". . . 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 25, 2008

Grand Etang

One of our most memorable family experiences in Grenada was a hike in the rainforest of the Grand Etang National Park. "Grand etang" is French for "large pond"--in actuality a small lake in the park that formed in the crater of a dead volcano. Contrary to what one might expect, rainforests are neither very hot (due to the tree cover) nor crawling with bugs. They are also not the same thing as jungles (although a jungle may be found in close proximity to a rainforest). There are actually two kinds of rainforests: tropical and temperate. I bet you can guess which kind is in Grenada!

By the day of our hike, Phil was getting pretty comfortable with the driving on the right. When we got back to Chicago, he asked me to drive home from the airport because he was afraid he would make an error.

The road leading up to the entry booth and visitor center of the park.

A slightly closer view of the visitor center.

Off we go!

"What took you guys so long?"

Time for a breather.

And another.

The views were breathtaking.

Some of the trails had built-in steps to facilitate climbing.

Crater Lake.

These are mona monkeys. They did not seem at all frightened of us.

Another steep incline!

We thought these flowers looked like swans.

Elephant's Child, do you know the name of any of these flowers?

A pretty flower for a pretty girl. Don't worry, she didn't pick this but found it lying on the ground.

A few more views of the lake.

As we rested at the refreshment and gift shop, we could hear what I assume was a Grenadian (or Caribbean) children's choir singing Cesar Franck's "Panis Angelicus" on the local Catholic radio station (to which the ticket booth worker was listening). We took particular pleasure in this because my oldest son learned that piece and sang it on his voice recital last year. There was something almost ironic in hearing such a familiar piece of music so far from home. But even had the piece not had a special significance for us, we would still have been moved by the experience of sitting in the midst one of God's most gorgeous natural wonders listening to the voices of children sing about the Bread of Life . . . talk about experiencing a slice of heaven.

And then, tired from our climb, we got to go home to this*! (We timed that meal well, didn't we?)

*Correction to my Cecilia cooking post: she made plantains for us that day, not bluggoe. Hey, they all look like bananas to me, you know?


Elephantschild said...

The red & yellow chain looking flower I recognise but can't remember the name of. The red circular one in the photo below it is a hibiscus.

The banana-ish looking plant behind Caitlin in 5th picture is a kind of fern. Even though it doesn't look fern-ish.

I'll get out my tropical book and check out that red & yellow one!

Cheryl said...

Hibiscus, of course! (You would think that as the owner of two I would have at least recognized that one.)

Cheryl, not a plant person

Elephantschild said...

Don't feel badly. There's a huge amount of variety in hibiscus!