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franco

STRAIN HUNTERS LIVE THREAD! - JAMAICA

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For Spanish Click Here

DAY 1

Here we go again!

We board a flight from Amsterdam and in 9 hours we are in the Caribbean. After a layover of just a couple of hours on Curacao, we fly on to Jamaica. We land in Kingston around 11 am local time. The air is hot, but not too humid.

We have a 3 hours layover, so we decide to get out of the airport and go have lunch in Port Royal, half an hour away on the coast. It's a bit of a ghost-town, once a very rich merchant harbor, destroyed at the end of the seventeenth century by a powerful earthquake. It looks like it never really recovered…

We eat lunch in a small fish-restaurant, famous for its snapper. But I eat jerk chicken because I am picky with my fish, and the jerk-spices here are amazing!

Of course we drink some Red Stripe beers, and Simon and myself decide it's time to find some weed. It does not take long before we hit the jackpot: literally on the side of the local Police station, along the seaside, there are some barracks and shacks; inside a group of Rastas is busy cleaning and chopping weed and rolling it up in small balls, using rolling papers as containers.

We ask if we can buy some, and the guys are thrilled. It's cheap, less than 1 Euro per gram. But it's a bit bitter, very leafy, and we enjoy it just because it's been a while since we smoked in Amsterdam! Some of the Rastas in the back are smoking crack cocaine in a glass pipe, the smell is terribly sour. They ask if we like some, and we politely tell them we are just here for the ganja; they nod, and scream "Jah Rastafari"!

We sit and smoke a joint with them, and chat a bit about the local weed, and the cops. It's incredible that this is all happening next to the Police station.

We leave as soon as the joint is over, and we go back to the restaurant to join the rest of the crew.

It's time to get back to the airport and catch a Jamaican Airlines flight to Montego Bay, where our local contacts are waiting. The flight is really short, under half hour, and we arrive in MoBay before sunset. Bigga, Shanti, Nampo and Taleban are waiting for us and it's great to see them again; Arjan and myself spent some crazy days with these guys not long ago, during our scouting trips on the island.

These guys are a tight crew, and they are going to take care of us during the next days of this filming trip.

Nampo is a older Rasta, wise man, with lots of contacts and very respected.

Taleban, his friend, is a grower and a smuggler, a real pirate and one of the funniest guys we ever had with us during our expeditions.

Bigga is our driver/bodyguard, he's a man of the road and he knows who and what you need to know to keep us safe.

Shanti is a local singer, a reggae artist with an amazing talent and a great personality. I know him since he was 10 years old, back in 1994, when I spent a few weeks near where he lived with his father (the man supplying me with fine herb at the time). It was really special to find Shanti during our scouting trips back in July, he's now a grown up man… and I am getting old! Shanti will come along and make sure the soundtrack of our travels is inspiring and inspired.

We get the cars, two Toyota Fortuner, and we load up the mountain of gear we are carrying. Then we drive down to Negril in the sunset light, and when we arrive it's already dark. We decide to spend the first night at the Blue Cave Castle, a really cozy place on the rocky cliffs of Negril.

It's another true 1994-flashback for me, this is one of the places where I stayed when I was a 20-years-old ganja-traveler, already a Strain Hunter without knowing it…. Of course to make the flashback even more intense the same room where I slept then is available, so I take it.

It still looks the same.

We are tired from the long travel, and we decide to go for some food. Unfortunately the chef is sick, so we decide to find something not too far away. We hit a jerk-chicken stand by the side of the road and we eat like there's no tomorrow.

After a few Red Stripes and a few joints we go back to the hotel, where we smoke some good amount of high-grade weed, and some "gum", the local finger-hash.

The weed is definitely an indica-cross, it tastes sweet and strong, and they say it's from a site not too far from where we are. We make a plan for tomorrow, and we go to sleep. Jamaica is great. It's a true privilege to be here again.

Jah Bless!

And now we are back with MisterX pics, the man is a true artist..... enjoy!

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Eeee vai si ricomincia!!!! Grande Franco e grazie a tutto lo staff per quello che state facendo!!!!! Mi sto divertendo a seguire le vostre imprese e grazie per postare puntulamente con video e foto!! Continuate così e buon viaggio-divertimento-lavoro!!!!!!!

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Love it so much franco thank you for sharing the photos whit us! You look so stoned on one pic as well Arjan =)! Have fun bro and stay safe!

Peace & Love

Jimmy

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I wish you guys the best trip ever!! And only good flashbacks Franco! ;) I hope you will share the uncut video during the cup with us! Can't wait to be there! Bring some nice races, and some delicate buds! Take care guys!!

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<p>Hi guys!!

It's already 1:30 am here, and I am desperately trying to stay awake, I wanna see the MotoGP celebrations for Marco Simoncelli (at 10am local time in Spain, it's 3am here.... 2 more hours!!)

