The Fern Gully
The Fern Gully Colgate Reviews
One of the real Jamaican wonders Apr 26, 2011
The Fern Gully was a remarkably road that now had been blocked for all traffic in order to save the ferns from being more polluted than they already are. We managed to get in there with our car; maybe by mistake but anyway we were driving in there all alone, it was kind of spooky.
We only drove up ½ - 1 mile or so but it was an amazing experience to be like a bug on the bottom of the ground. The Fern Gully is almost in complete darkness also during the day due to its narrow sides but also due to the ferns covering from one side to another.
Coming home I wanted to read about it and I came across a homepage dedicated to the subject. http://ferngullyjamaica.synthasite.com/
I have taken some of the interesting parts of the website here underneath:
The Fern Gully of the Parish of St. Ann, leading directly down in its extensions to the coast at Ocho Rios, has long been considered one of Jamaica's prime showplaces.
It has, so far, proved an impossible task to pin down the exact origin of the 'Famous Fern Gully'. In 1981 an eight-man technical committee advising the relevant Minister on rehabilitating Fern Gully, gave him a brief history of it, as far as they were able, 'but informed the Minister that its origin was either obscure or lost.'
Possibly Fern Gully started out with an underground river flowing through caves, the roofs of which later collapsed. Some have suggested that it was created in the 1760s by a flash flood, but do not seem to indicate the source of this information.
However, in 1785, it is said, the House of Assembly authorised expenditure on altering and completing the road from Moneague to Ocho Rios Bay, and, that in 1800 the Journal of the Assembly referred to that road as passing through the Gully.
The Dublin University Magazine, June, 1861 pages 678-9
Scene and Customs in the West Indies - Jamaica
Descending the northern face of Mont Diabolo we soon entered a district the scenery of which again was quite unlike what we had hitherto met . . . .
We entered the wonderful volcanic fissure or ravine extending for two miles northwards called Moncrieff's Gully. Though the sun was still powerful his influence did not penetrate these deep shades. The gully is just wide enough to allow two carriages to pass while the rocks on either side tower abruptly to the height in some places of about three hundred feet but so dense is the foliage that it is only occasionally that the rock itself is detected. From every crevice and fissure and from the base to the summit trees large and small start forth, arch over, and interlace their branches, and tower far up into the blue chink of sky that is visible. They are densely covered with parasitical plants and seem to be corded together with singular vegetable ropes. These latter, in their turn, are also bound with convolvuli and spomseas [morning glory] which, springing from below, catch the depending suckers and climb up them. throwing out at every leafy articulation a red, white, yellow, blue, or purple blossom.
Occasionally a fallen tree, with its load of parasites and stay like ropes, bridges the ravine; and as a stray slanting beam broke through some slight opening, the effect was enchanting. I thought of the passage, "And the glorious beauty which is on the head of the fat valley shall be a fading flower." Sometimes at a later hour, when the fire flies and glow worms begin to show their tiny lanterns against moss and fern and tree, the effect is beautiful, realizing much of the force of Quarles' quaint metaphor "Golden lamps hung in a green night"
New York Evening Post, January 18, 1896.
The drive of several miles from Moneague through the Fern Gully along the coast to Ocho Rios, the Roaring River, and St. Ann's Bay and then back to Moneague by another road, is one of the most beautiful in the world more beautiful even than the renowned drives along the Bay of Naples".
Part of the Jamaica - a road trip of 1629 km in 14 days travel blog
Part of the list Things to do and see in Jamaica
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