Sunday, July 26, 2009

More of Grenada, the Grand View, and Loverboy.

Grand View Inn from across Grand Anse Bay.

The central building of the Grand View, the restaurant, is the three story building in the middle of the photo. The rest of the inn is on either side and behind it (every building except the ones on the far right.)

Lennox Griffith, the owner of the Grand View Inn. A great guy who will do everything he can to make your stay enjoyable.

Len's dogs - two sweethearts. Wherever you see them, you'll most likely find him.

I was stupid. While at the Grand View, I took pics of all kinds of parts of the place, but none of the whole place. I mean, I took this one, but when I first saw it in the computer, I thought it unusable. I shot it from across the bay and there was a haze that day, but thanks to image enhancing (which I didn't even know came with this laptop - and I've had it for four years, duuuh...) I was able to make a legible photo out of it. Before I did that though, I decided to see if I could find something online, and in my virtual travels, I realized something. Most new travelers are assholes.

1. Obnoxious shirt, stupid hat, rudeness and too much alcohol = stupid tourist. 2. A gaggle of tourists in their nesting place, usually some form of amusement park.

How can you say that, Ed? You ask. Weren't you a traveler too? You ask. Yes I was, and am. I've been to and lived in Germany and all over the U.S., Canada, and now I can add Grenada to my list. The difference is that I bothered to learned the difference between where I came from and where I'm going. These jackasses think that everywhere they travel in the world they'll be staying in the sterile equivalent of a Holiday Inn Express or Best Western (mind you, there is a pretty new Best Western in Grenada, but it's fenced in and abandoned... oh well! What's that tell you?) The reality of places outside their suburban cookie cutter homes and antibacterial lifestyles is that the rest of the world doesn't work that way. When in Germany, I learned to speak German, so I could at least shop with some confidence - and if you stumble on the language, they help you. Why? Because you at least made the effort. I was stunned to read that some asshole actually referred to locals as seeing you only as a dollar sign. Why? Because you show up, map in hand, sunburned and sweaty, wearing sandals with black socks and a tropical shirt and expect no one to notice you? Face it, jackass, some people make a living from tourists. Some - the smiling guys who tell you your worries are over, are actually tour guides who work in tandem with local bus drivers and given the chance, will show you the island and treat you to a nice time. These charismatic guys (and I mean that, I was amused and impressed by them) are what they call the conductors.

Grenadian tour buses - mostly independent, if they don't have a conductor, they're taxis. Most have funny names on them... and yes, they're vans, but perfect for the roads and terrain.

If you don't want a tour, just say no thanks, and they'll move on to the next potential customer. No harm done. Is that so hard? As tourist destinations go, Grenada is very easygoing. Try taking a trip to Kissimee, Florida and Disney world/land whatever. Same fucking place, different location. There AMERICANS will mark up everything 500% just to capitalize on your dumb ass! Grenada - 4.00 EC for a soda (about 1.50 US) and at any US amusement park, same soda - 6.00... US. Uhhhh...who's seeing who as a dollar sign? And these same pinheads wonder why people don't like Americans...

Morne Rouge Bay, from our balcony. wonderful sunsets...

Grand Anse Bay, from one of the hotel rooms in the 40's block. You can see the morning rain crossing the bay.

Okay, tangent is over. I just hate to see good people get slammed like that. Where was I? Ahhh... the Grand View. There's not a lot written about the place, even though it has the best views (both Morne Rouge and Grand Anse bays) and easy walkable access to both. They even have a nice pool -

Very nice, and rarely crowded, perfect place for some sun and a -

-Carib, the national beer of Grenada. Probably one of the best beers I've ever had... and I lived in Germany.

A Carib shack - no mystery there, and convenient, too!

These two photos courtesy of Grenada

- but if you have little to no base color, use sunscreen. Use it often. Caribbean sun ain't like what we have here - it will melt you. And if you do - fuck that spray-on shit. Wanna see what happens when you use that? Lemme show you...

As you can see, spray-on allows you to miss spots. I ended up with 2nd degree sunburns and the nickname "Patches"... thanks, Kim and Amanda...

