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sunny 31 °C

The advantage of being on a cruise is that we wake each day to a new adventure without having to pack our bags, take a flight or train, and find our hotel. And so, after two nights at sea, we sailed into St. George’s harbour, Grenada, at dawn, fully refreshed and ready to explore…
While Columbus ‘discovered’ Grenada in 1498, for some reason the indigenous Caribs weren’t happy about their island being invaded and could be quite nasty to anyone who tried. The French finally persuaded the Caribs to hand over the island in 1674 by killing them all and replacing them with thousands of African slaves. This is the main square where there was once a slave market...
Grenada went back and forth between the British and French and, in the end, the British stuck. Traffic drives on the left, everything is in English and all the schoolkids wear traditional uniforms and take English ‘O’ levels and ‘A’ levels.
The island was twice devastated by hurricanes in 2004 and 2005, but it has risen from the ashes in spectacular fashion. There isn’t a flat piece of land on the island, but the lush hillsides are dotted with fancy new villas all struggling for a better view of the superyachts moored in the small port of St. George’s…
Many of the villas belong to Grenadians who fled to England in search of a better life in the 1950s and 60s and are now returning with their riches to retire in their home country.
There was a time when a banana boat left Grenada every week bound for Southampton and we grew up in England on Geest bananas from Grenada, but all the bananas grown here today are eaten locally. However, new industries are springing up where the old failed. While sugar cane is no longer grown on the island, the sugar factory from 1937 has re-opened, (with seemingly little change in the equipment), and now distills imported raw molasses into award-winning rum using antiquated boilers in a scene of Dickensian industrial squalor…
However, the rum tasted pretty good.
Grenada is known as the Spice Island and we took a ‘Spice Tour’ though gardens filled with cocoa, nutmeg, pepper, cloves, cinnamon, turmeric, tamarind, ginger and numerous familiar herbs. Nutmegs, sugar and bananas drove the island’s economy until sugar became unprofitable, disease wiped out the bananas and the hurricanes destroyed the nutmeg trees. These pear-shaped fruits are actually nutmegs…
And this is a nut which will turn brown when it is dried in the hot Grenadian sun…
And this is a cocoa pod before its beans are turned into chocolate...
Like most of the Caribbean islands, tourism is Grenada’s main industry today and it seems that every visitor leaves with a bag of spices. We bought ours from Esmerelda in St. George’s small market…

Posted by Hawkson 19:12 Archived in Grenada

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