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Trip Report Grenada - trip report

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My wife and I recently returned from our second vacation in Grenada. We first went to Grenada in February 03 (pre-Hurricane Ivan) so we were interested to see what had changed on the island since our last visit and how well Grenada had recovered.

Once again we stayed at the Blue Horizon Garden Resort (www.grenadabluehorizons.com). They well met our needs and expectations. This is a wonderful place. While we had been informed that the resort had been quite damaged in the hurricane you couldn’t tell. The grounds were beautiful and they still had the tall palm trees lining the driveway. The cottages had been painted, all appliances and the furniture (including mattresses) had been replaced where required. We had a one bedroom cottage with a full kitchenette. The pool was quite enjoyable with never a rush for lounge chairs. It is not that kind of resort. Everything here is quite laid back, perfect for an afternoon of reading on your porch or at the pool, with the requisite rum punch or cold Carib close at hand. Most other vacationers were from England with a few Germans thrown in for variety.

Groceries: They were easily accessible at the Spice Island Mall a short 10 minute walk from the BH. There were some surprises on prices but the inexpensive rum made up for any price shock. Here is an example of prices quoted in Eastern Caribbean (EC) dollars. A 26 oz. bottle of Westerhall rum cost 14.40EC whereas 6 bottles of Carib beer cost 18.00EC. Six bottles of Ting cost 15.50, 6 Pepsi 16.00, a 5 litre bottle of water 8.60EC. and a litre of skim milk 3.66EC. A box of macaroni and cheese cost 3.40EC, a can of tuna 3.75EC, an apple 2.50EC and a bottle of Ragu tomato sauce cost 14.35EC.

Restaurants: We have certainly enjoyed the fine dining at the Belle Creole, Beach House and the Spice Island Resort. It was pricey but very well received, especially the SIR. We also ate at the Nutmeg (get there before lunch time or dinner time as it gets full quickly even more so now that Grenada is a stop on the cruise ship itineraries), the Boulangerie and Le Chateau at the Marguis Mall (both quite good) and the St. George University Grand Anse Beach Campus (inexpensive, good food cooked for the students by the local ladies with lots of ‘provisions’). The food court in the Spice Island Mall also offers some interesting fare especially the fish/chicken wrap at the Grill Master. The latter restaurants were no where as pricey as the former.

Touring: As we had already done the Northern and Eastern tours on our last visit to the island this time we took the garden tour with Kennedy Tours ( http://kennedytours.com ) There were stops at Fort Frederick (overlooking St. George’s), the Bay Gardens (very interesting walk through a wide variety of flora), Laura Spice Garden (there must have been at least 25 different plants/spices), La Sagresse, Westerhall Point and Woburn. Since there was only my wife and I on tour that day we were able to take our time at each of our stops. Kennedy was a wonderful tour guide and strayed from the itinerary to show us other parts of Grenada including Quarantine Point above Grand Anse beach, a perfect place to sit and watch sunset. What was supposed to be a 4 hour tour ended up being a very pleasant 6 hour venture into the cultural, historical and political history of Grenada. We also did a snorkeling tour with Aquanauts. We first stopped at Moliniere Pt. to see the sculpture park (www.youtube.com/watch?v=X33698McQ7g) You are snorkeling in 18 to 25 feet of water. The current can be a little strong but is well worth the effort. The second stop is at Flamingo Bay for snorkeling over coral beds.

Grand Anse Beach: Yes, it is great and uncrowded. While to cruise ship itineraries include outings to the beach the groups tend to stay at the craft market end of the beach. My wife and I have had long debates on how Grand Anse compares to Grace Bay (Turks and Caicos, Grande Anse had more shade) or Cane Garden/Smugglers Cove on Tortola. I rank Grande Anse third. Having said that it really is difficult to find any fault with Grande Anse, simple a matter of preference.

Higglers: Sure they do walk by as your sitting on the beach. However they are polite and not aggressive at all. A simple courteous interaction, no thank you I am not interested and they are on their way. Not a problem. I quite enjoyed talking to some of them. Be sure to watch for Ms. Evelyne, a tall, thin women, approximately 70 years of age. Both time we have visited Grenada we purchased our spices and necklaces from her. I real sweety.

Shopping: Well, not much really. Even though they now have the new L’Esplanade Mall at the cruise port Grenada does not really seem geared up for the tourist shopping that other island are. You just don’t go to Grenada for the shopping experience. For the men out there who fear the waiting around while the spouse spend hours browsing...this is mecca. My wife was never in one store more than 15 minutes.

Summary: Grenadians are truly some of the nicest people I have met. They are somewhat shy at first but can get going once the conversation turns to their homeland. They are engaging and quite informative. Take the time to interact with the locals. They are just as interested in you. I was surprised at how close the family unit is and how well they take care of and support the youth. Refreshing to be sure. All in all we will return. I can’t say that about all islands (perhaps 15) that we have been to . Grenada ranks high in our books.

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