Weekend Escape: Breathtaking view at the Blue Mountain Wilderness Retreat

December 14, 2018
The view at the Blue Mountain Wilderness Retreat is to die for.
Tour guide Arthur Newland (left) speaks with Ghanaian Priestess Okomfo Fofie.
Getting to the attraction can be quite a chore.
This bird enjoys the view while taking a sip.

Getting to the Blue Mountain Wilderness Retreat is not for the faint of heart, but it is truly an adventure. The property rests on the mountainside of the Blue Mountains, and needless to say, it requires a great deal of hiking through tricky terrain around 60 minutes' worth!

THE WEEKEND STAR team recently embarked on the journey to the escape, which lies near the quiet community of Bangor Ridge in Portland. Making our way to Bangor Ridge was pretty easy as the roads were smooth, for the most part, but dangerously narrow, (so drive with caution). On entering the community, a sign denoting the hiking trail is in plain sight, and we started our trod with the help of Sun Venture tour guide Arthur Newland.

There is something so invigorating about walking on the mountainside of the Blue Mountains. There is a brook oozing the most refreshing spring water I have ever had, soothing sounds of the Mabess River can be heard in the distance, and you are surrounded by a myriad of trees cotton, coffee, grapefruit, mandarin, coconut, banana and breadfruit.

But try not to get too distracted by the surreal ambience as the terrain is rather tricky. Newland advised us to walk in single file in order to navigate the steep slopes of the mountain.

The ultimate challenge came when we arrived at the foot of the retreat, where a makeshift staircase is the only route to the attraction. The staircase has an incomplete railing, so don't be afraid to get dirty and grab on to nearby rocks to help you ascend and maintain balance. Once you make it to the top, the view is unbelievable. I was only on the top of the mountain, yet I felt on top of the world.

The warmth of Jasmine and Colleen, the resident chefs at Blue Mountain Wilderness Retreat, will make you feel right at home as they whip up authentic Jamaican cuisine to satiate the hearty appetite you will have after the hike. The women prepared salt-mackerel rundown and stir-fried vegetables, served with boiled breadfruit and dumplings.

Not far away rests the first cabin, Grand Ridge View, which offers a breathtaking view of the mountain. Bamboo Grove is the second cabin, which is ideal for group rental. For those who prefer a more authentic camping experience, tent rental is also available.

And to make it a wholesome trip, Sun Venture offers trips to the Mabess River, hikes, and visits to the Charles Town Maroon Museum which is nearby.

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