Weekend Escape: Blissful rafting on the Martha Brae
Peaceful, tranquil, and serene are just a few of the words that could perfectly sum up rafting on the Martha Brae River. A unique Jamaican experience, this nature-filled journey will take you on a smooth ride down a three-mile stretch of the Martha Brae River in Trelawny.
THE WEEKEND STAR engaged in a blissful visit of the rafting attraction this week. Upon arrival, the team was greeted by a well-mannered hostess, Kesia Little, a Martha Brae native who, though fairly new to the job, was very knowledgeable and accommodating.
When asked what has been the best thing about her job thus far, Kesia shared: “It’s exciting meeting and greeting different personalities everyday, no two days are the same.”
After helping visitors to register for the rafting, Kesia also ensures that they are well equipped with life jackets and well versed on safety tips. The hospitality continues with a very experienced bartender, Carlington Black, from Sherwood Content. He has been behind the bar for 11 years. And no, he doesn’t just like his job, he absolutely loves it.
Glamis Spence, 72, has been a raft captain since 1969 when the Jamaica Tourist Board first trained raft captains. Glamis greets each visitor with a smile, before helping you at the loading dock to board a 30-feet bamboo raft simply decorated with garnish, boasting a comfy miniature couch that can seat two persons. Once on the raft, persons can expect to sit back, and just enjoy the tranquillity of the river, while occasionally being told short stories about the history of the Martha Brae, and being informed of some of the healing benefits of river water. The raft captains will also identify popular Jamaican fruits along the way, and speak on their taste, and some unique ways in which some Jamaicans may prepare these fruits. The raft ride is not just a quiet gaze down the river, but is in essence a full length cultural experience.
Lasting for approximately one hour and fifteen minutes on the calm river waters, the rafting journey is a refreshing adventure. Homero and Noleca Radway, visiting from New York, told T HE WEEKEND STAR that they enjoyed the experience.
“We feel younger, the raft captain was right, when you go in this water it really takes some years off you, that’s just how tranquil it is,” Homero said.
The sweet escape at Martha Brae also features two souvenir shops, restaurants, a picnic area, a pool that was not in use, and their popular herb garden. Miss Martha’s Herb Garden gives the property a different twist, before or after rafting, persons can get a tour of the garden which features some of Jamaica’s native plants and herbs, including Marijuana, Spirit Weed, Medeina and Leaf of Life.
At the end of the rafting experience, one can expect to feel their spirit lifted, and what initially seemed like too long to be on a raft, or just too long at any one location, will become a soothing memory of a unique adventure.