Grenada welcomed us with one of the better sailing days when cruising down their open ocean coasts with nice winds and almost no waves. We soon parked Yuana in the Marina of the Hotel Resort http://www.LePhareBleu.com
Le Phare Bleu is a Swiss owned and operated boutique hotel and marina, with all facilities open to the sailors as well. The name relates to the Swedish lighthouse ship which serves as their landmark, as a breakfast and music place, and which also houses some showers for the marina guests. This was our starting place to explore Grenada.
We arranged for a couple of onshore family runs, together with our friends from Mirabella, Kisu or Magellan. The rain forest refused us: loads of mud and flooded trails made it impossible to hike. We decided to give up and turn back after one hour, one kilometer and full of dirt. At least, we found some monkeys and waterfalls accessible by car which gave us an impression how it looks inside the jungle.
Our drivers stopped several time along the narrow and steep roads to show us trees where banana, mango, papaya, coconut, passion fruit, grape fruit, sorrel and other more exotic things grow. We also liked to learn where cloves grow and how cinnamon is produced.
Nutmegs are a chapter for itself, as the edible nut is packed in a triple shell, here described inside-our: Shell number one is very thin and hard and opens with a nut cracker. Shell number two is a fancy looking red netting called ‘mace’. It is the most precious part and used for flavoring of beverages or as a fragrance. The outermost shell finally is a thick cover comparable to a chestnut over in Europe.
The various fruits and spices amazed us and the kids. The kids favorite however was the chocolate factory, and inside the factory particularly the place where the products could be tasted. We bought a 1kg chocolate bar which shall soon give us a nice chocolate fondue. Hope nobody will die from the sugar flash.
Sure we were at the dinghy concert which was given on a raft in our bay. It was like on the street parade in Zurich, just with one stationary love mobile only and much better music. A small crowd of 300 gathered there to hang out on the water with friends, having a couple of drinks and enjoying great local sounds from the stage.
Visiting Grenada unveiled also some aspects where some might need to get used to. We want to write about this because we found it to be a part of their country or culture:
– Staff in a restaurant sometimes seem to be quite hesitating about serving customers. So we just grabbed the menu from the front desk and met the waitress at the bar for placing orders and paying the bill.
– Roads are very small. A safe driver won’t bring you farther than 30 kilometers in one hour. The hundreds of car wrecks rotting along the roads tell sad stories about the unsafe drivers.
– Locals pay no income tax. The state makes its money with import taxes only. The is a 150% surcharge on cars and 50% for the goods bought at the ship chandler where a lady used 5 minutes to bring a hand written invoice up to shape for me. Efficient?
– Many business potentials seem to be wasted without taking the chance to materialize them. Why isn’t the nutmeg place proudly serving cakes and drinks flavored with their products? Perhaps because they are proud that they haven’t changed their factory since the early days 50 years ago.
– The post system is dead slow. Still after three weeks, our new flag didn’t arrive and we had to leave without it. Too bad!
Still, do it as we did and visit this beautiful island! It‘s definitely worth it!