It’s been approximately 72 hours since we landed on the island of Grenada. Yesterday my husband’s boss organised a road tour of the island for us, with our very own personal guide, Raymond. Raymond is native to Grenada and owns a company which organises tours for some of the large travel operators.
We set off in Raymond’s jeep at about 11.30am for St George. St George is the capital of Grenada, but the size of a small town by global comparison. If you suffer with car sickness, take some tablets before embarking on any road journey here. There are enough hairpin bends to make Lewis Hamilton proud, and steep roads with vertigo-inducing inclines, making Grenada the place motion sickness nightmares are made of. Luckily my husband and I aren’t sufferers, and the drivers don’t seem to pull the death-defying stunts I’ve seen in other places.
Port Louis in St George offers an impressive harbour, with boats of varying degrees of grandiose. The harbour is framed by low hills, dotted with pretty pastel buildings in assorted shades of marshmallow. The juxtaposition of the buildings, cerulean water and glistening-white sailing vessels make for a postcard-perfect scene.
After leaving St George for the more rural parish of St John, the terrain became significantly more winding and soon we were in the hills, surrounded by lush greenery. Raymond pointed out an abundance of biodiversity including cotton and eucalyptus trees, nutmeg plants, and cocoa, clove and banana trees amongst the landscape. Affectionately nicknamed The Spice Isle, we learnt that Grenada is the second largest exporter of Nutmeg in the world, just behind Indonesia. Raymond explained that Grenada’s landscape is ripe with agricultural opportunities, but the younger generation snub the farming profession in favour of more socially prestigious fields, such as law and medicine. The demands of the rugged landscape also require outmoded machinery, which is physically taxing. As a result the average age of a Grenadian farmer is now 57 years old.
I had very few preconceived ideas of Grenada before arriving here but what I did believe was that it was miniscule. Whilst tiny compared to Jamaica or the Dominican Republic, our drive took the best part of the day and didn’t even begin to cover the perimeters of the island. Offering beaches of powder white sand, unspoilt rainforest and rustic fishing villages, Grenada is certainly diverse and it deserves it’s starring name amongst the Caribbean’s top holiday destinations. Indeed, Morgan Freeman and Oprah Winfrey have fallen in love with the island’s charms and both own property here.
Despite a flourishing real estate and tourism industry, Grenada is largely unspoilt due to government regulation which designates that certain land only be used for agricultural purposes. This is perhaps one of the country’s biggest draws. A warm tropical climate, placated by northeast trade winds, welcoming locals and varied landscape all make for what I’m sure will be an unforgettable stay.