I am sure the last time I ended our time together with "See you next time as we go RightRounDiCorna with me, JadeLauren", you weren't prepared for a three month wait. Truth be told, neither did I.
However, being the person that I am, brainstorming on how to improve our time together is always on my agenda.
So don't worry, you never waited in vain!
I have so much to share with you but for now lets start on my latest journey.
Two thousand, two hundred and fifty-six meters high above sea level of pure natural beauty is nothing other than Jamaica's Blue Mountain. Now there are so many established areas within this vast area. However, I'll walk you through some history with my stop in Newcastle.
Newcastle Training Depot was founded in 1841 by war veteran and Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica, Major General Sir William Maynard Gomm (1840 to 1841), as a Mountain Station for British Soldiers in Jamaica. This specific plot of land was a coffee plantation which the British Government paid 4,230 pounds for. However, as time passed, it is now utilized as a training camp for the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF).
In light of this the Ministry of Tourism saw it fit to hold the inaugural Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival here. The event was slated for three days March 23, 2018 to March 25, 2018, and I managed to experience day two which boasted a 'Festival Marketplace'. Day one served as a business workshop for coffee farmers; and day three was a culinary trail experience.
Newcastle is relatively a 45 minute drive from the bottom of the hill in Gordon Town, which we traversed in the shuttle buses provided, which left out every hour from The University of Technology (UTECH). The marketplace started from as early as 10am but I managed to get there at about 4:30 just in time to catch Taurus Riley's performance.
Rows and rows of white tents, the smell of coffee and of course the smell of food began my sensory experience as I hopped off the bus. However the sweet melody of Taurus Riley's singing on stage with his band, immediately drew me in - cant lie, I'm a sucker for reggae music, and even more so Taurus.
The entire audience danced away and cheered, as the musical compliments of Jamaican Saxophonist Dean Fraser, gave us all goosebumps - as we watched in complete awe at the years of pure passion and talent, filtering through the undeniably powerful piece of brass.
Shortly after, I sneaked off from watching the live entertainment to really have a look around at what the various booths had to offer. Honestly, I was so shocked yet impressed at the number of companies which utilize Blue Mountain Coffee in their products, including body soaps and scrubs.
On an international scale, Jamaica's Blue Mountain coffee has been known for its rich, authentic taste for decades; but there's that extra special feeling you get when you see us supporting our own.
Hello? Hashtag Brand Jamaica! Hashtag Shop local!
I then bucked up on a booth I would say was my favourite - the Charles Town Maroons booth. Now obviously, I am biased because Portland has my heart; but it was really heartwarming to see the creations coming from their Village, such as the calabash, and beaded jewelry.
Shortly after, the music was still going and I found a few friends dancing like nobody was watching. I immediately put my stuff down to join them, one was barefoot, and the other two danced to their own beat. It was in that moment I realized that in life, its all about moving to your own beat regardless of onlookers.
It was the most free I've felt in a while, and it reminded me exactly why I continue to share my experiences with you.
Its simple, the adventures aren't for the pretty pictures or cool videos, but for the lessons each adventure teaches you.
With that said, I sadly had to learn to be patient in a not so great situation, because in order to get back down to UTECH via the shuttle - we unfortunately had to wait for over an hour in 18 degree weather in a line. They apologized for the inconvenience, which we really appreciated; but numb fingers and shivering bodies for over an hour, really wasn't what I expected. So if you notice my nose looking super red in the video below, you know why!
Check out my recap video below:
See you next time, as we go RightRounDiCorna with me, JadeLauren!
PS: Stay tuned, something new is coming!
Photos: All photos taken by Sheldon Llewellyn. All rights reserved.