Island of Grenada

Pat and Bruce
Wed 15 Feb 2012 00:39

We hired a taxi for a few hours to take us to some inland places.  Grenada is a tropical island with the highest mountain around 1900 feet.  At this height it collects the warm trade winds moisture and creates a rainforest at the higher elevations.  Most of this is now a national park with preservation in mind.  In 2004 hurricane Ivan hit the island, first hurricane hit since 1955, and knocked out most of the mature trees.  This has created a slightly different climate since the young trees do not retain the moisture as well as the former mature foliage.  But this are getting back to the former state as the years go by.


So the interior has waterfalls, forests and even monkeys.  On the typical tourist route the visit is short and full of vendors selling everything from spices to women dresses up in costumes with huge baskets on their heads (banana women).  Of course they want a few bucks to take their picture, not worth it since it is all fake.  Still interesting.


We also visited a rum factory along the southern coast.  Established in 1937 to process the local sugar cane into sugar and as a byproduct they used some of the cane to make molasses and then rum.  As time went on the sugar cane fields dropped in size and eventually were too small to feed the distillery.  So about 20 years ago they started to import molasses from South America and stopped using local production.  Now the distillery is really just a small fermentation vat with a small distillation column to concentrate the alcohol.  Then it is bottled and sold locally with a few variant being shipped to Miami and Canada.  They do make several varieties, some aged in oak casts.  In annual taste tasting in Europe this distillery has placed well and won several awards each year.  Those that have visited the Bacardi Rum factory in Puerto Rico would wonder what this place is and the condition of the equipment.  Not the best standard of repair by any means.


However, we really enjoyed the trip into the interior and got to see more than the coastal sights.




Typical inland house, or better said a typical better inland house.  These are now constructed of concrete blocks versus the wooden structures before.  Well kept and painted in tropical colors.




Waterfalls in the hills.  If you look closely you will see the local “jumpers” that leap off this 100 foot cliff and plunge into the pool below.  They are an attraction and provide jobs for the guys that would otherwise have no income.  Nice people and love what they are doing.




Rain forest path.  Typical mud/clay rain forest soils.  It rains here every day so the nutrients are constantly washed from the soil.




Cocoa plantation.  Notice the large bean on the tree to the middle left.




The distillation column in the distillery.  Nice paint on clearly corrosion ridden pipes and exposed asbestos insulation.  No pipe hangers to be seen.  Never would be allowed in the USA or EU but this is a low margin business in a place that need to keep jobs.