Sometimes I hear and read that the Caribbean is no paradise any more. I
don't know what it has been, but those stateing so, cannot have been to
Grenada I think. Not that Grenada is paradise, but it certanly is charming,
nice and friendly.
The capital, St. Geroge, is a nice town, often visited by cruise ships. All
around the island people live in their small typical Caribbean houses. The
houses are coulurful and may symbolise the nature, which is so that almost
anything can grow in the volcanic soil.
We have not seen so many islands so far, only St.Lucia, Martinique and
Grenada. No offence to the other two, which we liked, but we think Grenada
is the best in the over all class. Green island, scents of spices
everywhere, good beaches, good harbours, and most important, a very friendly
people. Very relaxed. You feel very secure here. And you feel welcome. At
the same time people seem to be proud, but never arrogant. Smiling and
helpful. Grenada seems to be a small nation that has found its way after a
history of turbulence from both politics and nature. The economy does not
look too bad either. Not like Martinique maybe, but Martinique is after all
a part of France. The GDP per capeta is probably higher here than both in St
Lucia and in St Vincent and the Grenadines. And that is after the hurricanes
in 2004 (Ivan) and 2005 (Emily). Before the hurricanes Grenada was number
two in the world (after Indonesia) exporting nutmeg. Now they are down the
list, at least to number three. The income per capeta in 2008 is estimated
to be US $ 13,600. In Norway, which is one of the wealthiest countries in
the world, it is estimated to be $ 57,500, and in St Vicent and the
Grenadines $ 9,200.
We are impressed by Grenada.
(I sampled the facts from the CIA world factbook. I hope CIA is better on
economics than on history! Our Norwegian readers should read the summary of
Norwegian history. Short and to the point!)
A couple of days ago we jumped on one of the many minibuses and went to
Gouiave, up on the west coast. It was half an hour trip. And we paid 9 EC
dollars (NOK 22) for the two of us each way. It was in all respects very
different from going on an island tour by a guide. We were the only tourists
on the bus.
Gouiave is a fishing village. People are much poorer than in St George, but
they gave us a friendly welcome. All along the two streets there were the
coulorful houses that also are scattered all over the island. In the main
street there was a small fish market, and the day's catch was on the
We did an island tour, together with our friends from "Ohana", with a guide.
The guide was good, and he seemed to love talking about the crop and trees
and plants. We learned about nutmeg (of course) and cinnamon and ginger and
cashew, cocoa, lemon grass and a lot more. Did you know that the cashew nuts
are toxic before they are rosted?
We also visited a rhum distillery. There is no destillation activity on the
island any more. In the hills of Grenada the sugar production cannot compete
with that of the plains in Trinidad. Accordingly nowadays the raw rhum is
imported form Trinidad, and then they blend it and bottle it in Grenada.
They also make Cuban rhum here! Why? Because the excile Cubans in Florida
cannot import rhum from there homeland. In Grenada they make the rhum on a
licence, get the labels from Cuba and export it to Florida!
Yesterday we jumped on a minibus again and went to Grenville, on the east
coast. Also very friendly. Prices a little lower than St George. All
business is conducted by Indians. We asked the driver why. And he said, that
they are simply the best business people. We have seen that in other parts
of the world as well.
We planned to stay in Grenada for less than a week. Now we plan to leave on
Sunday. Then almost two weeks will have passed.