Monday, September 27, 2010
FORT GEORGE, GOUYAVE and THE SEVEN SISTERS FALLS
We visited Fort George today. Overlooking Georgetown it commands the entrance to the magnificent natural harbor which was used by the French and the Brits as they squabbled over and swapped the islands between themselves like chewing gum cards.
This was Gisela checking with the guide if that was in fact a rat!
But Fort George was also the scene of a more recent squabble for power which resulted in Maurice Rupert Bishop [1944-1983] who was then prime minister of Grenada and seven of his 'kitchen cabinet' being shot on October 13, 1983 by his Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard.
This was the cell in which Prime Minister Bishop and his pregnant girlfriend plus 5 others were held before being taken out, stood up against the wall of the Fort courtyard and shot.
This was the precursor to the invasion of Grenada on October 25, 1983 by a large contingent of US Forces.
After the invasion by the Americans, plus a few others to give the illusion that it was multinational force Bernard Coard and his cabinet were tried and found guilty.
In September 2004, the prison in which he was held was damaged by Hurricane Ivan and many inmates took the opportunity to flee, but Coard said he chose not to escape in an AP news article, saying he would not leave until his name was cleared.
On September 5, 2009, Coard was released from prison.
FISH FRIDAY at GOUYAVE
is the fishing capital of Grenada and every Friday they close off a few streets, the vendors come out and those streets are filled with the smells of variations on fish and lobster fries/barbecues/stews/etc.
However some of the locals are just out on the mooch and doing very well too!
We joined a group of cruisers and shared an Island bus/taxi to Gouyave and sampled the wares on offer. Very good they were too. The ride up was scenic and we were very glad of the restraint shown by our driver as many madly driven cars, taxis and buses hurtled past us.
OILDOWN at the SEVEN SISTERS FALLS
On Sunday we joined another group organised by that tireless warrior of the airways Lynn from Silverheels III and hiked in to the Seven Sisters falls. This was steeper rougher and muddier than we had bargained for, mostly because it had rained hard the night before.
We were also going to have an oildown which is Grenada's National Dish. There are lots of variations depending on which village your grandparents were from but the one we were to have had dumplings, chicken, salt fish, breadfruit, yams, bananas, kallalou and lots of local herbs. Everything was pretty wet and the boys lead by Super Butterfly, the one in yellow, had a hard time getting the fire started but it was soon smoking well and they seemed confident that all would be cooked by the time the leapers returned.
We had a great swim in the lower pools while the more intrepid group of cruisers lead by Super Butterfly headed for the upper falls with the intention of jumping their way back down to us.
We were kept entertained by a local rasta who arrived with 4 very well behaved dogs which he preceeded to wash in the pools below where we were swimming. The dogs were very obedient but it would have horrified any RSPA inspector to see how he picked them up by the scruff and hurled them out into the pool for their final rinse. However there was no yelping so perhaps this was a Sunday ritual.
The oildown in fact was soon steaming away and after a while the intrepid leapers were seen at the top of the last fall to be jumped. This was a bigger and more dangerous jump so SB was there giving last minute advice and encouragement.
But not all went well and one of the geriatric leapers landed less than perfectly and strained his back badly. Our decision to wimp out on the leaping seemed justifable but it did look like fun and the rest of the jumpers were on a natural adrenaline high when they arrived back at base camp.
The oildown was ready on time for the leapers return and it was so good we went back for seconds.
Well we needed to keep our strength up for the climb back to civilisation.
We were both very glad to see the car park but not as glad as one of the bus drivers was who looked like he might not make it at one point.