Friday, December 30, 2005

Dry Weather Tourist City in Jamaica.

On the the eve of Christmas eve I decided to journey from Kingston to Montego Bay, the tourist capital of Jamaica. The Journey started in daylight about 5:00 p.m. and the usual three and half hour journey was progressing nicely.

[As I came into town of Ocho Rios apart from the river/spring now running through Fern Gully, which will be to topic of another blog another time, it became obvious that the Lord had allowed a few showers of blessings to fall on the northern coast of Jamaica. This is nothing unusal so taking due care I jorurneyed along]. On reaching St. James it was clear that there had been a heavy downpour and a few rain drops splattered on my windscreen but what was about to befall me was beyond my wildest imagination.

After passing through the flooded Rose Hall main road, it should have been a sign off trouble ahead. Maybe I should not have been worried as despite being the home of many of the luxurious hotels in Jamaica this roadway floods at the slightest drizzle, as water from the nearby hills find settlement on roadway below. This problem has lead to the road being damaged and is the a serious headache for motorists.

I was now only five minutes away from my destination when the stark fact that Montego Bay is nothing more than a dry weather city hit me. The traffic gound to a halt just after passing the main turn off to Ironshore. As the minutes ticked away it became evident that the there was once again servere problems on the Flankers main road. The traffic stood still, vehicles turned off their engine & lights as they sat in the flood waters partially covering the road. Tourist and locals were once again stuck. Not sure how many missed their flights as this the only entrance into the town centre and airport. At this point motorist would normally be only minutes away from the airport. For minutes there was not one vehicle coming from the direction I was heading. The pain of being so close but yet so far almost became unbearable.

Five minutes became one hour and the three hours and thirty minutes journey became four hours and thirty minutes. Finally able to move, the receding flood waters could be seen and the rubble on the road was a clear indication of a sad situation. Flooding on the recently partially fixed Flankers main road had held the traffic for one whole hour. This a common problem in Montego Bay, flooding occurs on the south gully, the road to Granville, right in front of the Air Jamaica reservation office on Queens Drive and a host of other spots. Drainage in this city is very very poor.

This is a city where flooding when it rains has become a recurring decimal condemming the city to the status of the "Dry Weather Tourist City".


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