Life is a journey

Life is a journey

søndag 12. juni 2016

Grenada, island of spice

Most of the blogpost is in english, further down..

Det er i dag tirsdag og vi har akkurat ankommet Tobago etter 6-7 dager på Grenada.  Det er rart hvordan ting utarter seg basert på hvilke forventninger du har på forhånd. Jeg hadde egentlig ingen forventninger om hvordan Grenada skulle bli, men øya innfridde virkelig, og overrasket på mange måter.

Jeg ankom tirsdag 31.mai sent på kvelden alene. Heidi kom onsdag kveld!
Vi hadde booket et ganske okey hotell nær Grand Anse Beach som av mange omtales som øyas fineste og mest populære strand. Det var fantastisk godt å sjekke inn på et forholdsvis bra hotell og pakke ut alle klærne, vel vitende om at vi skulle ha base her i 7 dager!
Ettersom det er lavsesong nå var det veldig få mennesker å se, og noen barer og restauranter hadde til og med stengt for noen uker før det tar seg opp i juli før karnevalet i august.
Alle øyene i Karibien har nemlig karneval på ulike tider, så alle er ikke i februar slik som ihvertfall jeg trodde inntil nylig. Du kan derfor besøke en av øyene i løpet av året og være veldig å få være med på et virkelig karneval som som regel varer i 3-5 dager da de sørger for å ikke ha karneval samtidig.

There has been a lot of people looking at me in a strange way when I said I was gonna travel in Caribbean for 1 month. Everybody obviously thought i was gonna lay at a Beach the entire month! That was never my intention even though i have to admit that i off course planned to try some beaches. Hey - I am in the Caribbean!!
For me it has therefore been quite important to do something more than just the beach, but that turned out to be quite difficult in Grenada, as it rained a lot more than we expected, and it was quite difficult to get around in the island without a car.
Considering we only had two days with good weather and sunshine, and rest of the week turned out to be quite cloudy, we spent more time relaxing at the beach than doing something Else that required good weather, and for the first time since I left Norway, it felt like a real holiday which was kind of good 😄

That being said. When I look back at the 5 whole days we have had, we have done a lot! We have been to the city, St George to look around. We visited a museum where we learned a lot about Grenada's history, and went on St George fort from the 17th century. The fort was so not was I expected. It looked  like a ruin, and the only good thing about it was the great view over the city.
We went to Grenada chocolate store where we had a cup of tea with a spoon of nutmeg ice cream inside! I had never tried nutmeg before, but this is really one of my favourite ice creams from now on 😋 nutmeg is a small nut, in the same family as we in Norway know as "muskat". Here in Grenada they use nutmeg to a lot of things, both food and other products that is good for your skin etc.

inside the chocolate store
After the museum we had lunch in a local bar, after having looked for a place to eat for at least 15 minutes. The 4 other tourists we had seen the same day was also sitting there, so obviously not just us that couldn't find a place to eat 😅
Later the same night we met Anand that I had talked with through Couchsurfing. He seemed to be a very nice guy, and all the three of us got good connection right away!
He brought us to a restaurant where I had a Greek pizza and It was soooo good! It was quite simple so i will definately gonna make that back home. The guy that was playing music , was playing really loud so we left right after the dinner to some local bars. Here we met some of Anand's friends, I got to try my dance skills from Cuba (finally!!!), and we played some pool.
A really nice first day!

A small funfact about Grenada's flag and identity. 
If you look at Grenada's flag you can see a small symbole on the left side which is suppose to symbolise a Muscatplant. The three colours, red, green and yellow, all symbolize different things. 
Red represents the courage and vitality of the poeple.
Green represents the vegetation and agriculture.
Yelloy represents the sunshine and warmth. 
The seven gold stars represents the seven parishes or districts. 

The colours also symbolise Grenada's African identity, and the colours (red, green and yellow, sometimes black) is better known as "pan African colours" and indicaindicates your belief "Rastafari", which is a way of living your life, and got developed in Jamaica in the 1930's.
So Grenada is a bit different than many other countries in the Caribbean that used to belong to France or England, as their main population is African, and have a lot of similarities to Jamaica.

Beautiful view over St George town, Grenada 

Grenada literally love the three coloyrs in their flag. You'll see them everywhere! 
Walking around in St.George was quite interesting. There was no other tourist, only black people, a lot of fishing boats and people looking at you like "what the hell are you doing here".
I have got that question a lot of time. How did you decide to come to this country? Why are you here?
The city which was suppose to be the capital, was so quite. No big or tall buildings, a lot of Grenada's flag covering the houses, people standing in the door opening in their shops watching you passing by and literally no signs outside the door showing it is a shop or not. By pure luck we found the grocery store, which had the size of a bakery in Europe.
While we were waiting to cross the street a car passed by, almost stopped and a guy opened the window saying; Do you need a boyfriend?"... I knew the Carribean men are quite straight forward, but both Heidi and i got a bit surprised by this comment and just looked at eachother laughing!

