Good Things in Kingston: Part Two


Pretty much anywhere I go in Kingston – out my door, across the parking lot at work, or the supermarket – omnipresent in the background are the city’s moody green hills. On a sunny day they are often clear and bright, then the mists roll in suddenly and their tops are obscured for a few minutes before the mist drifts off elsewhere. On cloudy days you can see a storm coming and we wait to see if it will roll down into the Kingston lowlands or head out to sea.  When the rain comes, it can come down hard.

Kathmandu’s hills and mountains were far more dramatic, but we rarely saw them because of the intense smog. They were astounding when they appeared, just a few days per year, but I really love the rolling Kingston hills more, as are always there to greet me when I head outside and remind me that we are on a tropical island.

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Up on the skyline drive above our home, the view down to the Kingston suburbs includes a bird’s eye perspective of the Mona reservoir, our new favourite walking spot.

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Once you finally take off into the hills to explore, they roll on and on in tropical lushness and are wonderful to see …if you are the one not driving and the roads are less than ideal!

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I love the fluffy bamboo groves that grow on the hillsides just above the city!

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The lanes wind, no-one maintains the overhanging trees and verges, and pot holes abound…but worse… you never know what’s coming around the corner.  Some of the drivers are manic and the roads can be pretty scary.  This is actually a fairly mild example.  Its hard to take photos as you swing around scary curves!

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The hills are filled with small towns like this.  Cars blocking traffic on the narrow road.  This was a Sunday morning and we passed a packed church on the left as we came into the town.  On the right, as we left, the air was thick with bbq and ganja smoke. …an interesting contrast!

The air in the hills is cooler and there are several nice spots to enjoy lunch and a glass of wine.  We have every intention of taking advantage!

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10 thoughts on “Good Things in Kingston: Part Two

    • Thank you, but it must be said that Kingston’s attractiveness is limited to the suburbs where I live. Downtown people are living in shanty town compounds of corrugated metal and there is much gang violence. I doubt they can see the hills too much from there either. Talk about the tale of two cities!

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  1. Great photos, Caroline! I love the hills, too – a great place to escape to. You should go even higher up to Mavis Bank, where the coffee plantations are (smells good too!) Kingston gets a bad rap, I think – it is in a beautiful setting. If we could only clean up our lovely harbor and bring more economic opportunities into the “ghetto” areas, it would be awesome. But even downtown has its special “vibe” and yes, you can still see the hills. I have lived here for many years, and love this city (warts and all!)

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  2. Thanks, Petchary, for seeing a more complete picture of your adopted homeland. It will take time for newcomers to “brave” safe, cleaned-up areas in downtown Kingston and the harbor area, Port Royal, etc. Kingston does have it’s problems – gang crime in the Harbour View area, for example, but it does get a very bad rap. Visitors and new residents are scared away from experiencing the good that Kingston has to offer.

    One wants the best for one’s country and there is much to done to fix blighted areas and the horrible crime problem, but crime is in every country. Every country has it’s issues. I still believe that our natural beauty, our people, our friendliness, our resourcefulness, still far exceed the criminal mentality and gang problems that are a blight on our beloved country.

    I think being from a first-world country, no matter how well-travelled one is, still leaves one with certain expectations that are often unrealistic.

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