It is now August and high time for us to start exploring more of the inland culture and vistas of Grenada. This week we piled into taxi after taxi after taxi with our boat buddies and, over the course of one week, visited two distilleries, a nutmeg factory, a chocolate factory, two waterfalls, the Grand Etang National Park and, yup, we even lost our Hash virginity (don’t worry Mom and Dad, it isn’t what you think 😉 !).
Since we arrived in Grenada, we have heard of the weekly Hash and how incredibly popular it is for both cruisers and locals alike. The Hash House Harriers is an international group of runners and walkers. The group in Grenada started running “hashes” (or hikes) in 1985 and has been organizing them every Saturday since. The location of the Hash changes every week, as does its length and intensity but some things remain true. It always starts at about 4pm and its always a load of fun!
Our Hash was held near the town of Telescope, on the eastern side of Grenada. The hike took us through the town, past active crop fields, up and down hills, along the seaside and eye to eye with goats, pigs, cows and stray dogs.
Oh and, yes, at the end of the Hash, all newcomers to the Hash were assembled at the front of the crowd where it was publicly declared that we have now lost our Hash virginity. After being soundly doused by beer, we were handed our official “You have lost your Hash virginity certificates” to prove it!
A few days later, on Monday, we completed a land circumnavigation of Grenada. Our friend Dale on Wahoo worked with one of the local taxi drivers to have a fantastic tour of the island for ten of us boat buddies. She even arranged for Ocean to come along for the fun! Our first stop at 0900 hours? A distillery, of course! The tour was great but it is how it ended that was the real eye-opener. We were offered several tastings of their straight rums as well as various flavoured rums including chocolate, mojito and coffee (which actually made the most sense given the time of day we were there!).
Next on the agenda was a narrow and windy drive up to Concord Falls, one of many waterfalls in Grenada. The waterfall is stunning, standing about sixty-five feet tall, with cool, clear and fresh water filling the large swimming area below. Fresh, cool, clear water? Yes please!
Refreshed from our swim at the waterfall, the taxi then took us to Grenville for an informative tour of the Grenada Co-operative Nutmeg Association Factory. Grenada is reputed for its nutmeg, producing more than 20% of the world’s nutmeg. If you live in North America and have bought nutmeg, cloves or cinnamon, chances are it came from this great island.
Grenada is also known as the Caribbean Capital of Chocolate so you can guess where the taxi took us next. We enjoyed an interesting and tasty tour of the Diamond Chocolate Factory in Victoria, Grenada where they make Jouvay chocolate bars. Set in a small estate-like area, the factory seemed more like a homestead than an actual working factory. This homey atmosphere is very much part of their identity as, unlike the other chocolate factories on the island, Diamond farms the cocoa themselves and produces it on site within its stone farm walls. It is so delicious that everyone on our tour found themselves buying many chocolate bars to go!
Before finishing off the day, we toured one more distillery. This time it was an eco-friendly distillery where everything from extracting the sugar to bottling is done by hand. Incredible!
The tour was well-put together and, although tiring, it was an inspiring day to see Grenada from so many aspects – inland, coastline, small factories, large production sites, high atop the mountains, and, of course, the beauty of its terrain. And it is that beauty that had us on another taxi-driven tour a few days later.
On Thursday, we had a two-part day that included a river and another waterfall. This time it was the Seven Sisters Waterfall in the Grand Etang Forest and Nature Reserve. There are seven waterfalls here, each a little higher up on the 1,910-foot mountain. The first two waterfalls are reached via a 40-minute hike along a fairly rough and challenging path. The last five waterfalls require a guide and some pretty well-sharpened mountaineering skills. Not for us! Instead, we spent our time lazily swimming in the pool of the second waterfall. It was an incredible experience to be in the glen-like atmosphere, with beautiful foliage and flowers surrounding us and the sun peaking through the canopy, while gliding through the cool, fresh pool from the waterfall. Serene. Mesmerizing. Incredible.
How to follow up a wonderful morning at one of Grenada’s loveliest waterfalls? Well, with some river tubing of course! This was a fun trip down a fast-moving river. What a way to finish off a day!
It has been a jam-packed week but we have learned lots about our “home away from home” and appreciate it even more.
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Victoria is a hiker, dog-lover, blog writer and planner extraordinaire. Oh, yeah and she is kind of fond of living on a boat.