Round the island tour of Grenada

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Mon 17 Jan 2011 20:00

Position           12:00.68N 61:44.26W

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 present day.


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 be captured.


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 chocolate. 


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 chips!


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.