St George's Day She sketched sea shells on the sea shore

Two entries for the price of one here, the reason for which may hopefully be apparent. You're probably in for a long 'un though.


So, Friday, the 1st of June and our first full day over in the west coast of Grenada. What to do? Well, for starters we've still got leftover pizza from the day before, so how about that for breakfast. Then, let's stay in bed for a couple more hours before Helen struggles, literally, to her feet.

Uh-oh. Things are bad. Her blisters are absolute murder and she can't walk properly. This bodes badly. But we know where there's a pharmacy, and we know how to get buses. Sure enough, seconds after we get up to the main road a bus hails us and we pile in, bidding everyone good morning. At the nearest shopping centre lots of people get off, including us.

The pharmacy is straight ahead, past the supermarket. The first thing we notice is that it sells beer, good work. Wandering around looking for Compeed we're asked if we need help; yes, we do. Shown to the aisle of footcare goods and plasters we pick up a ton of footcare good and plasters, as well as some new factor 50 spray suncream.

Since we're out our plan is to go have a drink and something to eat on the beach at a place called Umbrellas, which I don't believe is too far away. Through the park and onto Grand Anse beach, Helen thinks it may be easier on her feet (and perhaps good for them, with the salt) to walk in the sea rather than on the sand.

It's grey skies but not raining, and we've virtually the place to ourselves. It's 2.7 miles long and even despite the weather it's quite obviously a magnificent beach, if you're into that sort of thing. Forced inland first by a little stone pier, then by a boat anchored to the beach, the hot sand continues to do Helen's feet no good at all. Thankfully, after 10 minutes or so, we've reached the Grand Anse Spice and Crafts centre which also has food and booze, and we'd quite like some booze and food please.

It's a bit like Gabriel's Wharf on the south bank, except more Caribbean. Surrounding a load of benches and tables there are craft and spice stalls on one side of an oval, and on the other a load of small kiosks for calories. Not everything is open but Esther's Bar is, next to Fishy Pot. I go order a beer and a mojito while we sit watching the wildlife around our feet.

The mojito is made using mint so fresh the woman making it has to wait for Esther to tear some mint up for her. It's crazily strong and not actually particularly minty, such that even I quite like it; Helen proclaims she is instantly pissed. I get another beer and ask for a chicken combo from Fishy Pot, not really knowing what that is. A while later I'm shouted at because it's ready.

So, a chicken combo is a plate of fried chicken and potatoes and mac & cheese and rice & beans and some peppers with lettuce. We eat most of it, giving some of the chicken to the dog and the lettuce to the chickens. Occasionally the mum chicken gets a bit protective of her chicks whenever the dog gets too close, but that dog ain't attacking no-one. The cockerel meanwhile just occasionally barges the chicks out of the way and steals food from them. Wanker.

We pay, and wander over to the other side where we buy a basket of spices from one lady, and a bracelet made of ... I can't remember what. Something that gets washed up onto the shore, but surely not seaweed? I dunno. Anyway, a bloke sells Helen a bracelet.

Despite the insta-pissed mojito her feet are still killing her so this is actually the end of our day, not that it really matters much. Caribbean holidays aren't exactly made for charging around like lunatics filling every hour with mad stuff. So, back up to the supermarket for a load of beer and a bit of food, then a cab back up the hill to Sea Glass Place.

Back in the apartment, Helen bothers her doctor-sister for medical advice about her feet, 'cos she's convinced they shouldn't hurt so much or for so long. Word comes back that treatment should basically be savlon, plasters, and get on the booze. Well OK then.

It's only about 2pm or so; we spend the afternoon on our deck, me dozing through a formulaic post-apocalyptic horror movie on my iPad while Helen prepares the table for drawing:

  • Sketching pad ✅
  • Pencils ✅
  • Glass of wine ✅
  • E-cigarette ✅
  • Waitrose cheese thins ✅
The end result is great, obviously. Definitely better spent time than watching It Comes At Night.

I make the mistake of leaving a couple of cans of lager in the freezer long enough for them to actually freeze. D'oh.

The sun sets, we eat some Jouvay chocolate, we drink cheap rum from a plastic bottle while playing that Guess Who? game where you ask each other yes/no questions like "am I white?", "did I die unexpectedly young?" etc. Aircon makes the feet feel better so we leave it on overnight, in the hope that Saturday might not be a write-off.


How are your feet? How are your feet? Are your feet OK? That's me, on Saturday morning. The feet are better. Not 100%, but good enough that we can go stuff that doesn't involve much walking, which is exactly what our intended plan is anyway: we're off to Carriacou, a 90-120 minute boat ride away.

Hurrah! I'm singing me "we're getting a boat" song while we get ready, which means showering and then covering Helen's lower extremities with savlon and cushions and gauze and plasters and sun cream and mosquito repellent. Turns out the mozzies have been having a bit of a feast on both our legs the last couple of days, and while I'm good at ignoring the itch, Helen is less so.

And we're off. A bus hails us instantly and we're riding to The Carenage, which is the name for the bit of St George's where the boats go. Not the marina, which is where all the rich people's yachts are, The Carenage is where the working boats go as well as the Osprey Lines ferry to Carriacou.

