Old Spanish Bridge.
If you are looking for a one-stop, fun, and exciting getaway, where water, relaxation, sun, greenery, and adventures can, collectively, enhance your satisfaction, what are you waiting on to visit the Old Spanish Bridge? This hidden gem, which is complete with the captivating White River flowing beneath, is located roughly 45 minutes from Ocho Rios and is considered to be the border line between the parishes of St Ann and St Mary. THE WEEKEND STAR recently visited the lovely attraction whose naturally positioned spot is nothing short of breathtaking. Our team travelled through the hills of St Mary, heading up to a section called Gayle and then through a community called Newstead. With the help of locals, we made our way on to a mile-long dirt track before reaching the Old Spanish Bridge. There is no charge to access the river, however, there are volunteers who assist visitors and maintain the property for ease of use. The bridge was said to have been built in the 1770s. THE WEEKEND STAR met with David Williams and Muniar Blair, two of the young men who live in the area and spend most days there. "You should have been here last week. The place full and everybody was having a good time. People come with dem tent and pots and set up and cook and enjoy the water, and look how the place clean again for the next visitors to come and enjoy. We use the bridge and swing from both sides," Williams said. According to the folks we saw at the river, weekends are when the Old Spanish Bridge is greatly utilised. One of the attractions at the bridge is the rope-swinging activity. Ropes are tied to a big tree that towers over the river. Visitors are launched from the middle of the bridge, and the rope takes you a few metres across the water, where it is deep enough to jump off into the cool river. There are also activities such as diving, tubing, swimming, and fishing. The locals will tell you that there are dangers associated with the attraction. Williams said: "You did have a time when regular, dem take out people weh drown. That happen when them underestimate the water level and nobody was available to supervise how people use the water. It's been years since nobody drown. We are here to help prevent that." THE WEEKEND STAR understands that several hoteliers and resorts in the parish add the Old Spanish Bridge as an attraction for tourist. RATING: 5/5 ESSENTIALS: Swim wear, towel, your own music BEST THING: The swing rope DIRECTIONS: Heading to Gayle from Port Maria, turn right to Newstead, and travel for about two miles, and you're there.