Saved on Sifnos - a travel story out of the Aegean Sea that includes little harbours, sleeping villages, several tavernas, a ferry onward, a Greek cultures festival and a room with a view, travelogue, trip, travel, Greece, Cyclades, Sifnos, Kythnos, ferry, island-hopping



Snapshots of the Caribbean
Part 2:
Breadfruit and Mangoes

Saturday morning sees us up bright and early. We have arranged an island tour, and our guide, Campbell, is meeting us at 9am. In the Caribbean, most times are flexible, and we are surprised when Campbell arrives exactly on time. He outlines the route we are about to take, and we settle ourselves into the air-conditioned comfort of the van.

Our first destination is St George's, the capital of the island. The island changed hands between Britain and France for several centuries, and although France eventually conceded the island to Britain, there are noticeably French influences across the island. St George's has a feel of a Mediterranean fishing town, situated around a natural harbour full of small boats, and presided over by an old fort. It is pretty but run-down, with rusting tin roofs on top of houses painted in pastel colours.

Leaving St George's behind, we drive inland towards the
Concord waterfalls. Campbell proves to be a personable and knowledgeable guide, always ready to impart facts about the history and nature of Grenada. At frequent intervals, he slams on the brakes to point out a tree or flower. He is surprised that British girls can recognise breadfruit and mangoes, as we have not yet told him that we live in the Caribbean… and of course, most of the fruits he points out can be found in the average British supermarket, too. However, we have never seen cocoa trees, and, although we are familiar with the banana plant, Campbell tells us some facts we did not already know, such as the banana plant is actually a species of grass.

Grenada is often called the Spice Island, as it grows and exports many spices, most notably nutmeg, of which it is the second largest exporter in the world. Nutmeg trees grow all over the island, and Campbell stops the van to pick a fruit for us. The fruit is about the size of an apricot, and yellow in colour. Inside the fruit, the brown seed sits covered by the red mace. The whole of the nutmeg can be sold and used - the fruit goes to make jellies and jams, the mace is used for red colouring in the cosmetic industry, and the seed is dried and used in cooking. Nutmeg is so important in Grenada that the colours of the plant - red for the mace, green for the leaves and gold for the fruit- are the national colours of the country.

Campbell takes us to an old plantation where nutmeg is bought from local farmers and dried, ready to be sold. A lady there shows us all the different spices that are produced on the island, and we look at the baskets of nutmeg and mace. We climb a ladder into the attic, which is full of drying nutmeg, and also a few bats that give us a fright!

For pictures of the nutmeg, visit the photo page

Part 3: Round the Island

this travelogue is part of the subside travelzine
about bookshelf links contact submit