Sunday, June 8, 2014

Touring Grenada

We met Cutty, our tour guide, at the Tiki Bar at 9:00 to explore Grenada. This small island is extremely photogenic with lovely beaches, flowers galore, and lush rainforests. We visited Annandale Falls and Grand Etang, a crater lake.  The monkeys that live in the rainforest there were hiding so we didn’t see them but we did spot the Grenada Dove; the state bird only in residence here.  Our tour took us to the Grenada Chocolate Factory located in small building but still able to produce 1000 bars per day. We sampled bars that are 100% cocoa, 82% and 71%. The cocoa beans are grown at nearby Belmont Estate and then processed using solar-powered, handmade, or vintage machinery.  The Salt-i-licious is heavenly and unlike any other chocolate I’ve ever tasted.  It is exported to the US so all you chocoholics need to keep an eye for it.

We had a fabulous buffet luncheon at the River Antoine Rum Factory where fish, chicken, green salad, pumpkin, rice, plantain, breadfruit and yams were on the menu. We stuffed ourselves and followed lunch by waddling off to visit to the factory itself where strong (150 proof) white rum is made using a giant water wheel from the 1800’s to crush the sugar cane. The liquid is then heated in in a series of huge cast iron bowls, allowed to ferment naturally in open tanks, and then distilled. 

Stopping frequently along the way, Cutty introduced us to local flora including banana, papaya, mango, cashew, lemon grass, breadfruit, cocoa, cotton, tangerine, coriander, turmeric, dasheen, callaloo, avocado, West Indian pumpkin, soursop, star fruit, French cashew (plumrose), and especially nutmeg. Grenada is known as the Spice Island and was a leading producer of nutmeg prior to Hurricane Ivan in 2004 that destroyed 90% of the trees. The nutmeg industry has not yet fully recovered and it will be another 10 years before they get back to pre-2004 production levels.  I am dreaming of a garden filled with every one of these plants plus a lime tree to accompany the Rum & Cokes.

It is not that difficult to understand why people come here to visit and never leave.

Thanks for following

Richard and Kay


Nutmeg Factory

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