The bus journey is a tiny bit uncomfrotable, 'cos the guy seating in front stares at us strangely. But the conversation he engages us in isn't threatening, though we've no idea what he was shouting at us when we got off.

At the boat it's not obvious what's going on. It doesn't leave for 50 minutes. There's no obvious queue to buy tickets, mostly there's just loads of people milling around with a ton of luggage, plus a large group of kids from some youth organisation or other. It's fairly hectic, and Helen suddenly decides she wants to postpone.

I'm a bit put out by this - her logic is that maybe it's busy because it's Saturday; I'm, like, well that could be true of anything we do today. What's more we're way too early to do anything else, surely? But I don't protest too hard, so long as we do make it to Carriacou, and she's at least right that now we get to walk around at 8.20am when it's not yet brutally hot. So, around the Carenage we go.

There's a hope we'll find somewhere open for breakfast, but this is very much a working rather than touristy waterfront. There are eateries, but they are Pizza Hut and Schnitzel Haus. No ta. Here's Christ Of The Deep though.

On the far side the freight boats are loading, though unlike when we drove past on the day we arrived there aren't any cows onboard. Despite recent bad bovine experiences, I was hoping to get a pic of a cow on a boat just so I could make some "cattle class" joke. Woe is me.

Turning right next to Courts, the furniture shop, we're in the cobbled and hilly bit of town. There's the Grenada national museum right next to the House of Chocolate, and further up numerous art galleries. Everything is shut. Down the other side of the hill there's life on the streets, much life in fact: there's a big fuck-off market going on. It's all food, and we walk through but have no intention of buying anything unless we spot breakfast-y stuff, which we don't.

Being the only white folk around we're getting a bunch of attention as the stallholders try to get us to buy their stuff. Outside of the market we walk towards the cruise ship terminal, during which a man gives us the whole "first time in Grenada? What you up to? You could do this, that, the other, here let me guide you, I'm a walking guide, this is my job" spiel but we bat him away. I don't like these interactions, bleurgh, preferring to just be left alone. Across the road is sanctuary, in the form of a bagel shop.

One onion bagel plus a couple of pastries and some liquids, and free wifi, hurrah! We sit for a while plotting our hastily rearranged day. The museums and stuff don't open until 10am and by now it's still only 9.45am, meaning we've time to kill. So, we'll slowly explore this part of St George's before going in at opening time.

After eating we walk deeper into the cruise ship terminal. There's no ship in town right now so it's largely deserted, though the depressing duty free shops are open anyway. The loo costs 1 USD or 1 XCD/EC to visit, which is a massive rip-off in USD. There's a shop called "SW19 British Collection" but sadly no AFC Wimbledon merchandise on view.

In the terminal, and out on the street, it's getting busier. What's more, there are now a notable amount of white folk about. We wander up the way, past the street vendor selling power tools and towards the bus station, behind which we take a quick break to look at the sea. On the main drag we head up to the Fish Market, poking our head in and seeing all the fish getting sawed into pieces and sold. Somehow, it doesn't reek of fish around here, which confuses the hell out of me.

Back the way we came, another couple of walking tour guides try to win our business and I feel very meh about it, attempting to conjure up a realistic strategy like "no, it's my 10th time here" or something. Dunno why I'm so uncomfortable with this, and at least it's not like it is in Marrakech or elsewhere. Anyway, none of the attempts are aggressive and there's plenty of other potential customers around now.

We know where we're going, however. Climbing the steep hill we'd gone over earlier, there's now a policeman directing traffic at the junction - it's blind in almost all directions. Helen's feet are holding up better than her lungs at this point, as while we wait for a safe time to cross she mutters "this bloody country and its stupid hills". But, having this opportunity to pause, she spots a sign to Fort George. Is that Fort George? Maybe we should go to Fort George?

It is Fort George. Up another preposterously steep incline, guarded by a man saying "the woman who normally collects the entrance fee has gone to the market, if she's not back when you leave I'll have to collect it, I hope that's OK". Yeah, whatever mate, we don't mind paying the tourist tax. It's seemingly a friendly and cheap scam, but actually he gives us a brief bit of information about the place which we otherwise would likely not have known anyway.

Before the fort there's a busted up old Scots church, which they're intending to rebuild. You can visit but the tour needs to be booked and frankly there doesn't look like there's a lot more to see than just this busted up building.

Fort George is a working part of town still. Being up so high there's radio antennas and presumably mobile masts too, plus it's also a training school for the police. What's more, one of the doors said their SEO department was inside.

We're a little uncertain about if we've gone where we're allowed to or not, since it's simultaneously a restricted zone but with visiting hours. It's the right way though, as we emerge through a tunnel into a grim, bleak basketball court.

This is where ex-prime minister Maurice Bishop, after whom the airport is now named, was killed. The bullet holes are still there in the post under the basket, and there's a plaque on the wall commemorating his death and the death of those who were alongside him. It happened in 1983; Bishop was a socialist revolutionary who swept to power in 1979 or so and did awful things like sort out public healthcare, equal rights, education, etc. (He also stifled the free press and abolished elections, apparently)

Being a fort, there are lots of fortifications around here. We wandered around looking at cannons and stuff, and with great vistas all around.

