Goodbye Grenada

Like every Canadian who takes a winter holiday in April, I had so hoped that spring would have arrived on the prairies.  Apparently, it is the opposite.  A big blizzard is whirling around intent on bringing lots of snow to about four million people.  Fingers crossed that Winnipeg is on the edge and only gets flurries!  It has been a fabulous holiday and we are looking forward to returning sooner rather than later.  Grenada has changed so much in the past three years and the resort that we are in, The Starfish, will evolve in the next few months from a 3.5 star to a 5-star resort with a name change.  I do hope that they keep the nature reserve area in the centre.  It has brought a lot of joy to a number of us.

This tri-colour heron spotted us walking over the bridges and within a blink, he was at the edge of the pond ready to catch his lunch.  They are very elegant standing on the rocks but when fishing, they pull down their neck and get into a striking pose.  Nothing much happens if they catch a small fish but if it is a bigger one, they quickly move away from the shore.  Sometimes they drop the fish but at least they won’t lose it.  It can take them a few minutes to get their catch into a size that will go down that long throat.  All of this is followed by gulps of water.  Then they are back into striking mode.

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Ready for action:

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Today a green heron aggravated the tri-colour who was not too keen to share its territory.

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The doves were satisfied just to get some of the crumbs of the crackers.  At one point there were eight of them.

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On the other side of the pond, the egrets were fussing about trying to get settled on the branches.

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It is hard to imagine how lush the vegetation will be in just a few months when the rains start.  There is a fire ban on the island but some are still burning.  There is no real fire department and it could be devastating if the wind caused some of those small fires to spread.

Grenada has been wonderful as it always is.  The people are friendly and the mini-van bus service is amazing.

So here are some tips to help make your next vacation in Grenada just that much better:

  1.  If you have a number of people travelling together, consider renting an Air BnB and doing some of your own cooking.  Make sure that you are close to a bus route so that you can get down to the beaches or get groceries with some ease.  Don’t even think about renting a car!  There are also short term apartment and house rentals managed by the local real estate agents.  Just Google ‘houses in Grenada for short term’.
  2. If you are independent, get one of the Grenada road maps.  Find the tourist attractions you want to do and see if there is a local mini-van to take you there.  You will save a bundle (and I do mean hundreds of Canadian dollars).
  3. Check out things to do and their ratings on Trip Advisor.
  4. Move a little bit out of your comfort zone.  For some of the best roti I have ever eaten, go to The Sugar Shack on True Blue Road.  And if you like East Indian food, the Punjabi near the airport brought in four cooks from India.  It is the best Indian food I have eaten in years.  The Malai Kofta had the creamiest cashew sauce ever.
  5. Remember that eating out is very expensive.  Groceries are expensive.  You might want to compare prices for all-inclusive hotels giving yourself the option to find some of the local restaurants (non-American or chain) every other day or so.
  6. Compare prices on tours.  They vary a whole lot for the same sites.
  7. You can get most anything you need on the island now.  You might want to bring some sunscreen just to start you off.  You will need a hat!  Even walking around for an hour without one will mean a sunburned head.  Not nice.  Remember that you burn quickly if you are in the water.  So take it easy.  You will get a tan to prove you had a winter holiday without much effort.  You don’t want to go home shedding like a snake!
  8. And last but never least, get on Grenada time.  Slow down.  ‘Chill out’.  Say hello to people, smile.  Have a great holiday.

I am looking forward to coming back. The plan will be to rent a house with a pool.  Turns out some of the most gorgeous properties are less than a 3.5-star hotel.  It should be fun and definitely something to look forward to.

The Day of the Iguana

The Green Iguana is the largest of the lizards found in Grenada.  Most of the time they live in the trees eating leaves, new shoots, and fruit.  Sometimes they are seen walking on the ground and today we saw two.  The large bright green one above as the featured image of this page and, later, a smaller one with a green body and turquoise head.  They can grow up to six feet long with at least half of that being their tail which they whip about when they walk.  They also appear to be excellent swimmers as both rushed into the pond once they were spotted and swam away easily.  Iguanas are actually endangered due to overhunting and also, like so many other of the animals, residential and commercial developments that wreck their habitats.

One of the nicest things about this resort is that they have maintained a large pond area that is full of birds and lizards.  I have also appreciated their labelling of the local flora and fauna.  Despite it being ever so dry here there are a few flowers that are still managing to bloom.
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It was 28 degrees with a UV Index of 10 today and 31 mph winds.  Despite the strong winds, everyone felt extremely blessed to be able to be outside.  There are so many Canadians here and the weather showed it snowing in Ottawa with snow showers in Winnipeg and temperatures of -4 C.  It is a wonder that we didn’t all rush the Air Canada office to extend our stay.

In the evening the perfume from the Frangipani flowers fills the air.

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Grenada is located near the Equator.  It has some of the most spectacular sunsets in the world.  Today I talked to a couple from England who said they had also witnessed the full moon rising up over the horizon.  What a sight that must have been!

This is a really short post but I wanted to just add some images for all of those stuck in a lingering Canadian winter.  The top one is the Caribbean Sea looking from Magazine Beach to St. George’s in the distance.

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Views from my son’s house in Egmont Bay.

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Everywhere you drive in Grenada, you will see goats tied at the side of the road eating the grass.  Today, in our ride back from Grand Anse in one of those wonderful minivans, the van backed up to let a man out by his house.  Little did we know till they stopped that the bag on the floor beside us held two baby goats!  Today, some people make the local goat cheese which is delicious.  Other goats find their way into the local dish, roti.  Roti can be filled with vegetables, fish, boneless chicken, or potatoes and peas.

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And speaking of roti, I apologize.  It was simply too good to stop at the beginning and take a photograph.  The Sugar Shack makes the BEST roti in St George’s.  They are located on True Blue Road.  Eating local is not only economical but can be delicious.  Three roti – 1 fish and 2 boneless chicken – a Monster drink, 2 Cokes, and a Sprite was 66 EC or about $29 CDN.  It was full of chicken, both dark and white meat and the seasoning was spot on.  They are moving from their temporary site into a permanent building with a new kitchen on True Blue Road shortly.  If you get to Grenada, take the minivan and ask the conductor to let you off.  They will surely know the place!

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