You know that cheesy saying about it not being about the destination, but the journey? It’s 100% true for road trips, if you keep an open mind (although the destinations are epic too).
Prime example, my recent adventure to Labyrinth, St. Mary.
As is typical, I started out the day having no clue where Labyrinth was located or how to get there. I’d seen photos of the place and just knew I had to go. So, one of my poor girlfriends allowed herself to be lost with me, and lost we got. Wonderfully lost.
As per Google Maps’ directions, we took the North-South Highway and exited at Moneague, then turned onto a minor road after Walker’s Wood, which took us so far off the beaten path, we were advised to turn back, just about a mile from our destination.
We heeded after learning there was a less treacherous route if we continued through the town of Ocho Rios and went east, turning off at Exchange.
As we turned back, we commented on a wonderful old gate we had seen in the middle of this very remote community. We surmised it looked like the gateway to an old property, with interesting architecture. Then we did a bold thing, turned off the road, into the property, to pop in and request a tour. The bold move paid off, resulting in a tour of one of the private residences of one of Jamaica’s wealthiest families. To prevent them being bombarded by other sightseers, I won’t say much more, but here are some pics, including of their very own family chapel.
While the house is on the list of Jamaican heritage sites, it’s one of those you would not ordinarily be able to see inside of, unless by some serendipitous event like our being lost in a random community.
Anyway, after some refreshments at the house, we re-calibrated and set off for our original destination, the Old Spanish Bridge in Labyrinth. The roads were winding, narrow and mostly lonely, but we found our way without incident.
Apart from telling you the place is remote, very quiet, lush, and without the crowds, it’s really hard to explain its beauty. It’s just one of those you have to go experience yourself.
The White River, which flows under the bridge, was quite calm. It was shallow at the banks to allow some wading, but deep close to the bridge, perfect for daring people to jump off the bridge (which I did fully clothed). There is a guy there (forgot his name) who was very friendly, without being pushy and helped us to work up the courage to jump. He also provided life jackets and jumped with the more cautious (me).
Labyrinth is an absolutely perfect mix of tranquility and adventure and I’ll definitely be returning.