OUR CRUISE VACATION 2007 Grenada Page 6

Tuesday April 4, 2007 – Grenada

We docked at the Grenada terminal and did the "tourist thing".....wandered around looking the the booths full of colorful clothing and native wares. They were probably all made in Japan since they were identical to the ones at the last port....except they
said Grenada instead of St. Kitts or St. Thomas.

Grenada is a very pretty place…green and lush just like a tropical isle should be. We didn’t have a tour booked so decided to see about arranging one from a tour company in the terminal. The natives are constantly grabbing at you wanting you to go with them on tours, sell you something or in general find a way to get you buy something.

It’s hard to keep saying “no thank you” every few minutes, but I’m sure they are used to being rejected. But, sometimes they get too pushy and you have to be somewhat rude and ignore them.

John, (our wheeler-dealer) was approached by a tour company employee who wanted $20.00 per person to take us on a tour of the area….but John bargained him down to $80.00 for the 6 of us. Joseph, our guide, had an 8 passenger vehicle so two other folks joined us. They were from St. Lucia, an island not too far from Grenada, and were both schoolteachers.

Joseph spoke English pretty well, and gave us some interesting facts about his country. He wore a big stripped knit hat and reminded me of Bob Marley, the reggae singer.
As we passed different trees, he told us what they were, cocoa, coffee, banana, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc. and then stopped at a roadside "spice" stand - had a great demonstration of the spices and how they are prepared and showed us how coffee, nutmeg and other spices looked in their raw state.

He grated a cocoa bean and a nutmeg nut and gave us a chance to taste it. The cocoa was bitter, like dry Hershey cocoa, and the nutmeg tasted like…nutmeg. He tore some bark off a tree branch and gave that to us….it was cinnamon. Now I know where cinnamon sticks come from, they are pieces of bark that rolls up when cut off a branch from the cinnamon tree. We shopped in the little hut and bought spices and other items to take home. Every place we stopped, there were people selling spice-related things.

We then drove to Annadale Falls and walked another 5,000 steps down to the base of the falls to a nice little pool..
Several young men, probably employees of the park, would climb to the top of the waterfall, and do a “cannon-ball” down into the pool. They couldn’t dive because the pool was too shallow. We watched them for a while and then climbed back to the top. On the way, there were folks selling items….more spice necklaces, various hot sauces, handmade things, etc.

John decided to buy a CD of steel drum music, which was very nice. However, Lisa said that it needed a jungle setting with birds chirping and running water to make it sound really great. Soooo John is probably going to turn their family room into a tropical paradise.

The rain forest in Grenada is located at the top of a mountain, reached by a narrow, two lane winding road. It was a wild drive on the mountainous roads on the "wrong side" and we were glad to have a local driver - lots of shouting and horn blowing when someone blocked the road! If you are from the USA, my advice is to find a local driver.

The drivers in Grenada must be related to the San Juan drivers because they drive the same way, fast and furious. And since Grenada was once a British colony, they drive on the left side of the road, just opposite of what is done in the United States. Its really scary since you tend to forget that, and get the wits scared out of you when you meet a truck or car coming at you in “your lane.

On to Fort Frederick, the remains of an old fort where you could see two bodies of water from the top. It was interesting and you wonder who got the job of moving those huge blocks of stone up the hill and putting them in place. Fort Frederick was accidentally bombed by the United States …..they were supposed to bomb another fort a short distance away, but goofed.

Our last stop was a beach and recreation area with a good view of……our ship!
We didn’t know about the beach but obviously many of our fellow passengers did because there were lots of blue striped towels on chairs and chaise lounges. There were some little open-air shops, which were selling the usual tee shirts, dresses and other souvenirs.

About this time, Jenny REALLY had to go to the restroom and we were told the "facilities" were next to the various seller's area. What the “information booth” lady didn’t say was that they wanted $1.00 to use the restroom. Poor Jen didn't have a dollar so had to find us and hope that we were carrying cash.

First time we’ve ever run into that situation….but I guess they have to buy toilet paper and paper towels so feel that getting money from the tourists was logical.....they have a captive audience...nowhere else to go!
Speaking of restrooms, be prepared for the toilets aboard ship. They are flush toilets, but flush like no toilet you've ever had at home. When finished using it, you put the lid down and pull the little knob on top and Swooooosh, it sounds like a big vaccum cleaner just exploded in the room with you. They have a standing (ha) joke about not sitting the john when it is flushed......you can plan on hearing those jokes from at least one of the comedians at the dinner show.
Every evening there is a dinner show...sometimes its a musical number, singers and dancers, other times it could be a comedian, a magic show, singer or any number of theatrical people. Some are very good, others are just so-so. Since there are many preteen kids on cruises, the jokes are generally not naughty or blue....there are two evening shows, and the one that starts at 10:00 may be a little more risque.
Most ships have special areas just for teens..no adults allowed...disco dances, scavenger hunts and fun get-togethers. Plus take a bunch of coins, they have game rooms that are full of arcade games.

(to be continued)

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