood and water!” By the 3rd zip line I reckoned myself a pro and eagerly canon balled into the forest, legs up as I easily glided down the traverse! Of course, the guides took special care to ensure that I felt extra safe every step of the way.
After being outfitted with all our safety gears, it was time to go river tubing down the legendary Martha Brae. The tale is of an old Arawak witch whom the Spaniards had captured having heard tales of hidden gold. Pretending to cooperate she brought the greedy Spaniards to a cave where she used her magical powers to change the course of the river.
Indeed, there is something magical about the unspoiled beauty of the flora and fauna that adorn the Martha Brae. This peaceful journey was only interrupted by the occasional tweeting bird and the voice of our guide as he pointed out special landmarks, large turtles or some other wild creatures along the banks.I emerged from our tour with a deeper appreciation and love for nature and all its amazing beauty. I can’t think of a better Jamaican adventure than to reconnect with nature while learning the wonderful history of Trelawny.
- Driver’s licence required for the Dune Buggy
- Wear rugged clothing
- Take along bathing suits
- Have an open mind!
See more of our River Tubing adventures.
(Article first published in Buzzz Magazine)