Saturday, October 17, 2009

Island Tour

Last week we took an island tour with our friends Pat & Geoff (S/V Beach House), their son Bil and Ray & Genna (S/V Nighthawk). Even though we spent 6 months in Grenada last year, there was still lots for us to see.

View of St. George's and the Carenage.

Our first stop was Conford Falls, a waterfall easily accessible down a flight of stairs from the road.

Next stop was a spice factory where we learned about the local spices and their uses.

Left to right: ripe nutmeg splitting out of the fruit, a cocoa pod, dried cocoa beans and dried mace which is the orange part covering the nutmeg.

Guarding the spices.

Cocoa beans drying in the sun.

The ancient scale used to weigh the spices.

Drying spices. The process hasn't changed in centuries.

Women carry these baskets full of nutmeg on their heads. I managed to stand perfectly still with an empty one.

Fishing boats on the beach at Gouyave.

An ancient indian carving on a rock near Gouyave.

Lunch was at a beautiful little resort called Petite Anse. The view was spectacular!

After lunch we stopped at Leaper's Hill. I'll let you read the story....

This is where they leaped to their deaths.

Finally, what we've been waiting for. Rum!

Rivers Rum Distillery has been in operation since 1785. They still use the original water wheel to generate the power to crush the sugar cane.

This is the crushing mechanism that the water wheel drives.

The crushed cane after the juice is extracted. Nothing goes to waste here. This will help fuel the fire in the furnace.

This is where the juice is boiled before fermenting.

Fermentation happens here.

Feeding the furnace.

The only modern day equipment in this distillery. Save the rum!

The Still.

Outside on the sugar cane we witnessed this duel going on. We didn't stay around to see the outcome.

This machine is used to measure the percentage of alcohol in the finished product.

Our guide Patsy said we should start our tasting with the good stuff, 75% alcohol and 150 proof!

Here's the before.....

..... and the after! Enough said!

The drive home was through the beautiful Grand Etang rainforest with a stop at Grand Etang Lake. The air was cool and refreshing at this spot in the mountains.
It was a wonderful day spent in great company. This island never disappoints!