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Published on May 31, 2012
Cinchona Botanical Gardens, located at 5000' in Jamaica's Blue Mountains, is surely a suburb of heaven. It is home to several types of orchid as well as other rare flowers and trees, all set among well-kept lawns.The views are spectacular, including both Blue Mountain Peak, , Penlyne Castle, Catherine's Peak and the Yallahs River valley leading down to the St. Thomas coastline.
To spend an hour or two at Cinchona, eating bun 'n cheese, or even a full-scale picnic, before taking a stroll amongst the trees, shrubs and flowers is a pure delight. Those who keep the gardens so pristine are also very willing to share their sparse kitchen space when the rain comes....
But to reach Cinchona you need a good pair of legs, or a 4WD vehicle. It takes nearly two hours from Kingston, via either St. Peters and Clydesdale, or Mavis Bank.
Most distressing is the state of the main uilding, falling apart for years. But now (2012)the wooden shingle roof is falling apart and the boards beneath rotting away. The workers are saying it can hardly now be rescued.
Is there a debt-for-nature swap, or a nature-loving group who could pay for the restoration of the buildings at Cinchona?