POV: Just imagine - it's a beautiful Sunday morning, and you're cruising in a car. Your windows are down, the music is playing loudly, and a breathtaking natural landscape greets your eyes. You truly experience the magic of U2's "Beautiful Day," Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds," or Chronixx's "Somewhere" as you pass stunning countryside views colored by Jamaican vendors, a variety of cars, and, of course, you can't forget the potholes ... or the occasional driver behaving as if they are on an F1 track.
You pass through the dazzling and somewhat dangerous Spur Tree Hill, driving down a railless hill that easily paints the Jamaican postcard. Near the end of Spur Tree Hill, there's a corn and soup vendor you could stop by for a gas-bursting breakfast or a scrumptious natural snack.
"Good morning, cornie, gi mi a corn and a soup deh," the early sunshine embraces you as you wait with several people for your order. You get your order and continue on your way. You transition from the Banana and Bauxite parish to the Breadbasket parish - the same country but with a different atmosphere. Google Maps suddenly speaks, telling you which turns to make, but you have to double-check it because Maps can sometimes lead you astray. So, you ask the locals, who are always ready to provide solid directions to complement what the GPS is telling you.
"Thanks, mi G," you say to show respect, and your impromptu guide might give you that warm Jamaican smile with a "No Problem, mon," and might even repeat the directions to ensure you understand. You pass through several rural areas - Gutters, Wilton, Bartons - to get to Maggoty. Your phone captures moments of your journey, but there's nothing like experiencing it with your own eyes. Kids playing on the streets, neighbors having conversations, bars, churches, people tending to their yards. At times, coconut trees line the road, and you can hear the birds even with the radio on.
Finally, you arrive at a sign that reads "Maggotty Hydro Electric Station." You turn onto that road in search of a hidden waterfall.
From there, you see a JPS power plant. You follow the road to the left, and soon you'll come across a gate with a private property sign. It's open, just as the waterfall representative said it would be. The property is vast, with colored leaves cascading down from big trees, the warm sunshine on the grass, an old-looking major pipe to the left, and you could twirl and jump like the barefoot, carefree kid you used to be.
The hosts greet you with a smile. Others are already there, changed and ready for a water-filled adventure. You instantly add Breadnut Valley Waterfalls/Estate to your list of places to revisit, even though you haven't seen the falls yet. When you do, there are several, each unique and inviting. However, some are strictly for swimmers, as the water can be shallow at one spot and then fall off into the deep. Boys are there, enjoying the waters, and the property is so spacious that it can accommodate many people without feeling crowded.
The waterfall at the front has the shallowest falls, which locals enjoy. They can sightsee, take a dip without the water going too deep, or even dive if they can. The grounds can easily become a playground for kids or a picnic area for families. For adventurers, venture a bit further and do short hikes to reach the other waterfalls. The second one you come across is somewhat secluded from the rest of the property. You need to take your time descending to it. The ssssshhhhh sound of the wonderful waterfalls surrounds you. Here, you can swim, dive, or simply sit on the rock and embrace the scenery.
The green-blue water washes away the wear and tear that life sometimes gives you, even if you're not swimming and just looking at the waterfalls. Hike up a bit further, and you'll reach the waterfall that many people post pictures of. Rocks and water beneath your feet guide you as you make your way to the source of the relaxing sound. There's a large rock where non-swimmers can perch. Beyond that, it's strictly for swimmers or those with life jackets.
Stay and enjoy it. It's there for you to refresh and rejuvenate, and there's so much simple joy to be found. The Breadnut Waterfalls is definitely a place to visit and revisit. This is just the first of a few blogs we'll be doing about it.
Alright, here are some tips:
Water shoes and mosquito repellent are recommended, especially if you're hiking to the more secluded falls.
Life jackets are a must if you plan to visit the deeper waterfalls and can't swim or aren't a strong swimmer.
Keep in mind that the signal and data reception can be choppy at times.
Before visiting, it's a good idea to call the host, as they might be closed or not accepting visitors on certain days. Also, be aware that the falls can get heavy and likely unusable during heavy rain.
The Breadnut Waterfalls can be booked for events.
If you're planning to eat during your visit, be prepared, as there don't seem to be food facilities on-site, so you may need to bring your own.
That's it for now. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment, and we'll be happy to answer.