Saturday, June 17, 2006

Grenada Land Tour

Hello, one more update before we travel. We left out our visit to the Hotel Maria ruins in St. George. The building was a first class hotel at one time, then became the headquarters for Maurice Bishop and is party. In 1983 when the U.S. and some of the Caribbean Islands invaded Grenada an U.S. Apache Helicopter bombed the building because it was Bishops Headquarters. The circle of tile you see was once a dance floor and the pool hangs over the mountain side.

Tom and Colleen on Unplugged arranged a land tour of Grenada for us and four other boats. Grenada is really a lush beautiful country. It was however, devastated by Hurricane Ivan and Hurricane Emily. You can still see some of the destruction, but also rebuilding has occurred. Our first stop on the tour was a Nutmeg Factory. Grenada is known as the Spice Island and Nutmeg is one of there major spice productions. Since Ivan and Emily, Grenada's output of Nutmeg has dropped by 90 percent. A lot of factories closed and people out of work. The factory we saw is the only major one still in production. It will take 20 years to have the Nutmeg trees come to a full mature growth and full production. All the aspects of the production of Nutmeg are hand done, except the crushing of the shells. The shells also used to be crushed by the women workers, but they now have a machine to do it. All the sorting and packing and inspections is still done by hand. Their salary is $30 EC (Eastern Caribbean) dollars. The exchange rate to U.S. dollars is $2.67 - so they earn $11.24 U.S. dollars for an 8 hour shift. The work is hard and the building is HOT.

Our next stop was the site of the Carib Jump. In the 18th Century the French had overtaken the country, and were trying to enslave the last of native Carib Indians. They had wiped them all out, except 40 individuals. Instead of being taken into slavery, they leapt from this cliff to their death - all 40 of them. We had to walk through the graveyard to see the jump off point. We had lunch at a local restaurant - next to the graveyard. Kim had here first Barracuda - not bad....Michael had Jerk Pork.
After lunch we headed to the Chocolate Factory. Grenada's Cocoa Bean crops are a major crop for the country. This Factory was created by some friends as a Co-op. They went to California to learn the techniques. Their factory is run completely on solar power, however they do have electrical backup. The chocolate they make is pure - nothing added and it's very strong dark chocolate. You can buy it in candy bars or a powder - but you have to mix the powder with something - it isn't like Hershey's Cocoa - you need to add sugar and whatever else you like.

To end the day we hiked to a waterfall..We were having so much fun there that we didn't take a single still shot - we couldn't believe it. You'll have take our word for it - it was beautiful. You could stand under the falls and we wish we would have brought a bar of soap. Very refreshing after a long day tour. We ended up back at Martin's Marina and had a drink with our tour guides Ezee and partner and the other cruisers, before Mike and I had to take a bus back to our anchorage. Great day, great fun. We are heading out this morning to anchor outside the bay - then we will join Unplugged in Hartman Bay. We are going to get some Venezuela's electronic charts from them. We have also spotted another Vagabond 42 in our anchorage so we're going to talk with them and see what they have done with their boat. Cheers - Mike and Kim

1 comment :

  1. Anonymous5:16 PM

    Love the blue & green color on the cocoa factory; & Ezee, what better name for a guide. What joyful experiences, among friends, for you guys ;-) Bev & Paul



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