Grenada – One Of The Caribbean’s Lesser Known Islands (Part Two)

Hi,

The weekly blog main item (this post, for example) will have it’s own exclusive posting day on a Saturday. If we are unable to post on Saturday, then the reserve day of Sunday will be used.

 A link to part one – https://mjg1886.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/grenada-one-of-the-caribbeans-lesser-known-islands-part-one/

The day after the Seven Sisters waterfall shock to the system, we decided to take things easy and try to rest and recover for an evening excursion to view the turtles laying eggs on Levera Beach (hopefully) in the far North of Grenada. A nice lay-in, followed by a leisurely light breakfast. We spent a while trying to work out somewhere close to go, and then decided to take a peek at one of the luxury resorts near us for lunch. (Yes, we know we said we don’t do beaches or all inclusives) The Phare Bleu Resort, for which we had seen a sign off the main road to the airport was our choice, mainly because it was only ten minutes drive from our apartment in Westerhall Heights. Just before we left we had a chat with our hosts the Sylvesters, They asked if we got lost on our first day and we said yes. ”Everybody gets lost the first few days, there are virtually no signposts outside of St Georges” they said. And we all laughed, well they did, anyway.

http://www.lepharebleu.com/map.htm

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g1598812-d1146237-Reviews-Le_Phare_Bleu_Marina_Resort-Petite_Calivigny_St_George_s_Saint_George_Parish_Grenada.html

The Deck Restaurant – We were the only ones here for lunch, as we were out of season apparently. (June) A very nice lunch, and it was a change to relax by the sea after yesterdays exhausting walk. This place is popular in the evening, rather than for lunch.

'The deck Restaurant' Le Phare Bleu

In high season, Le Phare Bleu uses the refitted light-ship ‘Vastra Banken’ as a second resort restaurant. (Dec – Apr)

http://www.lepharebleu.com/restaurants/restaurants.htm

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We just had a look round the resort for the afternoon and left enough time to get back for the turtles tour in the evening. We were picked up by a mini bus from our appartment and were the last people to get on. The mini bus followed the Southernmost yellow route in this map via Grenville. As shown here, we wish we had a map as good as this one, we might not of got lost so many times.

Unknown Map1

 

You pass some nice beaches including Bathway Beach.

Grenada3

 

The east of Grenada is on the Atlantic Ocean and strong currents can be experienced.

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Hopefully the bone-jarring pot-holed road has been smoothed out that leads to Levera beach from the main east coast road. We have no photo’s from viewing a turtle lay her eggs, there was no flash allowed and our camera was not equipped for night photography without flash. Unfortunately,Yvette did not see the turtle laying eggs, as she was still feeling ill from the previous day, so stayed with the mini bus driver. Mark just about managed to ‘wade’ across the soft heavy sand to the turtle, despite his knees still hurting a lot. Yvette’s trip was not in vain however, as on the way back to the mini bus, Mark fetched Yvette to see turtles hatching and trying to scuttle across the sand to the sea. One of the guides gave one little one a helping foot over the high tide edge of sand. No photo’s of that either, sorry.

http://www.caribbeanhorizons.com/special-interest/turtle-watching.html

There are photo’s on the link above, but this is one of those once in a lifetime experiences you have to see for yourself. We eventually got back to our Apartment around midnight, tired, but very happy at what we had the great fortune to see that evening. We had justified our decision to grab a late flight deal in June, as a major part of that decision was the fact that we could go on this turtle watching trip with a very high probability of seeing a turtle lay her eggs.

Day four of our holiday was a spontaneous decision to go back to Levera beach. Not for the turtles, but to see what it looked like in daylight as it was barely visible in the soft moonlight. Mark also wanted to visit the oldest rum distillery on the island ‘The River Antoine Rum Distillery’. This would be a short excursion to break the journey on the way back. We were thankful that we had a 4×4, because a ‘normal’ car would struggle with the badly maintained road after coming off the main highway near Levera Beach.

Mark on Levera Beach, fighting his way through the hordes of tourists. Not much luck finding a sun-lounger or any hawkers, too.

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Sugarloaf Island.

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Compare Levara and Bathway beaches on tripadvisor

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g147299-d148665-Reviews-Levera_Beach-Levera_National_Park_Saint_Patrick_Parish_Grenada.html

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g147299-d150506-Reviews-Bathways_Beach-Levera_National_Park_Saint_Patrick_Parish_Grenada.html

We spent about an hour mooching around on the beach. To be honest, there is nothing but nice views here and not much shade either. Bathway Beach a little to the south, has somewhere to eat and drink, but the swimming options are much more limited than Levera. Our beach was then ‘invaded’ by another vehicle. We could not see who was in it, but on a deserted beach with just the two of us, we thought it better to leave. This is not a slur on the wonderful people of Grenada, everyone we spoke to was really friendly. We just don’t take any chances wherever we are on holiday when we are on our own in an unfamiliar place.

We were soon arriving at The River Antoine Rum Distillery, the oldest on the island still using a traditional water wheel. The tour is very interesting and you get to taste the product too. A word of warning, the ‘weak’ rum is 69% proof and the strong 75%. Mark asked if the locals drank their rum with cola as its so strong, ‘we only give that to the children’ the guide said. Ouch, lol. I did not buy their rum at the end of the tasting, because I had seen it on sale the supermarket for a few pounds and incredibly, it is dearer where it is made.

The distillery is number 8 in the following attractions listing at ‘TheTelegraph’ online.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destination/caribbean/103280/Grenada-attractions.html

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Grenada8

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http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel-g147295-d150099/Grenada:Caribbean:River.Antoine.Rum.Distillery.html

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g147295-d150099-Reviews-River_Antoine_Rum_Distillery-Grenada.html

Another tip for you lucky people

In a hot country try wearing a sarong. Less revealing than shorts, more comfortable than trousers and more socially acceptable in places where swimwear is considered to be virtually naked.  A sarong can even be worn by men, it was fashionable enough for style icon David Beckham to wear in the nineties.

The quote below is from the website – http://101usesforasarong.com/

So what’s a sarong?A sarong is simply a piece of fabric longer than it is wide. Sarongs are the traditional clothing for women and men throughout South-East Asia, particularly Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. They’re worn by numerous other cultures as well, and known by different names in different countries. In Hawaii, they’re called pareos; in Fiji and Tahiti they’re called lava-lava or sulu; in parts of Africa they’re known as kente or kikoy; in Brazil they’re known as canga, and in other places they’re called lunghi. There are other names as well. In this book I use the term “sarong” from Indonesia, because it’s the most familiar.

In Indonesia, sarongs are a coming-together of artistic expression, traditional story-telling, and functionality. They are often highly decorated using traditional batik or ikat methods. Producing batik or ikat fabrics is complicated, labour-intensive, and slow: creating each sarong requires the skill, knowledge and cooperation of a group of artistic craftspeople. Although countless millions wear sarongs every day and consider the sarong their normal clothing, batik and ikat is considered a great art form, and museums and collectors are always searching for rare examples. Some batiks date back 2000 years.

Measurements vary from country to country.  A canga, for example, is described as being about as wide as an outstretched arm, and as long as the body.  The popular fringed rayon sarongs, or pareos, measure about 1.9m long by 900cm wide. For versatility, I prefer the full-length traditional Indonesian sarongs, which measure approx 2.2m long by 1.2m wide.

More in part three next Saturday and there will probably be a part four too. The ‘And Another Thing….‘ rant will appear in part four.

Thanks for reading,

Mark & Yvette

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