The Arima–Blanchisseuse Road cuts through the middle of the steamy Northern Range forest, climbing high into misty, breeze-cooled peaks, between which Brasso Seco village is an excellent starting point for exploring the waterfalls that course through the mountains. A little closer to civilization you descend to the Asa Wright Nature Centre, one of the Caribbean’s finest birdwatching sites. The sharply winding, potholed and generally ill-kept road is not for the faint of heart (especially as parts of it had been rendered surfaceless by ongoing drainage work at the time of writing), but the payoff is tremendous. Light filtering through the overhanging canopies of mahogany, teak, poui, cedar and immortelle colours the tunnel-like road green, and every available surface is smothered in plant life: mosses, ferns and lichens cover rocks and tree trunks already laden with massive wild pine bromeliads, and vines and monkey’s ladder lianas trail down to the tarmac.
Closer to Arima, the road dips downhill, rounding spectacular corners and passing hillsides cleared for christophene cultivation supported on rough trellises (the fruits, which resemble avocado pears, are commonly used in Chinese cooking), and former cocoa estates left to grow wild. As the jungle thins out and a few sporadic buildings appear, look out for the numerous Hindu prayer flags fluttering in the breeze and tiny do-it-yourself temples on the eastern side of the road.