Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Jamaica's "Cockpit" Country!

One of the highlights of flying from Montego Bay to Kingston aboard Air Jamaica’s jet service is the ability to catch a glimpse of one of Jamaica’s best treasures.

Comprising approximately 530 Square kilometres in Jamaica’s largest wilderness area, the Cock Pit Country even from that distant vantage point of the skies, is a specimen to behold. An endless grand landscape of green hillocks tightly woven together; the uninhabited natural haven is centred in the parish of Trelawny, extending to the parishes of St Elizabeth and St James.

 The viewpoint from the skies though appreciated will never match up to an up close and personal encounter with this vast countryside.

(BONUS:  Map of the Cockpit Country - zoom in or out)

View Larger Map

No roads trespass this area, only a few footpaths skirt the perimeter of wet limestone rainforest, a karst topography that over eons have been eroded by rainfall leaving behind a unique mix of conical hills divided by steep ravines. This all fits together like a puzzle sprawling over 5000 cock pits on a dazzling terrain likened to a inverted egg carton.

 The area is more than rolling hills as it is also riddled with caves, underground rivers and waterfalls.  An ecological expose', the beauty of the Cockpit Country is in its endemic plants and animals. There are over 500 species of fern, 79 species of birds, 100 endemic species of tree plants, 16 species of amphibians and 22 species of reptile found only on these lands, some being observed exclusively on a single hillock. Making this not only Jamaica’s most important refuge but an area under study by those who are attracted to the tropics, as much is still to be discovered.

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