Following the arrival of the Corona virus in Jamaica, we initially cancelled bookings for the remainder of March and closely monitored the situation. Given the deepening crisis, we have now taken the decision to cancelled all bookings for the foreseeable future. We plan to use this time to upgrade the property, making improvements that were not possible while we were busy with guests. Stay safe and healthy.
Following a recent scathing review, where we were slated for the terrible condition of the road to Lime Tree Farm – ‘my partner hated it’, it reminded me of a similar review a number of years ago for a guest house close to Irish Town. The establishment was generally praised, though marked down significantly due to the condition of their road – they immediately had my sympathy. I felt it was unfair, since the condition of the road is beyond their control – the responsibility of the government surely? (fellow taxpayers will agree). We have a terrible road, all agree, I am constantly apologizing to guests,( but it is only 30 minutes, 3 miles ) while at the same time pointing out that the egregious condition of the road is the reason Lime Tree Farm enjoys the privilege of such a beautiful, isolated, quiet and unspoiled location. Would it be fair to give a less than favourable review if guests endured a bad flight to Jamaica or were stuck in traffic for hours passing through Kingston? Still, it has proven to be a fun topic of conversation with guests over dinner.
As an addendum to an older blog ‘ Large amounts of peace and quiet in the Blue Mountains’, we, at Lime Tree Farm would also like to point out that there are nearly zero amounts of noise, water, light, people and air pollution. These conditions will not last. Inevitably, the spread of houses, infrastructure and people will increase the levels of all these pollutants, and (what is now being termed) the ‘unspoiled’ side of the hill will be – to us and our lifestyle – spoiled. So, the message is – visit our side of the Blue Mountains sooner, rather than later.
My wife and I, on a whim, decided to get away for a few days, a break – yes, get away from our little spot in paradise to check out the tourist supermarket, Ocho Rios. We trawled through hundreds of potential listings – guest houses, hotels, condo apartments and rooms in houses on various booking websites. After many hours we settled down to scrutinizing ten final contenders for our hard earned dosh. What quickly became apparent was the front page price (the price designed to suck you in) was, more often than not a lot less than we would be asked to hand over to secure the room.
Admin charges, ‘local’ taxes (I have no knowledge of these local taxes in Jamaica), and cleaning fees, as high as 60US$! It also became clear that we were expected to pay (on certain properties) an additional charge for certain items normally considered to be included in the price of a rented room or property. The phrase ‘for your convenience’ we can provide linen and towels at an additional cost made a very tedious search a little more amusing.
At Lime Tree Farm, for your convenience, we provide, free of charge, linen, towels, soap, toilet paper, bed and furniture. Your room is cleaned daily – beds and towels changed every second day at no extra cost. We won’t hit you up for ‘local’ taxes or admin charges – or indeed any other charge we incur in the normal running of our business.
I know you are all dying to know which place we chose. A condo apartment overlooking the cruise ship dock. It was nice enough, (a tad noisy compared to the mountains! ) though we were given one small bar of soap, one bath towel each and one set of bed linen, this to last for 3 nights.
Sunrise hiking to the Blue Mountain peak is increasing in popularity, especially during the full moon – and in particular, the super full moon: this phase can be as much as 15% larger and 6% brighter. Hiking through the night may not sound that exciting, but the payoff is more than worth it. Average hiking time to the peak is only 3 hours, the trail being good and well maintained. ( We strongly recommend a guide!) A few dates to note, though, obviously the info is readily available on the interweb.
Mar 9 Super full moon
Apr 7 Super full moon
Been reading a lot about ‘ dark sky sites’, areas with zero light pollution and clear skies. At Lime Tree Farm, while not a designated sight we have ‘ virtually’ zero light pollution and with the clear, unpolluted mountain air the milky way is clearly visible. Naturally the best times are on new moon nights! On the other hand, full moon and particularly super moon nights are especially beautiful in the mountains. Don’t take our word for it, come see for yourself.
I’m checking through various booking websites, and really, I am a little confused. The distances quoted for hotels in Kingston to the Blue Mountains seem on the ‘ low’ side! These range from 5 to 9 miles. And while they may well bring you within the limits of the Blue Mountains, you will need to travel a lot further to guest houses or the start of the BM peak hiking trail. The real figures are around 20 miles to Mavis Bank and 24 miles to the walking trail, around 1 hour and 2 hours respectively. Budget around 80-100 US$ each way.
Well, looks like it’s all over for another year. Jamaica got lucky and escaped unscathed, new records were set, both meteorologically and financially. I am of course referring to the 2019 hurricane season. Someone, somewhere has to, more often than not take a punch, and while we at Lime Tree let out a sigh of relief, we spare a thought for all those people impacted by storms or hurricanes. Each year we get away with it means there is an ever increasing possiblity we may be next. Still, we were prepared, if you expect a punch don’t stick your chin out.
Old grey beard, for many years our daily transport. An ex government vehicle, originally a station wagon until landing wheels up in a gully and subsequently converted into a pickup. I believe it was a 1986 series 2A ( feel free to correct me). For many years every block, piece of lumber, bag of cement, nail and screw was lugged up the mountain in old grey beard – Landrover hard fi dead.
This is me the morning after arriving at Lime Tree Farm for the first time, the year is 1993. My geographical knowledge was zero, I booked a flight from Miami to – Montego Bay, wrong end of the island! I hired a small motorcycle in Negril and had an ‘ interesting’ ride to the Blue Mountains. I believe everything happens for a reason, and looking back now with the standard issue rose tinted glasses, I now realise it was the first piece of the gigantic puzzle that has become the Lime Tree Farm experience which has dominated our lives for 26 years. Little by little it is all starting to make sense – to me anyway. PS The ride back to Negril was equally ‘ interesting’.