Thursday, October 22, 2015

More of Grenada With Guest

We decided we wanted to a hike up to the Seven Sisters Waterfall to experience the interior of the island ourselves. We hopped on the number 1 bus and took it to St. George to pick up the bus that would drop us off in the wilderness of the rainforest. Seven Sisters is on private property so we stopped at the main building to pay our small fee to hike the trail. We picked up a walking stick as suggested by other hikers and took off down the road. We werent going to hire a guide but the guy seemed very friendly and knowledable as he led us to the starting path. We decided to hire him to continue on as he seemed like fun to have along and he said we paid him whatever we wanted to. He pointed out things we learned about on the Cutty Tour and showed us other cool things along the way. You had to hike down to the first fall and it was a nice muddy trail. We were glad that we had the walking sticks.
This is where the road begins to the trail that would take us to the falls
Pineapples growing on the side of the road
And the steep trail begins
Here we met a man with a machete, seems common place here.
Here is the first set of falls we came to. Very pretty spot.
The water was very refreshing and we all took a dip.
AJ enjoying the falls
Dirk standing under the falls and getting beat up.
Group photo

Now on up to the next set of falls
Our guide pointing out plants

We then started up to the second fall called Honeymoon falls as the pool at the bottom is shaped like a heart. It was a bit more of a challange as there was no set path and we would have never found it had we not had our guide.
Only AJ took a swim in this one as we watched on before starting our trek back which proved to be tricky in some places.
Some slick rocks here
Then it was the climb back up the steep trails we decended in the beginning. At one point we did hear the monkeys calling out for its baby and the guide tried calling back but I dont think mom was falling for it. So no monkeys today either.
Steep, muddy, and slick
Most of us are still smiles though
Once we made it back to the end of the trail the guide helped us wash the tons of mud we had on our shoes and we paid him for his time and set about waiting at the end of the road to try and catch a bus back into town. We waited and waited before one finally stopped to pick up its muddy passengers then we got to wait at the bus terminal again for a number 1 to take us back to our stop. I cant remember if it was this day or the day previous that as we were sitting in the bus some lady poked her head in and said "this is a white bus" before turning away to wait for the next one. Well the next one doesnt pull up till this one is overflowing to capacity. Some other woman told her just to get in and in the end she did get the last seat giving us glares that would set one on fire. Guess this was discrimination but I figured it was her problem not ours and we just let it go. We all went back to the marina and grabbed a shower before heading into the Tiki Bar for some well earned dinner. The Tiki Bar is associated with the marina and just about every night of the week they have something going on. Monday is 1/2 price pizza.
1/2 price pizza night
I thinks its Tuesday or Wednesday they have Bingo that is a blast. You can win good prizes such as cash and phone minutes or even live animals.
Me with one of the prizes of the evening
This was the grand prize the same evening
And there is also Dud prizes of toilet seats, curlers, plastic dolls and such. Its all good fun and if two people call bingo at the same time you must have a dance off. This was always fun to watch. On Sundays they had movie night which we attended a few times. Great new releases, many of which had chinese sub titles.
Movie night
So we tried to fit in fun evenings while the guest were here but, usually in the evenings we were too tired and went to bed early. A couple days before they were due to leave they had a children's parade due to Carnival being right around the corner. We happened to be downtown at the time and caught it.

Soon the week of having guest onboard came to an end it it was time for them to leave. Up very early to get everyone up and about and to the dinghy dock to catch the taxi we had booked.
We said our final goodbyes and then they were off, my how times flies when guest are onboard. Seems like they just got here.
Till next time.....

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Getting Settled Into Grenada and Guest

We ended up getting a mooring ball due to the fact that we didnt care for where we were anchored and we felt if we moved up closer to the marina that we would have more protection from the swells coming into the Bay that could prove uncomfortable at times. We rented the last one from the Prickly Bay Marina, tied up and felt a bit more secure. We would have friends arriving in a little over a week and I had lots to do with trying to catch up on laundry, clean the boat really well from all the travelling we had been doing and provisioning which proves tiresome due to the walking and busses. The bus system here proves itself interesting at best. From the boatyard you may or may not see a bus as you are walking down the street to the circle where you are suppose to catch the bus. Pretty soon you see a van coming down the street, most prove to be red with one guy yelling and hanging half out the window asking if you need a ride. You motion for them to stop or wave them on past. They will usually try and pack about 14 in. Its a tight 14 too. If you have to go to the local grocery, the IGA they drop you off and you can usually pick one up before you get to the bus stop. Its about $2.50 EC per person to get there which is about a dollar US. If you have to travel further, you must take the bus into St. Georges bus terminal, find your bus and sometimes sit for close to 1/2 an hour in the heat and wait for the bus to fill to overflowing capacity before they will pull away. The music is always blaring and how the guy knows where to stop to drop people off is beyond me. Guess they are regular riders. Our guest Larry and Lisa from Jersey Girl in our old marina in Merritt Island who visted us in the Bahamas decided to come to Grenada, this time bringing daughter AJ.
All smiles even after a long day of travel.

