Today we set out on a traditional island tour of Grenada with Sunsation Tours who has operated on the island for 20 years. With six other members of my family spread across London, New York and Jamaica, we decided to choose the ‘Tutti Frutti’ tour, which included a bit of everything such as stunning views, touristic hotspots and agriculture and heritage sites.
Our tour guide Carl, also known as ‘cousin carl’ and a favorite with Grenada’s Mona monkeys has operated tours for 19 years. He was very familiar with the steep meandering roads we met on the journey from the capital St. Georges to the other 5 parishes of Grenada. Warning us about every s-shaped road he would ease the dizziness and tardiness with funny facts about Grenada that had us in fits of laughter, like churches being strategically placed opposite rum shops, so that drunkards can stumble in to repent their sins (fact).
We drove along the picturesque West Coast, which after a few minutes became obscured by the unexpected heavy rain during dry season. Nevertheless we jumped out at our first stop Concord Waterfalls situated on the edge of the forest reserve. With the rain beating down, the water ice-cold and the rocks dead slippery it was the most exciting stop we made and unbeknown to us, the only stop we were going to make.
By the time we got to Gouyave, the birth place of athlete Kirani James and home of ‘Fish Friday’s’ (vendors set up stalls and serve up the fresh catch of the day) the rivers were raging with muddy water gushing down from the mountains and turning the blue sea a murky brown. One of Sunsation Tours top tips is to bring a camera with full batteries and empty cards so we snapped and recorded away while the daring fishermen rowed their tiny wooden boats into the rough sea topped up by the raging river.
We hit the hills to avoid the minor floods and sped down the old abandoned Pearl’s Airport, but our Tutti Frutti tour soon became thrill-seeking-cascading-river-tour when we got to the 17th century plantation Belmont Estate. We stopped off and ran in to sample Grenada’s organic dark chocolate from the Grenada Chocolate Company and by the time we had a taste of the guava and passion fruit chocolate bites, the raging river was a rich brown and on the same level as the bridge we needed to pass to get back on route. Carl remained calm and continued the tour so we could get a taste of Grenadian rum at River Antoine Rum Distillery, but we turned back when we saw a large up-rooted tree floating along the wrathful river like a feather in the wind.
The first sign of rain on any Brits holiday is unfortunate, so floods spark seriousness. But to our surprise it ended up being the most exhilarating tour any of us had ever been on and an experience none of us ever had. Even though our lives were in danger when the river peaked we felt safe because our tour guide Carl never panicked and literally went with the flow.
Complexd Women and Managing Director Johanna Kostka, featured in our Island issue, prides her company on being innovative and one step ahead of the competition. She also acknowledges that the perseverance, hard work and determination of her staff have ensured the longevity of the company. Sunsation Tours offers a variety of tours on land, sea and by air but who knows what you might get!