Gut River, Manchester

When you grow up learning in school that the parish of Manchester has no rivers or beaches, this one means a lot. Relatively unknown even to my friends born and raised in this parish, Gut River runs mostly underground then emerges for a short 200m journey to the Caribbean Sea. It is found along a narrow remote coastal road and is one of the many places in Jamaica where fresh water can be enjoyed alongside saltwater. Gut River is said to get its name from the German word ‘gut’, meaning good. This is one of at least five rivers found in Manchester Jamaica, but some are seasonal.

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Bath Botanical Gardens, Saint Thomas

Established in 1779, the rural community of Bath in Saint Thomas is home to the Caribbean’s oldest botanical garden after the botanical garden in Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Two and a half centuries later Bath Botanical Garden may not be as well-kept as it once was but it’s certainly a beautiful national treasure worth visiting. Many foreign plants which we have since made our own were first planted here. These include flowers like the croton, jacaranda and bougainvillea, and foodstuff like cinnamon, ackee, otaheite apples, jackfruit and breadfruit– the delicious Jamaican staple which I couldn’t imagine our cuisine without! Jamaica has four public botanical gardens. Last year I visited Hope Gardens’ newest addition of the Harmonious Enjoyment Garden and also explored Castleton Botanical Gardens, Jamaica’s second oldest botanical garden. Thus, Cinchona Botanical Gardens in the hills of St. Andrew is my only garden left to visit.

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Tacky Falls, Saint Mary

Life is quite unpredictable and I’m learning to roll with the punches more each day. Earlier this year I’d set out to visit this waterfall’s smaller cousin, Kwame Falls, but the public transport in Kingston decided against that plan. Thus, I was most excited when a high schoolmate of mine who is now studying abroad came out for Christmas and organized a few trips to discover more of Jamaica, perhaps inspired by his own overseas adventures or this blog đŸ˜…. Tacky Falls in Islington, St. Mary was on his itinerary and that’s how it came about that I visited the harder-to-find St. Mary waterfall first.

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Penfield Falls, Saint Andrew

Let me start by saying that these falls are unnamed. It’s a pity to have such beautiful cascades of the Hope River tucked away in Penfield, a small district in Gordon Town, yet after all these years they are still nameless. Until a name for these falls catches on, we will call them the Penfield Falls after the district in which they are located. This is to distinguish them from the other four waterfalls in Gordon Town which can be accessed through the Pretty Close 876 property.

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