Grenada is remarkably diverse.island tour with Mandoo, a former merchant marine and himself a local institution.
Our guide's encyclopedic knowledge of all things Grenadian kept us engaged as he showed us picturesque St. George’s, a city with more than 100 buildings preserved from the French and later British colonial periods.
We also stopped at River Rum Distillery, a rum producer that has been in continuous operation since 1785. The grinding wheel is still water-powered and the air smells from sugar cane and distilled alcohol.
Lunch was at Belmont Estate cocoa plantation and followed by a factory tour. The aroma that we smelled during lunch was the drying cocoa beans spread out on trays to dry in the sun.
Belmont is also one of the few places in Grenada where visitors can buy locally made chocolate bars, two kinds, both bittersweet. Another is at Real Value Supermarket, a short walk from Spice Island Resort.
Grenada's National Park
The mountains in the center of the island are a national park. This area, which covers about ten percent of the country, is a rain forest. The semi-wild mona monkey that we saw at Belmont has come down from the hills nearly afternoon since Ivan.
Mona monkeys are not native to the western hemisphere, but instead were introduced from Africa. These monkeys, despite their docile appearance, are not tame.
Lazing in Grenada
Our choice the next day was to stay near the beach. We strolled down Grand Anse, read on a chaise lounge under a straw umbrella, played in the clear water and napped on the villa’s bed, the glass doors wide open, better to see the blue sky.
The greatest exertion of the day was a couples’ massage at Janissa’s Spa, a new building on Spice Island property. The spa also has a fully equipped exercise room.
Couples have the option of taking bicycles for an easy ride into town, kayaking, snorkeling, or taking out a sailboat from the Spice Island property. Visitors can also go on or fishing and scuba diving expeditions.
Those who are interested in a day trip to look for turtles, can go to the nearby, but different country, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The trip leaves at nine in the morning and returns participants to Grenada by 5:30 that afternoon.
Thoughts about Grenada