MYSTIC BLOW NINE MILE
‘One love, one heart, one destiny.’
If you listened to Bob Marley’s music or saw documentaries about his life, which most of you did, you have to admit it’s quite an extraordinary story. A poor country boy, moved into the ghetto of Kingston, always busy with music, finally breaks through. Not just some music, it is Rastafarian vibes, music with a message for the people. A man who says it is all about love and happiness, says to be strong, says to stand up and fight. He had a very spiritual spirit and strong mind. And the people where listening, believing and singing with him. He got a lot of power and politicians got afraid of his influence on the people of Jamaica and the rest of the world. Even when you’re not a Reggae lover you have to know about the history of his life and listen to the words of his songs. You will ‘overstand’ the culture better en enjoy the museums more. ‘One love, one heart, one destiny.’
Natural Mystic Blowing Through The Air
High in the mountains of St. Ann is the village of Nine Mile located deep in the countryside and can be reached through a series of scenic winding rural roads. It’s the way via Discovery Bay – Browns Town – Alexandria taken by local bus and taxi. Driving your own car you can take the road via Claremont. Nine Mile back and forward in a day is easily possible, but there is a ‘Natural Mystic Blowing Through The Air’ in Nine Mile. That’s why you’re not only going for the Bob Marley Mausoleum. You’re longing for breathing in the atmosphere of the typical hilly landscape, meet people, chill out, walk to the bar, ask around where you need to go for good Jamaican food, make music with the locals and watch the stars in the night.
I stayed with Miss Donna (say Danna) who lives just behind the mausoleum and rented me one of her rooms, it gives you the opportunity to get a look at rural life. She normally sells fruits in front of the entrance with her husband Bram, but dem all know her so you can ask around if she is not there. It is not an official hotel or guesthouse yet, but a fantastic, basic place for a budget overnight stay in a rural, natural, mystic environment.
When you really have interest in a different culture, when you really want to meet people, you open your heart. You just look and see, listen and hear, live in the moment and go with the flow. It is about willing to learn the way of thinking, and understanding the way of living; move like they move. You even will let go the understanding and just be there with all your attention, without the thinking and the judging we are all so used to seeing. There is a lot of wisdom, knowledge and spirituality in the life of a Rasta. And the more your heart is open to meet, the more you will enjoy Jamaica. Then you will become a Rasta yourself; it is not in the way you wear your hair, smoke or dress up, but to learn new things, and then you need to let go old ones. That will be the moment you’ll fall in love.
I had the chance to be invited to stay in the one room at the wonderful house of Popson and his wife Webby at the edge of Manchioneal. They are real Rasta’s and both of them have a beautiful house with an immense garden (the home is the yard), plantain, pineapple, full of herbs, trees and birds. They are well known in the village and they can show you around. It is a beauty spot close to the mystic sea coast, ‘Turtle Beach’ with awesome scenery, colors and light. They will cook for you when you ask for it and you can go with them to the fishermen and market of Manchioneal for the ingredients. They showed me all around to telling me about the flowers, plants, and all the hidden waterfalls, beaches and rivers closeby
Everything is slow in Jamaica and here in Manchioneal it looks like time stands still.
THE BLUE MOUNTAINS
If you’re looking for a challenging hike and a memorable experience, get your hiking boots on and head for Blue Mountain Peak. Both thrilling and scenic, with a sunrise and magnificent view at 6 am. When I went for this adventure I had ‘plenty’ time, and I needed it for sure. I started at 2 am. The hike in the night to climb the Blue Mountain peak is exilerating. To be in the hills, forrest and farm land has a relaxation affect as you watch the sunrise peek over the mountain top.
The people in Whitfield are wonderful and the food is phenomenal. I’ll always have those beautiful memories of the coffee plantation, the nature, the flowers and the birds, the view and an enormously satisfied feeling of hiking up the Blue Mountain.
Walking through the property of Gut River and the beach, you’ll be gasped in wonder, solitary and unspoiled. No structures, trash, nor people…just a long, long beach fringed by palm trees and surrounded by mountains. An incredible view 180 degrees! The Gut River creates a small pool (close to the bridge) as it emerges from the rocks with cool, crystal-clear waters said to have medicinal qualities. This unimaginable beauty is indescribable; you will forget time! You can walk along the beach, enjoy the view of the ocean and the sky, the bush and hills, the green and the blue. You can sit down and take it all in. Just want to be there in the now and ‘satisfy your soul’
Bob Marley grew up in Trench Town but moved uptown when he hit mega-stardom.The Bob Marley Museum on Hope Road is converted from the home and studio he lived in from 1975 until his early death in 1981. Some parts are preserved just as he left them, down to the star-shaped guitar by his bed and his morning coffee mug in the kitchen. Look past the tourist attraction and enjoy the purview of the old days, still visible.
I stayed with Brian the ‘Bush Doctor’ at his families guesthouse in the birthplace and final resting place of Peter Tosh. I paid homage to a great reggae warrior. Belmont is a peaceful and friendly community away from the tourist resorts. The village lays on Bluefields Hills, facing the Caribbean sea and her Bluefields Beach.