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Max Hartshorne: In search of Blue Mountains majesty

Jamaica is this week’s destination, I’ll share the trip with you here.

One of the ways I get revved up when I sit down to write a post is to look back at what I wrote exactly one year ago today. I remember after I begin to read the year-old posts how I felt when I wrote it. As if it was written much more recently. Last year at this time I was blogging about singing Christmas carols to a small audience up in Gill.

This week is a short one, as I’ve been invited on a trip — the first trip since I went to Mexico at the end of September. The flight won’t be long and will take me to Montego Bay, Jamaica. It will be a sporty trip, filled with lots of ocean activities and, I hope, some hiking. One thing I am hoping for is to see the beautiful Blue Mountains in the center of the island. When we watched the documentary about Bob Marley’s life, the rural scenes on the island were dramatic and beautiful.

I sense, though, that we might indeed not see the Blue Mountains, because most visitors to Jamaica stay at large oceanfront resorts. That’s one thing I hope does not pervade our trip — the sense that there is a big barrier between “us” and “them” and that the only Jamaicans we meet are serving staff and drivers. I want to ask people I meet about issues that are coming up, like the movement in the U.S. to decriminalize ganja — which has been discussed in Jamaica lately.

But even if this does turn out to be the case, I am sure I will appreciate seeing what a new country looks like, and enjoy meeting the other journalists. One thing that always proves true, also, is that five-day trips feel much longer than just five days. When you’re packing the itinerary full of activities and every night is a big group dinner, it doesn’t rush by, and that’s possibly the best thing about a press trip.

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