After our flight from Ottawa to Montego Bay, Charlie and I were both tired. Still, we looked forward to the 1-1/2 hour drive through the mountains as we headed to Sandals Whitehouse.
I had read, on tripadvisor.ca, about the route to the resort and found many complaints of people who wished the resort was closer and the ride on the twisting road not so bumpy but since taking it was necessary, unless you hired a helicopter to take you there, we regarded it as part of our adventure. I tried to take pictures from inside the moving van and I apologize for the quality.
Going from Montego Bay in St. James Parish to Whitehouse in Westmoreland Parish is about 64 kilos, as the crow flies. By road, according to the mileage indicator in the van, it was 150 kilos. The B8 highway traverses the high mountain range and with so many hairpin curves I almost got carsick. There were no shoulders and, In some areas, the road was bordered by either a high stone fence or meter high bushes.
The road was very narrow and you risked an injury if you dared stick you arm out of the window. We drove by oncoming cars and trucks missing them by inches. When our driver came to some of the curves he pressed the horn to warn oncoming cars that we were rounding the curve.We passed through small villages that were interesting to look at only because of how dilapidated were the buildings.
The bright spot were the children. All the girls looked well groomed in their white blouses and jumpers of blue or bright yellow, green or burgundy while the boys wore beige uniforms.
Some of the small houses along the road had the front practically touching the highway while the rear was perched on precarious stilts a few meters high. I wondered where they got their water from and since there was no space for an outhouse how they managed. Small houses were built next to huge houses secure behind wrought iron gates, doors and windows.
The vegetation was luscious and so tropical green. We drove up the mountain and I was surprised to suddenly come upon large orange groves. They somehow looked out of place along this mountainous road.
When the driver swung over to the opposite side of the road to avoid a huge pothole I held my breath convinced that a car would round the curve and come straight at us. My body vibrated as we bounced around and I almost got carsick as we zigzagged through one curve then another. I breathed in deeply and swallowed hard and knew that it would solve itself as soon as we crossed those beautiful lush mountains and got back onto a more civilized straight road along the coastline.
All went calm when we drove through the entrance of the resort. The flat land with its manicured lawns, flowering red and white bougainvillea bushes, tall palm trees and tropical plants made the ride worthwhile.
In a couple of weeks we’d’d do it all over again as we headed back to Montego Bay to catch the flight home. I wouldn’t have missed this ride for the world.
author – Lucy’s Road Trip – RVing Across Canada
Co-author – Travel Dreams and Nightmares – Four Women Explore the World – ISBN 978-1-4759-8201-5