Grenada - St George's Bay
Mon 11 Mar 2013 20:46
It felt rather special to see Grenada gradually rise up from the distance as we sailed South. I'd heard more about it, what with America paying it's visit in the 80's, and it seemed to me that we'd sailed a long way from home when I saw it ahead. The first thing that struck me was how incredibly green and lush it was, the second was how high and steep the hills were, ridge after ridge climbing into the centre of the island. I was looking forwards to exploring.
In St George's Bay to the North there's a Carenage, now only used by local boats, with wonderful old buildings ringing it.
To the South is a lagoon, which used to be an anchorage but has now been taken over by a marina so there's no longer room to anchor. We chose to berth at the local yacht club, which has a couple of pontoons just inside the lagoon. Whilst we were there we took advantage of a local supermarket to stock up, it was a big one by Caribbean standards, about the size of a Waitrose in the UK, but even more significantly, it had it's own dinghy dock, just across the street from it, and the chaps in the store packed your bags for you, pushed them across the road and handed them down into the dinghy. Perfect!
We were keen to see the interior of the island so hired Christopher and his taxi to take us on a tour. Chris is known by everyone in Grenada. It seemed that every village we went through someone would be calling out greetings to him or he would be tooting his horn and hailing someone. Chris also combined Taxi driving with his other businesses: doing up old cars and general wheeling and dealing. We would stop for him to make enquires as to whether a car he'd seen parked up for a while was for sale, or to load some tyres in the boot of the car, and when we got out to explore we'd return to find him on the phone to the States trying to arrange shipments. A very enterprising man; there's plenty of 'down time' taxi driving to arrange business and driving around the island every day means you can pick up the best deals where ever they are and spot bargains when they turn up.
It was my first time in a lush tropical environment and I found the density and variety of greenery surrounding me just fantastic. Every kind of fruit tree you can imagine, plus vines and ferns and all sorts of other trees, from palms to bamboo to amazing ones that had no leaves (at the moment) just a canopy of bright orange flowers. The other islands we'd been on had been pretty dry but here, as we climbed into the hills, we crossed and re-crossed fast flowing streams, bubbling over boulders or slipping through still pools.
The houses we passed were generally well built, mostly on stilts or high on a bank with porches to catch the cool breezes and enjoy the views. They varied from simple two roomed houses for newly weds, people mostly self build or community build their first house here, to massive mansions sprawling down a slop, with multiple terraces.
We went all over the island, right up to the North where we were able to look back at the islands we had sailed down from, up over the mountains in the interior, where it was a good 10 degrees cooler than the rest of the island, along the East coast where the Atlantic rolls in and there are fields of banana and sugar cane, through the towns and villages. I'll follow this post with another showing you some of the flora and fauna we came across, as well as one showing the nutmeg processing plant and rum distillery we visited. Everywhere we went we found friendly people and stunning scenery. A fascinating place we'll be glad to come back to one day.