Sunday around St. George’s 5

Sunday around St. George's
Okay, that’s it for St. George, bet you’re relieved. These posts have been scheduled to post automatically, every few days, because I don’t get an internet connection all that often. By the time you read this post, we will probably have been in Venezuela a couple of weeks. Wish I could post things as they happen, but well, that’s life on a boat, I guess, the news will always be a little bit old by the time I can get it to you.
Sunday around St. George's
Sunday around St. George's
Sunday around St. George's
Sunday around St. George's

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Sunday around St. George’s 4

Fort St. George
Penultimate St. George’s Town post, I think…bear with me, I did walk around for four hours by myself. So I got a bit snap-happy. These are taken around the Fort St. George, high on a hill overlooking The Carenage.
Fort St. George
Fort St. George
Fort St. George
Fort St. George

Sunday around St. George’s Town

Sunday around St. George'sSunday dawned a beautiful, sunny morning. Kris dropped me off in front of the old, defunct Public Library in The Carenage, and I spent the next 4 hours walking around St. George’s Town with my camera. Sunday around St. George's
Nothing is open on Sunday, the place is a ghost town. Mini-buses don’t run, one or two cars on the usually congested, narrow streets, just a few people drifting home from the three or four different churches, (one sullen dope dealer who heckled Kris for half an hour, while I was blissfully snapping doorways)…
St. George's TownAll in all, a gorgeous morning, perfect for shooting the old buildings, little details here and there, the flowering borders, the steep hills and knee-destroying stone steps that wind up and down the town’s mountain slopes. Sunday around St. George'sSunday around St. George's

The (former) Botanical Gardens of Grenada

Grenada Botanical GardensOur 1970s guide books to Grenada show the location of St. George’s Botanical Gardens, though no mention is made of these gardens on the current tourist maps of the town.

Grenada Botanical GardensWondering how much of the gardens had survived the 2004 hurricane that knocked 90% of Grenada flat, Kris and I went looking for them using the old maps. We found their remains inside of the recently built Ministerial Complex…demoted to a “Visitor’s Park”, probably a third of its original size (damaged by the storm, or leveled to make space for the government buildings within the complex).

Grenada Botanical GardensWhat remained was unmistakeable, though: Single specimens of large and spectacular trees, palms, and shrubs bearing strange flowers or fruit.Grenada Botanical Gardens

We also came across a frangipani tree that was being devoured as we watched by two dozen of the biggest caterpillars we have ever seen in our lives. Seriously, these things were 7 inches long, 3/4 of an inch thick, and conspicuously marked. A mango vendor saw us marveling, came over, and explained to us that local people treat these caterpillars like pets (as he said this, he stroked the smooth, silky back of one caterpillar, and it happily let him do it) and that they become beautiful butterflies. I wonder if they’re big butterflies…

Grenada Botanical GardensWe only found one clue that these grounds were, indeed, the once-fabled botanical gardens of Grenada…the petrol station across the road was called “Botanical Gardens Service Station”.

Grenada Botanical GardensOne of the things we’d hoped to find was a Manchineel tree…in Spanish the tree is known as manzanilla de la muerte (little apples of death), an extremely poisonous tree that used to grow everywhere on the beaches around here, but is now endangered (systematically destroyed by people, because its bark, leaves, and fruit are all extremely poisonous. Of course, in a country that gets plenty of blasé and benighted tourists, it’s not surprising that the trees have been eradicated to protect the goose that lays the golden eggs. 😉