They arrived on the 25th and as usual with any airline these days several hours late. Lucky for everyone there is a 24 hour sports bar open at Timbers so we all had a very late dinner before heading to the boat to get settled in. While here we wanted to show them as much of the island as we could so we hired a tour guide that knew what he was doing. Cutty's tours got rave reviews from everyone I spoke to and he did not disappoint. We found several other cruisers that wanted to join in so we were able to split the cost. It was $175.00 for the day or $25.00 per person. This was in US dollars. He arrived promptly at 9am and we started our tour. As we drove up the coatline Cutty was full of information about the island, from history to pulling over, pulling something from a tree or ground to smell or taste. This man knew his stuff and since we were a small group of about 10 we all got to ask questions. We all knew each other too, so it was a fun filled day.
This is St. Georges anchorage
Very nice waterfall that you could swim in for $1.00 US
Cutty showing us a Cocoa pod and letting us taste it.
The flesh around the cocoa bean is slimy but taste a bit like a fleshy coconut with a slightly sour taste. You dont eat the bean as it is very bitter. Then onto the Nutmeg Processing Plant.
Here the ladies are sorting the dried nutmegs for size and quality.
This is where they crack the outer shell. This lady was a camera ham. All smiles
Bagged and ready to export. Most of them go to Europe
Below is what a nutmeg looks like when it pops out of its protective pod. The outter layer is vibrant red which is Mace that is then dried and used for cooking and such. Its not the mace we think of back home that is used for pepper spray. And there is the nutmeg under the mace ready to dry.
Then it was onto the chocolate factory to see how all those cocoa pods are turned into chocolate.
This a cocoa pod
This a cocoa pod
Here is a pod drying in the sun with the bean inside
All the packaged chocolates.
And of course my hubby had to have a 2 lb block of chocolate where as I opted for a few small bars of the nutmeg flavored chocolate.
This is the fleshy edible cocoa
Below Cutty is explaing how many types of mangos there are. Wow, who knew....he also took us to a location where we were able to pick bagfulls to take back with us.
Cutty telling us about mangos
Cutty telling us about mangos
Before hitting the rum factory Cutty arranged for us to have lunch at the restarant. We were the only people there and they laid out a nice buffet for us.
Our group enjoying lunch and getting more info out of Cutty.
Above is our guest and the group we traveled with. I have to mention Kevin and his wife on Catchin Rays. If you are interested in travel, sailing videos check out his youtube page. Catchin Rays. He has some amazing footage from the few that I have watched.
Happy Campers
Happy Campers
Onto the rum factory
The River Antoine Rum factory still uses an old water wheel to turn the machines to crush the sugarcane. The whole factory is open air and seems very unsanitary. I guess though it goes through a process that might kill any and all things that manage to drop, fly, or crawl into it.
Trekking through the dried crushed sugar cane to enter the mill.
Trekking through the dried crushed sugar cane to enter the mill.
Goats coming for a visit
Are we having fun yet?
Here is the cane waiting for crushing
The men working hard by the crushing machine
This is the cane juice gully that is sitting on the ground open to all.
Here is the water wheel turning the crusher
The juice is put in these vats in the boil house. This is where it starts smelling really good. NOT...
Yes it smelled as bad as it looks.
This is where the rum is distilled and tested for potency.
Below is the final product. The first bottle is produced and made but not allowed to leave the island, its that potent. And boy is it nasty, it stayed with me for most of the day.
After leaving the Rum Factory we headed to the rain forest where Cutty tried to call the monkeys out. Its hit or miss and today was a miss. We did get to do a short walk into the forest though. Below you see why Cashews are so expensive. This is the cashew fruit which is not good to eat but right on top is a single cashew and it cannot be eatten until it is roasted.
Very pretty cashew fruit with the single nut. Imagine how many of these have to be harvested for that handful of nuts we eat all at the same time.
This was Crater Lake close to where Cutty was trying to get the monkeys to visit.
Here is an almond tree. They are all over the island.

We finally made our way back to marina and arrived about 5:30 had dinner at the Tiki Bar and then headed back to Renegade. It was a long day and we were all ready to relax. In a couple days we were to hike 7 sisters waterfalls so stay tuned for that. It was a georgous hike.