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CANE RIVER FALLS IS A BEAUTY written by Claude Mills Featured

Entertainment News Written by  Claude Mills Tuesday, 20 March 2012 01:02 font size decrease font size increase font size 0
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NESTLED IN the rural St. Andrew hills, two miles from Bull Bay, Cane River Falls remains one of the most attractive and most romantic spots in the island for couples and family get-togethers.


However, visitors insist that the greatest charm of the falls is that it provides an ideal setting for deep meditation. They may be right.

If you wander away from the general ruckus of the young people in and around the cascading water, manoeuvre between giant rocks that might have been there centuries ago when the valley was submerged in water - the quiet impresses itself on you. Just follow the small stream a few hundred metres and you find yourself cocooned in a veritable Garden of Eden.

Here, one can absorb the wonders of nature in a clean, pollution-free environment. "People come here to camp out all the time." said Yvonne Richards, one of the proprietors of the attraction. "Just the other day, we had a group of 30 people who came, and we catered for them."

The quarter acre property is owned by the National Water Commission (NWC) and is leased by Mrs. Richards and her husband Desmond.

Cane River Falls has won the hearts of many. The late reggae superstar Bob Marley immortalised the venue in his hit song 'Trench Town', and scenes from the movie, 'The Dark of the Sun' starring Hollywood heavyweight Jim Brown were shot at the falls.

However, these days the first thing that meets your eyes when you step into the entrance is the ugly red-paint graffiti that scrawls out names like Steppa, Rude Bwoy, and Harkie on the face of the rock. It is almost obscene the way it intrudes on the natural beauty of the attraction.

Once you get past the graffiti, you head down a series of steps which lead to the falls deep below. Once you get to the bottom of the steps, peals and screams of delight from children and women above the soft rumble of the rushing falls, are the first things that greet your ears.

Large, smooth river stones have been used to dam the water from the falls to create a nice, clear, cool pool for children to play. Last Sunday afternoon dozens of youngsters frolicked in the water which was about three feet deep. Other more adventurous children did 'cannonballs' from the nearby rocks, sending up the water in a fine spray.

A large fig tree is located above the falls, and its network of grey roots look like dirty gigantic dreadlocks stretching down from the lip of the hill almost to the falls itself.

"Sometimes, we climb from up top, and swing on the roots and wisps and jump into the water, but we use river stones to dam up the waterfall so that the pool is larger and deeper," said one frequent visitor who referred to himself as 'Sharka'. He lives in the neighbouring district of Stable Park.

"There used to be two different waterfalls coming down, but after some heavy rainfall, one of them kind of block up, and only trickles now because either soot or dirt block up that passageway...," he explained.


The falls gets its name from the river, which runs through various caverns to create the waterfalls. "The river is actually the Mammee River, but people just call it Cane River because a long time ago the plantation owners used it to transport cane," said Mrs. Richards.

On the descent to the falls, you will pass the famous Three Finger Jack Cave where rebel slave Jack Monsong -- or Three Finger Jack as he is more popularly known -- spent time during his battle with soldiers and English planters between 1780 and 1781. There is a curve in the rock formation, which was reportedly the favourite resting place of Three Finger Jack.


The Cane River Falls is a unique Sunday afternoon experience. "Bring your food and we'll cook it for you," promised Mrs. Richards. "We also serve your favourite Jamaican dishes, cooked to order."

This attraction is a favourite of school and church groups because of the quiet of the place, it is really peaceful," Mrs. Richards said.

One can also unwind at the Round Table Bar located at the entrance to the falls and where you can hear the soft roar of the river as it rushes east.


Cane River Falls is one of only a few free fall cascades remaining in Jamaica, most of the others having been altered to accommodate hydro-electric schemes.


Admission is $50 for adults and $20 for children.


The Cane River Falls is 11 miles east of downtown Kingston - about a 30-minute drive from the capital city. The turn off is right (but left if you're coming from St. Thomas) of the Bull Bay police station and then two miles up the hill.

Read 2965 times Last modified on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:23

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