This was after two hours at the pool. Midday. Bad idea. Needless to say, I used cream after that... and I was only drinking Ting at the time.

Some of the flora right outside the restaurant - it's everywhere and smells wonderful.

The Grand View's grounds are beautiful and bountiful. At any given time you can find some type of fruit growing there, from limes to grapefruits to coconuts to mangoes... and let me tell you - nothing tastes better than a really fresh mango.

Coconut tree on the grounds....

Feeling good after a day of walking down at the Carenage or touring the island, snorkeling on Grand Anse or just hanging at the pool? Time to head up to the sports bar, maybe have a Carib or two before the Pirate's Cove Restaurant opens. It's only one floor down.

Shooting a little pool and on a beautiful afternoon...

Finishing breakfast in the Pirate's Cove.

There is also a boutique and mini mart on premises. You can also get a taxi or rent a car to go into town. Up in the restaurant they have a bar for those who like a drink with their dinner, or just like to have a few on the balcony.

At right, the Pirate's Cove restaurant bartender, the ever riotous Rachel, and Kim's sister Liz, a.k.a. Taxi Girl.

Personally, I recommend Len's home made rum punch - but be careful. It's delicious, but not for the timid. They don't believe in measured shots here. And with rum punch, there's no measuring at all.

Yeah, it looks innocent enough... rum punch. And it packs one.
Image courtesy of David

Of course, not all life centered in the Inn. We explored quite a bit, and I learned a lot about the place. There is an incredible amount of history on the island, and even over two weeks, I couldn't hope to learn half of it.

Taken as we entered Gouyave - an entertaining town known for its Friday Fish Fests. Hell of a party - wish I had stopped there. A local friend lives there and told me about it. Sorry about the blur - it was raining at the time.

Told you the roads were tight... and that's for two way traffic. Thanks, European influence...

A distant shot of Fort George, one of two forts on the island.

A small colorful cafe, one of many.

As you can see, the island is full of color and life, and in many places, history.

A small sample of the massive amounts of colorful flora.

Straight drop from the edge of the road... into a steep valley.

One of the places we went to was Grand Etang. It's known for tours down to the falls -

Annandale falls... make sure you got good shoes and water....

A gorgeous view of Grand Etang lake, a former volcano -

Yeah, me again. Blocking the fucking shot. Stupid tourist.

Two shots of the flowers surrounding us...

And who can forget the monkeys? See, in the Grand Etang area (my knowledge is limited here) there is a breed of monkey, called the Mona Monkey.

One of the first ones we met - a chronic banana thief and masturbator.

They're friendly, albeit shy for the most part. The younger monkeys must have seen us coming, because they waited in the edge of the bamboo forest to snatch the bananas we baited them with and pissed off before anyone could get a clean shot. Roman, one of the guys in our group, got a shot of Kim and myself with a monkey rubbing one out in the background. No, even if I had it, I wouldn't post it. Frustrated, the younger ones decided to head down to the falls for an excursion. Kim and I waited and paid a small fee to visit the plantation house, now a visitors center.

The plantation house/visitors center, where you can get a terrific view of the lake without the sweat.

The kids (okay, I just call them that because they're younger) were down pounding it out, sweating through their tourist death march while we took our time and strolled around. And on our way back to the cafe, who should we meet?


He just kind of ambled out of the forest and sat in the road. I froze, wanting a great pic, but had no idea what I was in for... especially when he began walking toward me. Back of my mind: what was that movie where monkeys spread ebola? He allowed the shot though, then went straight to Kim and leaned forward so she could scratch his back. It was like I wasn't even there.

Just as he got to her... we were both stunned. And secretly thrilled - we got the shot everyone wanted! Woo-hoo!

Kim and I petting Loverboy, and no... he's not dead.

He's quite the character, though... if you're scratching the wrong spot or stop, he reaches around and points to where he wants you to continue. We had won the battle of the Monkey Shots, hands down. And now we have a friend in Loverboy.

Time seemed to flash by, and soon we were coming upon the wedding...

1 comment:

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