It starts at night and runs until sunrise. You get to dance to the coolest music in the warm tropical nights. If you get tired you buy a reggae bed (a flattened cardboard box) and have a nap. Life doesn't get more chilled.
It's usually held in Jamaica but in 2009 it is going to be in Florida (USA) and Brazil - not sure why, see
Lime Tree Farm, in the Blue Mountains and overlooking Lime Tree village, is a working coffee farm with 3 simple but luxurious cottages (huge bed, coffee machine, bathroom, view to die for). You eat (delicious and generous home-cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner) on the veranda (view to die for) with the farm's husband and wife team, Charlie and Suzie, whose relaxed, friendly and interesting stories will keep you entertained and ensure you'll feel right at home.
We saw birdlife galore (most often right outside our room), went for invigorating walks in the surrounding hills that were lush and in flower (and where the friendly residents of the village will point and often accompany you back on the right path should you get a tad disorientated).
Honestly, it was my third time to Jamaica and this was the best place i've been yet (including the beautiful beaches). Charlie or Leroy will take you on walks in the surrounding hills and mountains, or leave you to it, sort out day trips to the beach or to the botanic gardens and the whole family will just make you feel so relaxed you'll be sure to love it. And even the profits from the bar go to 2 local schools!
If you are looking for more from Jamaica than the usual all-inclusive, beach stuff and fancy relaxing among the hummingbirds with an occasional visit from Zulu (their huge but very friendly black dog) then make sure a stay at Lime Tree is included in your trip. Did I mention the view is to die for??? Oh, and the coffee, obviously!
Forrespark Lodge is situated on a coffee plantation with wonderful valley and Blue Mountain views, perfect for sunrises and sunsets. Exotic flora and fauna are a delight and on an early morning bird watching walks you will spy many species.
Bring your own G&T for there is no bar, but the verandah is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail before dinner and observe the tiny Doctor Bird with its' long tail feathers, hover at the sugared water feeder. At dinner, which is al fresco, you may be joined by the large Jamaican Owl, who will sit on the tree branch above your table and hiss.
A short stroll along the road is the JABLUM coffee factory where local growers bring their beans for processing. The guided tour is casual but very interesting. Every bean is graded by hand! A calm and picturesque corner of the island well worth at least a two night stay.
A journey from Kingston to Forrespark Lodge in Mavis Bank cost about £80 in Feb 2006, and took 2 and a half hours to travel 60 miles, but worth it.
A mobile phone (adequately topped up if 'Pay as You Go') is a vital piece of kit for the independent traveller in Jamaica. Signals in even the remotest of places ease co-ordinating taxi journey plans.
JUTA Taxi's are quite safe and a very reliable mode of travelling, they might seem a bit on the expensive side and journeys on the poor road infrastructure are slow, but at least you are contributing directly to the local economy.
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