I love Grenada, a friend took me there once on holiday, she was teaching and I was lucky enough to be allowed to be her +1, as her significant other was otherwise engaged. Lucky, lucky me. My friend went to work while I got to tour the island and to imagine what life might be like if I could be a + 1 all the time. To my surprise during those 10 days the concept suddenly seemed very attractive :). While having always been biased regarding the Caribbean, imagining package tourism, beaches full of sunburned white people in tiny bikinis drinking too much (I hope I am not offending anyone), I discovered I was, as so often, wrong. Grenada, is off the beaten track, small, with nothing much in the way of party life, as far as I could tell, but wonderful landscapes and beaches. The moment I got there I was sold on the impossible turquoise of the water, the empty beaches, the bright sun-light. The botanical gardens with cassia cinnamon and vanilla plants, zillions of types of ginger I cannot grow here, hummingbirds, and turtles – a real wonderland. I brought home seeds of anything I could get my hands on and tried to grow them here…hope springs eternal. I may also have brought a herb back with me, that grew roots on the way, but then again I may not have done….A sortie to Grand Etang Lake was fun, I was all alone on the lake shore, after debating the wisdom of walking around the lake all by myself (not knowing the area, the plants, the wildlife, and not having anyone who knew where I was) – and reaching the conclusion it was a stupid undertaking, I went ahead anyway but got stuck in the mud so had to turn round. This photo was taken just before I was forced to turn back but not before I saw a wild passionflower growing in my path. It took me ages to get the mud off my feet….but it was worth it!
Oh and a quick comment on the food: the seafood was wonderful as might be expected, of course, and the fruits a revelation: from the juicy, tender and oh so sweet cocoa flesh that cushions the cocoa seeds in their red cocoa pods to prickly looking, sweet, refreshing soursop – which makes a great cocktail, I tried anything that looked weird, wonderful or different. The vendors at the fruit market all giggled when I asked for Noni, touted as the ultimate health food, I later learned that as Noni fruit have an intense odor, the name is used as a synonym for something else – from a quick Google it seems this fact is, unsurprisingly, not widely advertised.
No matter, I spent my days exploring and in the evening we would ask the kind bar staff to turn my fruit finds into yummy cocktails, all served with a sprinkling of nutmeg on top,which is the way of the spice islands I was told.
Soursop cocktail: Extricate the flesh of one big soursop, mix with milk and rum and a little bit of coconut milk to taste, blend in a blender with ice added in. Sprinkle with nutmed grated on top.
To get the real experience you must drink this on the beach under palm trees while listening to the sound of the ocean and waiting for your order of freshly grilled fish. Heaven!