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  • Writer's pictureLillian E.

Rum and Chocolate (Grenada)

December 2016.

Dad drove us around most days, but there was one day when we hired a driver, Neil, and his big van to give us a tour of the island. What better way to explore than by doing it with someone who knows all the secrets! He took us to see Mt. Caramel waterfall-

Where we were told not to cross the river unless barefoot- it was easier to stay out of the water that way! Not that any of us would have minded, even in December it was very warm out.

From there a more local guide led us through the jungle to show us a much smaller waterfall.

Here is Rose playing with some of the shy ferns on the side of the path. They're tiny ferns that if brushed up against, curl up and "hide".

I was documenting the whole trip. All those video files live on a hard drive somewhere, I should dig them up and put a video together!

Did you know, banana trees can only produce bananas once before they have to be cut down for another tree to grow? At least, that's what our guide was telling us as we walked beneath rows of wild banana trees.

This ended up being the most fun because they showed us how to use the rocks beneath the waterfall as a natural waterslide! Look at Max go!

Soon we were drying off and back in the car, only to speed away down the coastal road that circles the island.

We slowed driving past a couple of abandoned planes.

We finally made it to our destination: the oldest (I think) rum distillery in the Caribbean where they still employ all the original methods of making pure cane sugar rum with a water wheel and bottling it by hand.

Here is the water wheel-

All the sugarcane-

The giant stone vats holding all the rum in various stages of production-

At the end of our tour they gave us a taste of some of their products. I can now claim to have tried chocolate rum!

Before we left, Rose and I tried to make friends with a goat, but she was having none of that and told us so. Very loudly.

Lunch was at Helena's where we tried some chicken and beef roties. Essentially meat stews wrapped up and served hot and delicious!

Best ocean view around!

We learned a bit about Grenada's history at Leaper's Hill where we were told long ago the natives had jumped off the cliff to avoid capture by the French.

We carried on to the chocolate "factory", a tiny tucked-away site where they make chocolate from the abundance of cacao trees. It turns out cocoa is one of the main exports of Grenada after several spices!

It turns out you can eat the white fruit that comes from a cacao tree, and its the seeds inside that eventually turn into bitter cocoa powder and chocolate!

The orange pod our guide is holding is a cacao fruit.

We also got to see the warehouse where they store their nutmeg exports!

The red "mace" that surrounds a nutmeg seed is super valuable and gets stripped away by hand individually. Nutmeg trees themselves take 20 years to grow to be a worthwhile size for producing the right amount of seeds!

Stencils they use to mark the destination of each bag.

By the end of the day we were completely wiped. Neil drove us back up and over the mountain where we saw a rain shower hitting the city down below and dropped us off at home just in time for dinner.

Thanks Neil!

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