Grenada: Everyman of the Caribbean

So I’m going to tell you to stay and enjoy the resort. Not my usual recommendation!

I flew into Grenada on Saturday, trading rainy New York for spotless weather. Caribbean countries love their lengthy immigration forms and  procedures. Even the customs guy asked a few questions rather than waving me through. I guess backpackers are a relative rarity.

I had a little hiccup with the car. None of the major car rental agencies have airport offices. I booked with Avis and forgot to include flight info since I booked through BJ’s Travel and they do not have that field. A helpful taxi driver called Avis who said I would have to take a taxi into St. George. Nope. Instead I rented with local agency Y&R. Next up is the temporary driver license that in June went from US$12 to US$40, I believe topping Kuwait for most expensive I have paid. The Y&R rep drove me to the police station near the airport to get the license and then dropped me at the Radisson Grenada where her colleague met me with my car. Very nice of them to help me conserve time.

Grenada Temporary Driver License

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Radisson Grenada is a good resort with all the usual facilities. Lots of pasty, stocky Brits on British Airways package tours. Modest beach. US$25 if your beach towel is lost or stolen. I usually stay at mom and pop guest houses, however the Radisson Friends & Family rate was about the same as any budget option on this moderately expensive island.

Grenada Radisson 03

Grenada Radisson 02

Grenada Radisson 04

Grenada Radisson 01

Grenada Radisson 05

I drove out through the capital, St. George and across the island along the windy Grand Etang Road. Heavy, fast-moving traffic and hairpin turns is nerve-wracking so for most I do not recommend renting a car. Either a taxi or the mad-cap local shuttles will do better and get you there faster. Not many road signs so navigate by sense and asking helpful locals.

I stopped at Annandale Falls and Grand Etang National Park. Modest natural attractions. Greneda has the typical outdoor activities, though many other islands are better.

Grenada Annandale Falls 01

Grenada Annandale Falls 02

Grenada Grand Etang Lake

As it was a weekend, the attractions for the local spice industry, which produces huge amounts of nutmeg and others, were closed.

I reached the quiet leeward (eastern) coast for the abandoned Pearls Airport, which have a few crumbing Cuban planes from the US invasion in the 1980s. There were a few driving school cars on the airport. The shore is beautiful, enjoyed by cows and goats, though not attractive beaches for swimming.

Grenada Pearls Airport 01

Grenada Pearls Airport 02

Grenada Pearls Airport 03

Grenville is the main town on the east. It was lively with weekend music and activities, much more welcoming than the sometimes ominous typical large Caribbean town. I saw a few tourists and would recommend it as a base for an atypical Grenada holiday.

I headed back to the Radisson for a quick swim as it became dark, then set out to the south for True Blue area by the University and Lance Aux Epines peninsula and found little going on. I was disappointed that several restaurants I visited like Red Crab had a token local dish like callalo soup but could not get my hands on an oil down.

Grenada feels to me like the average Joe of the Caribbean. It has all the elements, though none really stand out as superior. A good place to lay back and chill on the basic beach vacation.

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