Posted December 29th, 2004, 04:27 PM
Just off the Golden Princess which visited Grenada on Dec 22nd. Mandoo was waiting just at the exit of the port terminal building with my name on it. Since he was waiting for more parties, he sent us on our way with our driver Patrick. There was a clean restroom at the port (which I suggest you use if you didn't before you left the ship!) Patrick loaded us into the air conditioned van and took us on a tour of St George. You can't really see the hurricaine destruction from the ship, but as we went around St George you could get a sense of how much these people had been through. Many of the homes had no roofs. Many had no walls except for the walls of the bathroom. . .with only the toilet and shower head standing. Even the churches had their roofs torn off. When you look across St George you see a lot of blue roofs. Mostly, these are tarped off roofs. Many homes and businesses did not have electricity. We were taken into the mountains where we saw an entire mountain side of nutmeg trees decimated. Patrick took us to Cocord Falls. We had worn swimsuits under our clothes in case we wanted to swim in the waterfall, but when we got there no one was interested in swimming there. It is very pretty, but I don't know about swimming there. . .The Douglas spice plantation was the highlight of our tour. We met up with Mandoo who gave a wonderful presentation on the spices grown there and we were able to purchase a sampler pack of spices for $2. . .nutmeg, bay leaf, cinnamon and cocoa. There were rest rooms there, as well as a small snack stand to purchase cold soft drinks (no diet) and water. I do need to point out that Mandoo was clearly a better guide. He had taken a number of other people up to the spice plantation. In his presentation, he reiterated some facts about the spice "business" that he had apparently mentioned in his narrative on the way to the plantation. We had not been given the same information from Patrick. So I wonder, if the tour would have been better with Mandoo himself. We were happy with Patrick, . . .just wondered if it would have been different. . .
We were taken to Grand Etang Crater Lake but did not hike down to it due to intermittent showers. We had a couple of people in our group who could not physically do the hike so we just took photos. There were a couple of local women who had dressed in colorful clothing with baskets of native flowers and fruits who would pose for photos for $2 each. They were very nice and friendly, but also very persistant to be paid when unknowing tourists tried to take their photograph without paying.
After the lake, we were taken to Grand Anse beach. . .where once again it was raining. We looked around, took some photos, and then asked to be taken to the pier for the tender back to the ship. Naturally, as soon as we headed back to our ship the sun came out again. All in all, a wonderful trip!
We were picked up by Mandoo at 9 AM and we were heading back to the ship at 1:15 PM. Mandoo charged $40 pp and we didn't have to put down a credit card to reserve.
We would recommend his tour!
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