We took an island tour with the taxi driver that concentrates on the natural side of Grenada. Accompanying us were four Aussies, one lone woman from Brazil who admirably avoided the attentions of two amorous American single handing sailors, a British/Jamaican, and one sailor from Virginia.
Cutty, our guide, soon showed us that he knows his stuff on the flora and fauna of Grenada but he also showed us things like the view of St Georges from the ridge. We were attracted to his tour by virtue of his 'safe' driving record. (that means no white knuckles, only a bit of occasional indigestion).
Grenada is an island measuring 21 by 7 miles with 103,000 people inhabiting it. We estimate somewhere in the neighborhood of 3-400 yachts sailing here during hurricane season. There are two active volcanoes in the water off the north end of Grenada. Kick'em Jenney and Kick'em Jake have erupted four times in the past 70 years. Imagine being above Kick'em Jenney when there was a huge gas release, seeing the mass of bubbles coming up to the surface as your boat sunk for lack of buoyancy. Yes, we do plan to avoid that! More statistics: the unemployment on Grenada is 50%, and the import tax on a used vehicle is 125%. There have been three revolutions all starting on the same day of the same month and in the same Parish located in the southeastern part of Grenada. Actually, they all started with an action in the same place as well, where six roads come together at a now famous six way junction. Of course, you all remember the American Invasion of Grenada. Did you know the American's bombed a mental hospital thinking it was the rebel headquarters located next door? So our tour guide reported as we rolled by.
We passed a prison where inmates worked raising farm animals, etc. Steal from a tourist and get a sound beating from locals, then a trip to the police for another beating followed by a trial and sentence for another beating followed by prison.
On to more plants. Cutty would typically be driving along and stop long enough to go pick something, bring it back to the passengers, pass it around and then tell us all what it was. There was a plant called Seeds Under Leaf with all sorts of medicinal uses, another that was used in make up (red and very lasting!), and a plant for Caster Oil that also is responsible for ricin a deadly poison.
We turned and headed up the old airport with an increase in speed and more information about the drag races that are now held at the airport. Who would have thought given the import tax on used vehicles?
This is getting very lengthy and we haven't talked about the Rum Factory where they make 160% proof (86% alcohol), the use of bamboo for scaffolding, the 100 year old house where the Nutmeg Pain Relieving Spray was sold (also marketed in the US), and the lovely flowers that seem to garland every house. Perhaps the lovely flowers that seemed to be everywhere were the inspiration for the 10 Gold Medals at the Chelsea Flower Show in 13 years. We'll add the pictures and tell some more of the story soon.
We finished the day with Cutty at his favorite 'liming' spot, just hanging out with friends and a little rum.