Multiple Carnivals, Who Knew!
03 August 2009 | Windward Coast, Grenville
The island is gearing up for "CARNIVAL" and we found out from our favorite island guide, Raymond Pilgrim, that towns all around the island have their own celebrations showing off Grenadian traditions. Dudley and I were counted in and ready to see more of the island so Raymond came by and scooped a bunch of us up for a peek at the windward shore. Grenville is our destination today and we should get there in time for the last day of their festivities.
Raymond, a Grenadian, kept driving around, looking around and asking these locals about the wild party we'd been hearing about and when it will start. Turns out the music, dancing, parades, food and drink won't be starting until 8 or 9p tonight. Bummer. We sure do know how to switch gears, so we strolled around the seaside fishing village, met some fishermen, shop owners and had fun shooting the architecture, the natives and the Emancipation signs everywhere. This was their day to celebrate freedom from slavery, not freedom, they were celebrating today too. We unanimously decided to take off and check out the center of the island for some mountains, lakes, and monkeys. Grenville was just too far way to come back later that night because these island people like to start late and finish when the sun comes up! 9pm is cruiser's midnight, so we ducked out. Chuckle chuckle. The biggest Carnival celebration is right here in St. George's so we are going to save ourselves for that big, five day bash beginning at the end of the week.
We headed west, back across the island to the Big Lake, Grand Etang in the Big Grand Etang Forest Preserve. He's a good guide and tapped right into our desires. This lake is in the caldera of an extinct volcano and boasts five distinct sub-climatic communities. Stunning! As we drove thru the forest we were amazed that it was just a forest and not a rain forest for all the verdant wildlife and flora surrounding us. We girls, attitude, not age, Marilyn, Lucy and I checked out the hiking trails, of which there are many, for an energetic, athletic adventure in the future . Today it was simply enough to enjoy the serenity and beauty of this huge lake and surrounding mountains. At it's crest can be seen the Elfin Woodland, stunted by persistent strong winds that form minature forests. The scale is enormous when you are standing at the base of what was a volcano and imagine that anything is miniature.
We were surprised, but not prepared with fruit or banana, to see the Mona Monkey, who are plentiful and very cute. These little guys have been here for so long that they are considered indigenous, yet they arrived from Northern Africa during the early slave trade. Wish we had some nuts or bananas because those cute little monkeys were giving great poses to the people who arrived with goodies.
Raymond took us home after only a half day tour, but don't think it was sad. We traveled thru some of the most beautiful countryside observed so far. He showed us where he grew up, spectacular really...got some great shots of the lee coast where we are staying...and we're still drooling.
Thank you Raymond. We love serendipitous excursions! Better than the work we were planning to do on Altair today.
Dudley and Bec