The next days we went to see some really beautiful beaches called La Sagesse and BBC beach. We were almost by yourself at both of them, which is unusual during high season. We loved it though, as this is what we imagined Caribbean would be like! The sand was so nice without any stones or rocks and the water was clear blue.. I really felt like I was in paradise 😍

BBC Beach 

La Sagesse Beach 

Friday, Anand brought us for a ride along the west coast. We stopped by to see some arts along the road, concord waterfall, and at the end we grabbed something to eat at the fish Friday market in Gouyave ! Every Friday you can come to this city and have fresh dishes mostly made out of fish. The food was amazing, and was really the best I've had the last 5 weeks! It is a must do thing if you are in Grenada, but try to get in touch with a local that can drive you there, as it takes approximately  40 minutes to drive one way.
A local guy by the art. The man that made this have used 15 years !!! Amzing. 

We had a small stop where we got a rum punch. It was just that the rum was 70 %!!! 

On Sunday we were supposed to go for a boat trip with Anand and his friends, but consider his father was sick and not able to go the boat trip got cancelled. Instead we just had a lazy day with tanning and swimming before we went to BBC beach with Anand and Marlen from Germany as there was this party going on.
Monday we hired a car to see the whole island as the weather forecast said it was gonna rain the entire day.
We went to Belmont chocolate factory to see and learn how they farm and make chocolate. I have never seen the growth process  or heard anything about that before so it was quite interesting. We got to taste some different samples of chocolate with 60% , 70, 80% and 100% chocolate as well and finished it all with a great lunch with and even better view 😄
Back in the car (driving on the left side), which actually went perfectly well!! Heidi is a good driver and with me as an okay road descriptor we were a good couple!
We want all around the island, driving through the rainforest, the Grand etang National park at 800m above the sea, stopped by Grant etang lake which was kind of boring because of the clouds, and finally the Annandale waterfall which was quite nice!
On our way bavk to the city we were lucky to see the most beautiful sunset ever with a colourful sky in a beautiful horizon. Luckily we got to stop in time to get some good pictures!!
We have been to the beach 3 days, waiting for the perfect sunset, so it was a bit frustrating that it came when we were sitting in the car, but we have the picture in our mind as a memory including some really nice picture from the dock in St. George 😍

Inside a cacao nut/plant 

The cacao plants is drying
This is why we can never grow cacao in Norway :) 

Pretending to be on titanic at Grand Etang Lake

Im not impressed by the view... 

Annandale waterfall.. 
Back to Norwegian..
Alt i alt har Grenada vært en veldig bra opplevelse! Vi var heldig å møte på Anand allerede første dagen og endte opp med å spise middag med han og noen av hans venner hver eneste dag uten at vi egentlig tenkte på det før siste dagen. Vi har kommet tett på den lokale kulturen ettersom vi har blitt tatt med til steder vi ikke hadde kommet til på egenhånd. Vi harlært om Grenadas kultur, og blitt introdusert for den karibiske livsstilen. Det er så mange kontraster til vår egen livsstilsom, og ting vi gjør hjemme i norge som vi ikke reflekterer over før vi møter noen som lever stikk motsatt av oss.
Grenada er et ganske velstående land, med fine hus og biler, men de viser det ikke.
De drikker alkohol til alle døgnets tider og kjører bil samme om de har drukket 1 eller 10 enheter.
Det finnes ikke noen som drikker alkohol hjemme. Drikker du alkohol gjør du detmed venner. Sosialisering er deres viktigste hobby og her tekster de ikke via Facebook eller whats app, de møtes ogsnakker face to face.
De har ikke dårlig tid, og stresser sjeldent. Musikken symboliserer deres livsstil bra. Munter og chill. Det kom for eksempel en fyr bort til oss på stranda med gitaren sin og spurte om han kunne spille noen låter. Til begynne med er det litt rart at folk bare kommer bort og begynner å prate  for det er virkelig ikke noe du ser i Norge, men alle er bare vennlige og ønsker å prate med deg.
Jeg måtte virklig lukke øynene et øyeblikk der "rastafari frank" satt på stranda med gitaren sin og spilte "dont worry..about a thing, Cause everylittle thing is gonna be allright..". Vi var nesten de eneste på stranda, det var knall sol og der satt vi to jenter og bare nøt livet vel vitende om at andre der hjemme var på jobb og levde det vanlige livet.
DA føler du deg priviligert!!!
Det er dog ikke alltid folk er like hyggelige. Et eksempel er da vi gikk i sentrum av At.George og en bil stoppet ved oss, rulla ned vinduet og spurte: Do you need a boyfriend ?? 😂
Uansett.. Grenada var en herlig plass, og jeg har mange andre ting å si om øya, men det får holde for denne gang..

My Grenada friend! 

A "small" portion of chicken salad.... (it was huge!!) 

WTF... haha.. 

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