The road leading east out of Treasure Beach rises and dips through the hilly farming communities of Pedro Cross, Flagaman, Southfield and Top Hill, winding its way along with dramatic views of the sea until reaching the bustling town of Junction –where all the roads from the coast rise to meet in one chaotic main square. The drive itself is incredibly picturesque, taking in the quilt-like farming landscape, colourful street bars, watermelon vendors and the incongruous, massive homes of returned residents who have opted for the cooler climate of the hills. Once off the main road that leads to Junction, and moving towards the southeast coast, the terrain around every hairpin corner begins to change again, going from urban to rural to completely wild and arid, ending in the dusty fishing town of Alligator Pond. Here you’ll find little more than a couple of tasty seafood spots and a quiet black-sand beach that you can usually claim all for yourself. On the way back out of town, just right of the main road (there is no signpost so ask if uncertain), is the south coast road, built with a vision of local tourism development now long forgotten. Although completely undeveloped and a little desolate in places (you wouldn’t want to break down here as it could take a while before anyone passes by), the road itself is in good shape and makes an interesting way to go off the beaten track towards May Pen. For kilometres, there’s not much to see except rugged, sparse cacti and thatch-strewn coastline and then thick overgrown reeds edging the road as you approach the morass – but if you persevere the drive will eventually take you past cooling Gut River and alongside the Canoe Valley observation area for a chance to see one of Jamaica’s remaining manatees. Most travellers who take this route do so to get to the world famous – albeit in desperate need of funding – Milk River Spa in the quiet, dusty town of Milk River, where you can take a soothing dip in the mineral waters before reconnecting with the A2 towards May Pen.

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