". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Best Laid Plans

At least, we thought they were well laid. But maybe they were only half-baked. Here are the some of the things that we had hoped to see and do that didn't happen (and won't now that we have turned in our rental car).

Sauteurs - The sixth largest city in Grenada (source), situated at the northernmost tip of the island. Its primary attraction is Caribs' Leap, where it is said that in 1651 the last Carib natives in Grenada jumped off a 40-meter cliff rather than succumb to their French conquerors.

Grenada Chocolate Company - We discovered Grenada chocolate on our first trip in 2002. We loved it so much that we brought a goodly amount home, and when that ran out, we ordered more. Grenada Chocolate is certified organic and is produced in this small-scale factory using solar-powered machinery. The cocoa beans are grown locally by Grenadian farmers. In 2008 the Grenada Chocolate Company won the Academy of Chocolate Awards Silver Medal for best organic chocolate bar. Grenada chocolate is available in 60% and 71% darkness (can you guess which one we prefer?).

St. David's Anglican - We tried to attend worship last Sunday at this church (there is no LCMS church on the island). Our maid Cecilia (who lives in St. David's Parish and attends the Roman Catholic Church there) said that the Sunday service is held at 9:00 a.m. (or thereabouts, depending on when the priest arrives). We snaked our way with the Jeep through some pretty treacherous hills and found what we believe was the right building, but no one was there. We don't know if Cecilia's information was incorrect or if for some reason the people of St. David's had relocated on this particular Sunday. Maybe they were having their church picnic on the beach! Anyway, we tried, and on the way home we did some shopping at a roadside fruit stand.

Morne Fendue Plantation House - This was our intended destination on our first foray out with the rental car. Morne Fendue is another northern Grenada town, near Sauteurs. The Plantation House is now a restaurant and guesthouse with history museum and (I have heard) landscaped garden. It was built in the early 20th century by the Mascoll family. Betty Mascoll of the second generation of Mascolls died several years ago, and the house has now passed to a new owner. Here's a little bit more about Betty from Grenada Explorer:

"The house is still redolent of Betty. She was decorated by Queen Elizabeth for services to the community: Betty used the house as a food storage depot after the 1955 hurricane, and herself distributed food to the neediest. She also prioritised local people's medical needs, dispatching the most severely wounded to hospital by boat (the roads being impassible.) After this, she was a lifelong member of the Grenada Red Cross. As if this was not service enough, she supported the American troops in 1983 by organizing local women into cooking a thanksgiving dinner for them to allay homesickness."

President Reagan ate at the Plantation House upon his visit to Grenada after the American invasion. We really wanted to go here and are sorry we didn't make it.

When my husband and I first visited Grenada by ourselves, we didn't rent a car for getting around but relied on taxis and tour-guides (and once, in Phil's case, a kind citizen who was simply driving by and offered a ride). This time, having more faith in our familiarity with the island and knowing we didn't want to be repeatedly paying a taxi driver for taking us to the store, we rented a Jeep for part of our stay. The goal was to get out and do a lot of traveling during the week of car rental, and we did succeed in part, but circumstances seemed to work against us much of the time. On our first attempt at a longer trip (to Morne Fendue), the youngest child got carsick about 15 minutes into the drive up some rather twisting mountain roads. After going home and getting cleaned up, we had neither the energy nor stomach to try again that day. The next morning, armed with Dramamine, we did make it to St. David's Church, but I have already shared how that turned out. Several days later, we headed out once more, intending to drive all the way across the island for a visit to both Sauteurs and the Chocolate Factory. After asking for advice on the best route and charting our path north, we headed out with high hopes, only to run into a driving rain and a washed out cliff-hugging road that even the most intrepid driver would balk at. So back home we went, once again lacking the ambition needed to try another mountainous, rain-soaked escapade.

Now the car has been turned in and we are cottage-bound. I guess we'll just have to come back in a few years. (You said 2020, right, Elephant's Child?)


elephantschild said...

2020. Yup.

So, what was the going price on pineapple? Cus I'm drooling at that fruit stand, and I luuuuuvvvv real pineapple.

Cheryl said...

We paid $6 EC (a little over $2 US) per pound for pineapple, but the "going" price looks to be a little less (closer to $5 EC). We just ate that pineapple for breakfast today, and it was delicious!

elephantschild said...

If you let the pineapple age in the fridge it will get "happy." I mean, it will ferment a little, just like apple cider does. Yum, happy pineapple!

One more question. Are you expected to bargain at the outdoor markets and fruit stands?

Cheryl said...

EC, I think some bargaining is expected, but we didn't do much of it ourselves. When we shopped at the outdoor market in St. George's, we had a "guide" who went along with us, leading us from one vendor to the next and actually handling the sale for us (I put the word "guide" in quotation marks because we didn't arrange for him, but as soon as we hit the streets he made us his little project, and he was so charming we just went with it). I would like to think his presence helped to get us a good deal, but who knows, that could be wishful thinking on my part. When Phil shopped at the fruit stand in the picture, the vendor actually acknowledged that $6 was higher than the going price and that if he became a regular she would give him a better price. He decided not to argue with her.

Our other shopping was mostly done at the grocery store, where we did buy a lot of locally produced stuff, but we paid whatever the sticker price was.