Friday 18th March
Having visited this lovely island before, we had no particular ambitions. However, we joined Julian and Vera for an exploration of the local markets and then a walk through the Sendall Tunnel to the Carenage area. In 1867 the harbour here (formed in a volcanic crater) had bubbled and emitted a sulphurous smell. The water rose five feet but this disturbing experience does seem to have reoccurred.
We left Vera at a waterfront café and walked up to Port St George. This had a considerable history including the fact that Maurice Bishop was killed here in 1983. However, it was in a poor state of repair and its main attraction for us were the views it afforded. We then walked back past the earthquake damaged church we remembered from our last trip and joined Vera for a drink at the waterside.
After lunch back on the ship, we set out again with Julian and Vera to Annandale Falls. Although only about 40 feet high, the lush forest setting was very attractive. In addition, a local man was jumping off a rock into the plunge pool for charity and we did our best to photograph him on the way down!
We continued up through tropical rain forest. Much of this had been damaged in the 2004 Hurricane Ivan disaster but attempts are being made to preserve this area without any timber felling or building. Shortly after crossing the summit at 1910 feet, we went to Grand Etang Lake which was formed in a volcanic crater. We had visited this last time we came to Grenada, but on this occasion went down to the Lake itself. Probably the most notable thing was the total silence there.
On the way back we passed through the residential areas near St. George. We had planned to visit the botanical gardens but these proved to have been destroyed in the 1983 invasion which was to overthrow the extreme socialist government of Maurice Bishop and involved the U.S. coming to the aid of the rebels against Cuba. This area now forms the grounds of the new government offices.
Our driver/guide told us that he had been a policeman until one month ago – proving this by producing his warrant card and handcuffs out of the dashboard storage! However, he had sought to earn extra money by moonlighting as a taxi driver and someone had “shopped him” producing a photograph of him in his alternate occupation. He was on six months accumulated holiday time due to him and was hoping against hope that they would relent and allow him back to work as he loved being a policeman and was devastated.
We returned to the port at around 4.00 p.m. and after tea Jill went to use the free internet facility at the terminal building – managing to upload more than 100 photos.
We went to the Theatre Group production in the evening and failed to win the quiz subsequently!