World ARC crew circumnavigated Grenada in a day, but it wasn’t by boat. The participants enjoyed a full day coach tour of the island, visiting a variety of locations to learn more about its history and present day life. Leaving the capital, St George’s, the route went up the west coast, through the fishing villages of Molinere and Gouyave, before a stop at Victoria’s to tour the nutmeg plant. Also known as the spice island, Grenada is the world’s second largest producer of nutmeg, and the guided tour of the plant gave everyone the opportunity to see how the crop is processed.
The exploration continued with a visit to Concord Falls high up in the hills of the Grand Etang Forest Reserve, with the opportunity to take a refreshing swim in the cool mountain waters. Lunch was taken in the Belmont Estate, with stunning views down a valley to the sea, and the gentle aroma of cocoa beans laid out in trays to dry in the sun. There aren’t too many opportunities in life to ‘walk the beans’, and as the photo shows, the crews were quick to step onto the large drying trays and shuffle barefoot through the beans, by way of rotating them, a job that’s done every hour. Back in the days when passports listed a person’s occupation, it must have raised a few eyebrows amongst immigration officials to see ‘cocoa bean walker’ written down.
Rum was next on the agenda, with a stop at River’s Rum Distillery to see the workings and taste the clear spirit. The distillery dates from 1785, and it seems very little has changed in the way they make their 70% proof potion.
The penultimate stop of the day was at the disused Pearl’s airport, built by the Soviets, and still with the remains of two aircraft, a small Antonov still marked with CCCP, and also a Cuban Airways passenger plane, a reminder of the regular service that used to operate in the days when Grenada politics were dominated by Communism. The island has just celebrated the 30th anniversary of its liberation. The final call of the day was through the island’s rainforest and a view of the second highest mountain, South East Mountain, standing at 2,348 feet.
With today being St. Patrick’s there’s an evening of green beer and Guiness lined up at the Victory Bar, and a high chance of sore heads tomorrow morning. Once recovered, the yachts will cruise north to Marigot Bay, and then onto Rodney Bay, which will be the final 150 miles of an amazing circumnavigation voyage.
Pictures of the fleet at the new Port Louis Marina in Grenada are available at http://www.moderndaygilligan.com/cnpl/arc/