Saturday, October 5, 2013

Enjoying Grenada's South Coast

August 19 - August 31, 2013

Now that the Carriacou Regatta and Grenada's Spice-Mas (a.k.a. Carnival) are over, you'd think things would quiet down. Not so much...

After a short stop in Prickly Bay, we moved over to Mt. Hartman Bay to join JoHo and to check on Storyville. Dave and Lisa joined us in Mt. Hartman, while Pat and Darnell headed over to Clarke's Court Bay. While it may sound like we were spread out all over the island, that's the beauty of Grenada: three of the four "cruiser" bays on the south end are joined by an easy dinghy ride. Prickly Bay is the exception, but can still be accessed by the others when the waves die down.

Anyway, we dropped the hook in Mt. Hartman just in time for the full moon...and that meant a dinghy drift! If you've never heard of a dinghy drift, think of it as a tailgating party for boaters. You make a drink for yourself and an appetizer to share, and you hop in your dinghy to join the party. A bunch of dinghies are rafted (i.e. tied up) together, and then you turn off the motors and float wherever the current takes you. If you get too close to a dock, an anchored boat, or (in our case) a passing ferry, a couple dinghy captains start their motors and move the whole raft out of harm's way. Perfect! We, JoHo, and Ke 'Ola Kai joined a bunch of other boats who were anchored in Mt. Hartman Bay, and Island Dream, Minx, and Blues Breaker all joined us from Clarke's Court (the next bay over). All in all, we had something like 15 dinghies rafted together. That must've been close to a record!

A few days later, we were "de-virginized" at our first hash. The "Hash House Harriers" are self-described "drinkers with a running problem", and have chapters all over the world. Thanks to the two universities in Grenada along with cruisers looking for some exercise amidst beautiful scenery, there are typically 100-200 walkers and runners at any given hash. Many of the local taxis run special trips from the anchorages to the hash spots, and there's always a party after each hash. Our first hash ended up being quite close to both our anchorage and the universities, which meant we had even more people attending than usual. For some reason, it also meant that the trail was TWICE as long as normal! Our backsides were thoroughly exhausted by the time we finished the walking trail - did we mention there are some HUGE hills in Grenada?? - but it made the cold Stag at the beer tent taste even better.

It took a couple of days to recover from the hash, but we were soon donning our walking shoes once again for a hike up to Grand Etang Lake and the Seven Sisters waterfalls.  Thirteen of us crammed into a tour van, and we were off for some spectacular views of Grenada. We enjoyed lush vegetation along an easy path to Grand Etang Lake, while the trail to the waterfalls was a bit more of a challenge.
Even with the walking sticks we were given at the top of the trail, two of us slipped on the muddy path in the first few minutes...and they certainly wouldn't be the last! We grabbed onto tree branches, rocks, and vines as we made our way downhill...then uphill...then downhill again - anything to keep ourselves upright. The forest was gorgeous, and we crossed a stream to the waterfalls about an hour later. The pool was...ahhhh...refreshing? Brisk? Freaking COLD???
But it felt great to rinse off after our muddy trek down to the falls. The real excitement began as we started our way back: we were hit by a torrential downpour! Sheets of rain turned the muddy trail into a moving stream, and we watched our every step as we tried not to slip going back. We were soaked and filthy by the time we reached the van, and were amazed that our tour guide, George, even let us in. Muddy or not, we had a terrific adventure. We highly recommend the trip to anyone coming to Grenada!

We finished off August in BBQ heaven, thanks to a local event known as the "King of the Grill" contest. Amateur and pro grill-masters came from all over the island to offer their best barbecue recipes. You could get BBQ ribs, chicken, and chops, along with local dishes like breadfruit croquettes and grilled pumpkin.
We stuffed ourselves silly, and Rene even got to dance with the night's entertainer who was famous for singing one of the popular Carnival songs. "Lambi Queen" Sherwin joined us from Carriacou to celebrate his birthday weekend, and we ended the night hanging out with a few locals who invited us to join their family for a beach cookout the next day. Can't wait! Til next time...

As always, another big thank-you to Jolanda, Darnell, and Lisa for sharing their photos.

Enjoy more pictures here.

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