Charles Town, famous throughout history for its anti-slavery stance, is situated on the road from Buff Bay to Newcastle in the Blue Mountains in the Buff Bay River Valley (so named because the slaves were forced to bathe in the “buff”). Guests at Hotel Mockingbird Hill are invited to visit this local Maroon Community where they can enjoy a story-led botanical hike led by the representative of the Maroons, Colonel Lumsden to the ruins of an 18th century coffee estate.
Amongst the streamer tailed humming birds, mongoose, the ever so charming Colonel will trace for you the history of the Maroons, whose ancestors were from Ghana in West Africa have contributed so much to Jamaica’s culture. You’ll learn all about Jamaica’s first leading lady, no not Grace Jones but the strong matriarch ‘Nanny’ who led the Maroons to victory against the British and how she invented guerilla & camouflage warfare.
It is recommended that you leave the hotel at at 9.30 am to ensure that your hike is in the cool of the morning.Upon arrival you’ll immediately start your riverside hike.
You’ll share a traditional lunch by the riverside and be given a performance and lesson in Koromanti drumming, singing and dancing, where you’ll really discover what base notes mean. Afterwards you’ll walk back to the town where you’ll visit the town’s small museum and afterwards into Asafu Yard, where you’ll learn how make Jamaica’s alternative bread – the delicious Bammy, made from Cassava Flour – the food of Jamaica’s first inhabitants, the Taino Indians. Members of the Maroon community share the tasks in the production of this product. The farmers grow & nurture this shrubby root the root vegetable and once harvested, it takes the women 6 hours starting early in the morning for the flour to be created by the women. It is brought into the kitchen, peeled and grated where upon a hydraulic press extracts the liquid from the grated mass. It is then washed to remove the natural toxins and left in the sun to dry after which it is then ground into the flour and kneaded into unleavened breads that are “Bammy”.
In the evening you can try pasta made from cassava flour in the evening in the Mille Fleurs restaurant. The pasta or gnocchi is served with a pesto made from the heart of the dasheen & jackfruit seeds and is quite simply delicious and perfect for those who are gluten intolerant and seeking a little food indulgence on their holidays.
The total cost of this Day Excursion for 2 people sharing is US$176 with transport or US$76 without.