On Thursday the 24th November, Grenada was having a referendum. In order to avoid any politics we headed off on a trip to Mount Carmel, a waterfall, on the East of the island. We started off with a colourful and fun drive through the lush countryside full of banana plants, goats, beautiful cheery people and fruit trees on steep but low hills along the coast. With local tunes blaring out on the stereo we felt pretty much in the Grenadian groove.
Pulling up at Mount Carmel we were met by the smiles of willing “guides” to the falls. Aly befriended a very polite and willing guide who of course offered his services in a way which can not be refused. Alas, on a muddy trail through the rainforest it turned out to be the best decision. Dextir was his name and showing tourists the flora and fauna of the forests was his game. First the path cuts through someone’s backyard and then through their garden! Dextir certainly knew his plants well and we learnt the local names and uses for many forest plants. Wild lilies, ginger, golden apples, almonds, “buncanoo” used to lower blood pressure, huge bamboos, hanging vines and many more species thrived in the environment on an Atlantic facing hillside.
On route to the falls we met a local family who’s father was fishing for crayfish under the rocks inside the river. He used a long bamboo pole with a lure of mashed up baby crayfish (found under the small rocks at the river’s edge). Poking it under the large boulders in the river he had only caught one so far but we asked to inspect his catch and he willingly laid it out on the grass for our perusal. Fierce little blighter and surprisingly large, it was keen to attack the camera lens and certainly up for a fight.
Dextir had gathered some almonds from a tree and cracked them open for the kids to eat, delicious! Later he produced a fruit i had not tried before: the golden apple. This tasted like a cross between an apple and a mango which is never a bad thing.
As the Mount Carmel falls came into view we met a familiar face, an American lady I had met a few days before who lives on a 42ft yacht with her husband and 7 children, yes really! They had already been in and were off to slide down another part of the river. She is a sparkling soul and I am certainly in awe of her ability to live in such close quarters with all of her family.
It goes without saying that the kids were in the water by the falls within seconds of arrival. Stripped off and sliding in to the pools I couldn’t help but think of the crayfish that were in there waiting for their opportune moment to taste children’s toe! Alas nobody managed to catch a crayfish with their digits and great fun was had even as a torrential downpour began while Aly and Momen climbed up to feel the full force of the waterfall on their shoulders. Clearly it was quite a force judging by the screams of mixed delight and pain which were emitted from under the waterfall.
We would definitely recommend this waterfall for families visiting Grenada, its one of those fun places where everyone has a good time.
Following our dip we walked back through the forest, it was torrential rain by this time and a truly muddy, slippery trail by now. Delilah found herself another new pet: a giant millipede, scooped up and taken along with her. We got back to the roadside and had a good wash under the ditch-side tap and we headed off into Grenville.
Grenville is the island’s second biggest town and is a three street agricultural town. It is built on the waterfront where the sands are black and volcanic and a shallow reef offshore protects the town. There are few boats and the town has a much more laid back feel than St George and its suburbs. We were directed to “The Boxshop” for lunch and we were not disappointed, a feast was had for not a lot of money which was also a refreshing change after the prices further south in the island.
Below our apartment is the Westerhall Rum factory which will definitely be receiving the Rascals for a visit soon. We are looking forward to that, hic!
Aly and I have spent plenty of time in engine rooms and bilges recently in between all the family fun. So the arrival of a mothership gets ever closer…..