Near the main entrance, there's a bloke wearing a camouflage top. We're next to a fucking police station, for gods sake. Talk about brazen. Seriously, you're not allowed to do that here.

It’s an offence for anyone, including children, to dress in camouflage clothing.
I challenge you to not read this in Apu-from-the-Simpsons voice.

There are other people around, at least one group being led by one of the guys we'd batted off earlier, so now I feel less rude/guilty. Stumbling back down the hill we pay our 10 EC tax, and reach the now open House Of Chocolate.

The House of Chocolate is part museum, part cafe, part shop. The name kinda gives away the subject: chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. All the cocoa and cacao smells lovely and looks delicious; we walk around the history bit, the wrong way, reading about the bloke who started the original Grenada Chocolate Company: Mott Green. Interesting bloke, for sure.

After getting all that knowledge we're like, hmm, perhaps we should have some chocolate. So we order a slice of chocolate cheesecake, a traditional chocolate tea, and a chocolate iced tea. Meanwhile I need to write down my memories of what we've seen so far today.

The cake is delicious. The iced tea, Helen's drink, is also delicious - in fact she reckons it's the nicest thing she's ever tasted. The hot cocoa tea... not so delicious. I get to the end of it, but it definitely just tastes like someone has spilt a load of tea in a mug of hot chocolate and is pretty grim.

Outside and full of sugar, Helen wants to go check out the art galleries so we do. There's a handful here, which involves going back up the hill. Feet alright then? The two we pop into are full of folk art, one showing a variety of artists including the Dolliver guy whose Levera Museum of Art we'd walked past (twice) a few days prior. Upstairs there's a batik studio and some other tourists are getting a demo. The other gallery is all just art made by the woman who runs it.

Nothing takes our fancy so we go back down and pay 5 EC each to enter the Grenada National Museum.

It's a small but very interesting place, with rooms dedicated to specific eras of the island's history, in chonological order. So there's a room all about the Arawak and Carib Amerindians, including the discovery of petroglyphs depicting big cats which is weird since there's never been any big cats on the island. Theory is these are memories from Venezuela, kinda like how Helen is desperate for pictures of Buster from back home.

The maps on the wall are from the 1700s and apparently for sale, for ludicrously little money. We really like and want one of them, but honestly would prefer they stayed in the museum!

"Canoe" is a word which originated here, we learn. Neat.

Sounds like a wrestling faction/storyline. Is actually a bit more grim.

I nerd out at the weights and measures stuff. An actual yard stick. An official gallon. Etc.

Tooling from the various trades, such as cocoa plantations or rum distilleries, is all on display in one room.


In this room, we can hear very loud dancercise classes taking place in the room upstairs. It's a bit dissonant for a museum atmosphere.

Outside, a mute man taps me up for some EC to donate to a youth charity or something. Our plan now is to walk back round the Carenage and find somewhere to have a drink by Port Louis, before either popping back to the apartment or getting a bus all the way down to Grand Anse again.

The walk to Port Louis is a little longer than either of us recalled, but not a huge distance. There's an amazing little bar right next to the sports pitch which I fail to convince Helen we should stop at. At the next arts and crafts centre, everything is shut, but a little further up and across the road from the fancy schmancy marina there's the Sea Port Inn which has a bar, wherein a woman sells us two bottles of Stag.

It's the wrong side of the road to be really nice. There's no-one else about, but we're able to recalibrate our plans once again: walk to the nearby supermarket, then walk back (my idea). Helen's feet are obviously fine. As we wander to FoodFair she bends my ear about how she'd run businesses differently if she lived here, such as not have the most disgusting loos on earth in your marina-front pub.

In the shop we are able to use the 10 items or fewer till by virtue of buying exactly 10 items: 7 beers, one wine, one water, one bar of chocolate. Helen's feeling wobbly and wants to cab or bus it back but I'm like, look, it's really not that far and anyway I'll carry everything. Neck the water and we'll take a gentle stroll.

It's mostly uphill and much further than I recalled. Damn, I am terrible at judging distances on foot around here. Oh well. At least there's pavement most of the way, and it's nice to be stopped by a man at a bus stop asking if we want to buy some tinned corned beef out of his clear plastic bin bag.

By the time we get back it's 2pm, and it's been a surprisingly active day so far, so much so that it warrants a siesta for Helen; I busy myself by putting my feet up and watching 2+ hours of WWE while dozing away.

With the sun on its way down, Helen goes for a dip in the sea. Yay!

In preparation for sunset cheese sandwiches are made, and a pear and golden apple are sliced up. For the third night in a row we subject ourselves to this view while sinking some cold booze.

It's quite relaxing, this. I'm almost getting used to it. Andrei pops up on Facebook Messenger to tell me he's just got round to reading my blog from the San Marino trip back in December, and to let me know that contrary to both our beliefs I'm actually ahead of him in terms of number of countries visited.

Plans for Sunday? How about not really making many plans? Perhaps we've got some chores to do, actually, but let's kinda play it by ear.

Created By
Darren Foreman

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.