The day has been amazing, we saw great buds, and great fields... MisterX is still finishing to get the pictures together, when I wake up tomorrow morning (in less than 6 hours...) I will upload them, together with my report. Now I am just too wasted... LOL

Thanks for following the LIVE THREAD!

United we stand!

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DAY 2

The alarm rings for a while, and I look at the moving fan above my head for a few seconds before realizing where I am.

Jamaica Mon!!!

I am jet-legged, I slept weird. But I am excited about the day, and I roll a quick joint before going down to the sea for a swim.

Arjan joins me, and we jump in the blue-green warm water with the sunrise light still making the sky purple. It's magic, until a jelly-fish stings Arjan on his neck, causing him a nasty burn. I decide to cut my swim short, and go shower; at 6:30 we all meet for breakfast.

We eat eggs and bacon, bananas and papaya, and we drink coconut water. Simon and myself are pre-rolling spliffs for the day. It's around 7:30 am when we start driving inland, towards the legendary Orange Hill: this is the spot celebrated in hundreds of reggae and rap songs as the birthplace of the best weed in Jamaica. "The best is in the West", many people say around the island: Orange Hill is where the legendary Orange Bud comes from, and where the best high-grade genetics from California and Europe are crossed with local Jamaican strains. We have high expectations, because when Arjan and I visited these fields during the scouting trips they looked amazing already, and there was no buds yet!

After an hour and a half we reach the house of our contacts, a group of old-school growers that is known for the quality of their product. We greet the families, and have a drink and a smoke before we start walking in the bush. After about an hour we reach a large field: plants are short and sturdy, full into flowering. The entire field has been planted using car tyres as containers. The plants grow out of the tyres, it's surreal. Buds are nice and compact, with sticky resin. The smells are mixed: some White Widows, some Kushes (probably OG), some Trainwrecks, some slightly sour, some more sativas. No doubt, these guys know where to source genetics. When we ask, they say that some of their contacts bring them seeds from abroad regularly. Mystery explained. We walk around and find amazing purple-haired plants. The smell is like White Widow, but the hairs are just pink and purple, all of them, a true beauty, worth collecting seeds from it.

After filming some scenes for the documentary we take a break, the temperature must be close to 40 Celsius, it's melting-hot.

When we are rehydrated and rested we start walking again, towards the next field. It's another half-hour walk through thick dry bush, then we arrive to an even bigger, even more beautiful location. Respect to the growers! They are doing an amazing job.

One of the growers, a short Rasta, lives permanently on the field to guard it, and two other guys help working with the plants on a daily basis. This field even has a proper gravity-fed watering system: a massive tank is secured on top of a wooden structure a couple of meters high, and pipes are distributing water to the plants.

This part of Jamaica is the driest part of the island, one of the reasons why cannabis grow so good here, and stays mould-free. But the plants need irrigation, and a lot of it with this sun and these temperatures…

The water is special here: it is pumped from holes in the ground, natural crevices, where the sea-water permeates from the coast, gets filtered through the rocks and looses most of its salinity, gaining rich mineral content. It's water with fertilizer already added by nature; and it works well, we can see the results: big buds, a lot of resin, healthy plants.

It's time to walk back and go get some food, we are all staving and we are hot and thirsty. Walking back takes over an hour, and when we reach the cars it's only a short drive to Sweet 'n' Spice, a great local restaurant we know. The lunch is amazing: we eat goat curry, chicken curry, fish curry, and we drink lots of ice-cold water and sodas.

After lunch we keep driving towards the south, we want to reach another field that is really special for our landrace hunt: the Most Wanted is there. It's the closest thing left to the original Lambsbread, the legendary Jamaican strain favorite of Bob Marley in the 1970s. The Lambsbread does not exist anymore, at least not in its purest form. But several old-school Rasta communities (the Nyabinghy and the Boboshantis mostly) kept breeding it with other good plants for decades.

Today, the most similar representation is unanimously the Most Wanted.

When we reach the location, Macle penn, we meet our local guys. This is one of the largest production areas of Jamaica: the biggest growers operate here, and they can pull few tons in a single harvest. The Most Wanted is a indica-sativa hybrid, with a strong, pungent skunky smell. We are first shown two large trash-bags full of beautifully cured buds, and we have a nice smoke. Then we walk to a series of fields in the nearby forest.

One of the fields is in full flower, close to harvest, while another has just been planted and seedlings are coming out of the ground. In the fields with buds several phenos are visible; some are very skunk-like plants, others are a little more sativa. There are even a few anomalies around, plants looking completely apart from the rest, probably seeds from different batches that were mixed up.

We shoot several scenes, then we walk back to the cars and we start driving back to Negril. We reach with the dark, and we are tired.

Quick shower, then dinner in a trendy beach-restaurant, and after a few drinks and several joints we all just wanna pass out. Nampo has some really strong "gum", and it really puts us to sleep.

Before giving up I set the alarm and pack my stuff; tomorrow we are checking out of this hotel and we're heading towards a different part of the island.

The adventure continues. Jah Rastafari.

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