Date 2000 - 17 January 2011
Being George and Janet’s last full day with us we organised a
round the island tour in Rock’s taxi. As we have explained before he is
married to Joan who runs the Little Dipper restaurant in Little Woburn and we
were able to dinghy over to their dock and walk up thought he gardens to meet
our guide and driver Rock.
The first part of our day took us to Gouyave via St George and the
western coast road. During the drive Rock gave us a detailed history of the
island and its inhabitants from the earliest known times right up to the
In Gouyave we visited a nutmeg factory where local farmers bring their
crop of nutmeg and its mace covering for processing and onward sale to the food
and pharmaceutical industries world-wide. In the left photograph are the
drying racks where the nutmeg are dried prior to processing; on the right are
ladies sorting out the shelled fruit.
From Gouyave we drove further up the coast to Caribs’ Leap where
tradition has it that the last of the native Carib’s realising that they
had lost their struggle against the Spanish leaped to their deaths rather than
On to the River Antoine Rum Distillery for a tour around this water
powered distillery where the cane crushing and extraction of sugar is practiced
unchanged for nearly 200 years.
The overshot waterwheel and the cane crushing equipment is all marked
with the maker’s name “C Fletcher London and Derby”.
The stills have a wonderful Heath Robinson air about them. The 140%
proof (70% alcohol) rum that they produce is no joking matter.
From the distillery we drove to the Belmont Estate, which well deserves
its reputation as a top place to visit. Their our excellent guide Kelly showed
us Cocoa pods growing and the process by which
the beans are harvested, matured, dried and packaged.
Doing something useful – traditionally the ladies shuffle through
the drying cocoa pods every 30 minutes with bare feet to turn the drying fruit;
Janet and Elizabeth
had a go. Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut anyone? We sampled chocolate from the
Grenada Chocolate Company, made with organically grown produce of the Belmont
Estate. Needless to say we bought a quantity of their delicious 70% cocoa
The next part of the journey took us past the old Grenada airfield, unused since the Cubans built
the first part of the current Maurice Bishop Airport
near Prickley Bay; that airport being extended by the
Americans following their invasion of the island to restore order in 1988. The
airfield still has the scars from the war and two abandoned Aeroflot planes.
After passing through Grenada’s second town of Grenville it was
off into the rain forest; a beautiful and lush largely unspoiled tract of forest
with wonderful trees and plants at evedry corner:
We thought that lunch was forgotten, however at he Grand Etange Rock
drove us to a roadside café that provided what we needed – including real
Our final visit was to one of the many waterfalls for which the Grenada
rainforest is famous.
We resisted the temptation to pay one of the likely lads lurking to
dive over the fall but had a most interesting conversation with them about the
British Army and the number of Grenadian young men who join up. They are all
very proud of Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry who won a VC in Iraq.
We finished our tour at 1700 after a fascinating and informative day
with a dinghy ride back to the boat from Rock’s dinghy dock.