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Old school fool
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Fern Gully is on Jamaica’s scenic northern coast close to the resort town of Ocho Rios. It is at the northern end of one of Jamaica’s most traveled roadways but thanks to a bypass is not frequently traversed by heavy trucks. It is, however, frequented by tour buses and other sight seers, but if you hit the road on a day when there are no cruise ships calling at the pier the traffic can be surprisingly light.

The road itself is a narrow two lane highway that follows an old stream bed as it meanders down from the island’s mountainous center. From the time you first tip into the downgrade the road is surprisingly smooth and fast – a noticeable change from the rough uneven roadway of the rest of the highway that can carry you as far as Spanishtown and then on to Kingston. The rock walls of the canyon come up around you and plant life abounds. Be aware that when it rains the river can return without much warning and leave an amazing amount of rocks, trees and other debris in the roadway.

This is a great road and one of the nicest areas of Jamaica to visit. Police are tolerant with tourists but don’t like troublemakers - if they give you a warning obey them. Be aware that emergency services in Jamaica are not what we are accustomed to in the United States and that the island’s main trauma hospital is in Kingston, about a four or five hour ambulance ride away.

Since the average person probably won’t bring a sportbike to Jamaica, I doubt that many folks will ever end up riding this road. But if you do visit the island, head out to Ocho Rios and at least take a bus tour up Fern Gully. I think it is one of the world’s great sights.
 

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