A Bath at Bath, St. Thomas
Updated: Jul 11, 2022
For those thinking about getting to know Jamaica through history and healing, then Bath St. Thomas should be on your bucket list. Of all the rivers I've visited, Bath is one of the most unique. It is located in deep rural St. Thomas and boasts rich and diverse flora. Bath is not only heavenly, environmentally, but also carries rich history dating back to slavery.
The many willing gatekeepers of Bth will reel history off their tongues and mesmorize you with their passion and love for their community.
From Down Town Kingston. head east towards Rockfort main road in the direction of Norman Manley Airport. Before reaching the Palisadoes, take the second exit off the roundabout at Harbour View to continue to Bull Bay. Continue eastward for another hour and a half to pass Yallahs. Proceed to the roundabout and take the second exit into Morant Bay. Continue east out of Morant Bay heading in the direction of Portland. Pass Lyssons, the prospect onto Port Morant. At the fork, in Port Morant where there is a gas station, keep left. Signs will guide you along the way. Keep going for about 2 minutes until you reach a T junction, Turn left into Airy Castle community. Continue for approximately 5 minutes until you reach a bridge over a river beyond a large cow pasture. The road narrows after that. You have entered Bath community. One minute from the bridge is the left turn directly across the road from Bath Botanical Gardens. Bath fountain and spa hotel are at the end of that dead-end road (approximately a 3-minute drive from Botanical gardens).
My First Impression
Driving from Kingston was not too challenging and I'm not good with directions. therefore it should be easy for most to find. There were many road signs leading to the spot from Port Morant. The roads are under construction from as far back as Bull Bay St. Andrew. there was a lot of dust and delays in traffic. I learnt after a few more trips of a shortcut that really made my life easier, plus it was more of a scenic route than that of the main road taken before.
The actual bath
The culture of 'sapping' at bath started (it is said) by a man known as 'Dr. Sap' I tried it out for the first time in 2021 and had to go back over and over again. Sapping is another name for the bath offered by the healers at the river. I believe I was lucky to get the best tour guide and masseur in town. Big up Andre! He is affectionately called Dre. I recommend him any day. I went for pain in my back leg and shoulders. not all once and I'm not exaggerating but I actually experience some level of healing on each occasion. what also stood out for me was the difference in my skin tone and texture. Dre used locally made pimento oil among other things to apply to my skin. after my massage and stretch, I was ready to go home until Dre informed me of my mud bath. I can't express how pampered I felt.
Pros and Cons
It's not quite as crazy as dealing with the north coast hagglers but you will contend with masseurs and masseuses competing for your attention and monetary support of their skills. I'm not sure if I would call that a pro or a con. The warmth and helpfulness of each hustler is a great balance to their competition for sale. A definite con would be the bad roads from as far as Harbour View. Luckily, on reaching Bath, you can't help but say that it was well worth it.
The Final Score
I am privileged to be able to explore and get better acquainted with my country Jamaica and look forward to sharing more adventures and hope you will enjoy the virtual journeys with me while preparing to make the actual trod. I give bath 4 out of 5 and a thumbs up. visit and come back to share your experience in the comments section.
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