Friday, December 1, 2017

Jumping Right In To Concord Falls

We've heard about the social whirl for which the Cruiser Mecca of Southern Grenada is so well known... but hearing about it and actually experiencing it in full force, first hand are two different things.  Not really considering ourselves as "joiners" we were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves pulled into some sort of event almost every day on our first week here!

No matter our intention to set limits and be choosey... we couldn't help ourselves.  There is just so much to do here and each thing seemed to be more wonderful than the last!  Even a terrible forecast calling for squalls and thunderstorms - all - day - long - couldn't dampen the spirits of this group!  Who's afraid of a little rain???

We loaded up Shade Man's van with high spirits and made our stops at the Merry Bakery for some delicious breakfast and then to the grocery to pick up some things for a picnic lunch at Concord Falls!

I've gotta hand it to Andy (Would Worker) and Penny (Ishtar) for being world class party planners.  While we were inside the store scrambling up and down the aisles trying to put together some sort of picnic, they were outside setting up a Bloody Mary Bar.  In the rain!  That's the beauty of having a driver wherever you go!

Yes Andy is SOAKED!
Doesn't that look like a party?  Who ARE WE???
Patrick (aka Shade Man) drove us up into the interior of the island on steep wet streets.  We were very happy that we weren't doing the driving and maybe a little concerned that this old van might leave us stranded in the rain somewhere.  But no matter, there are plenty of fruits to be had, at least we won't starve!

It was a chance to see the beauty of this island under a veil of misty rain and it was every bit as lovely as we expected.

A veteran Cruiser once told me that I would become less impressed by the sights as the years go by.  It is my fervent wish that this never happens to me and that I will always be as WOWed by the beauty of the islands.  So far, though we've seen so many mountains and so many waterfalls... They are still unique and wondrous. Every. Time.

Our first glimpse of Concord Falls

Unfurling ourselves from the van

Touristy stuff

I'm just going to go ahead and put this video out there, and then tell you about it.  The falls are breathtaking.  Due to the recent (and current) rains, the water is muddy and the falls are rushing.  Our visions of swimming in a crystal clear mountain pool were dashed, but our enjoyment of the beauty around us was not.

Our group milled about in the light misty rain, wandering through the tourist shops and checking out our surroundings while the organisers of our little excursion spoke to the facility people.  Our plan was to have a nice swim, then spread out a picnic and while away the afternoon... But the rain was causing some havoc in that there wasn't really a dry place for us to set up camp.

He reached his warm little hand out and grabbed me!
They look so innocent...
Papaya flowers - soon to be fruits!

A real cabbage patch!
I wandered on past the monkeys down the road and could smell a familiar scent.  Could it be cabbage?  I looked off the side of the road and there, spilling down the mountainside was an honest-to-goodness Cabbage Patch!  Yes!  The kind babies come from!  The air was full of the sweet smell of cabbage - and no, I'm not confused.  The cabbages here are actually just a little bit sweet.  I've never tasted better in all my travels.

There was a display of picked fruits from the surrounding hills and I'm still awed by the fresh nutmeg growing.

It grows on the tree as a fruit, then when ripe, the fruit splits open and the nutmeg - encased in a shell and a beautiful nest of mace - falls to the ground.

It looks like fingers

Here's something I've never seen before.  What are these lovely flowers of red and yellow?  They look almost like a sort of orchid.

They are growing on a large, spindly bush that is taller than I stand, and about 8 ft across.  They have a beautiful pod - green with a striping of dark red.

They are Pigeon Peas!  Yes, the unassuming little peas that we've been eating in almost every rice dish since the Bahamas!

And of course there's cocoa!

I followed young Daran down the steep red steps leading down into the ravine.  He is one of two divers preparing to entertain us with their daring dive from the top of the falls.

These young men hang out here at the falls every day, leaping from the top and plunging into the pool below... for tips.  The fee to enter the falls was less than $1 per person.  Help a man out and put some cash into their tip box!

Climbing back up to the landing from the ravine

I stood on the landing about halfway up the falls and watch the two young men prepare to jump.  They climbed around the rim and stepped over the rushing falls, then waited until they had everyone's attention.  Then, one by one, they made the leap!  I'm so glad they did that so I don't have to! But wait!  I guess Andy is going to do it!  Perhaps they allow visitors to jump from the top when conditions are less  dangerous.  They allowed several of our group to jump from the landing level, which is still plenty high!

As the rain continued to fall on us, wetting our bags and our clothes, the employees of the facility finally took pity on us and gave us the upper deck for our picnic.

We had shelter from the rain, makeshift furniture to lay out our spread and even some chairs!  What else do we need?  Sure we could be dry back on our boats... but then we would be dry.  And back on our boats!  Here we had adventure and new friends.  Oh, and waterfalls.  Don't forget waterfalls!

We wore out the Shade Man!


Tiny moss
After lunch, Bruce and I wandered back down the stream and found a place to sit on the rocks.  We sat there musing about how random this is and how amazing our life is right now.  How many tiny choices brought us to this place

Here we sit, closely examining the tiniest bit of lichen growing on a rock in the the Caribbean.

Here we sit with the rushing wind of a mountain waterfall leaving a dewy mist on our faces and hair.

Here we sit with wet butts and we don't even care. Just us. Cruising life is good.

View from downstream

The rushing water is working up a froth!

  Well all good things must come to an end.  The rain was just beginning to let up but it was time to return to our boats.

Keep your eyes open, you never know what you'll see here!
Mega-Yachts congregating.

Calm seas and the rain has stopped.
Dinghy half FULL of water!
What a grand day!  Rain or no rain we all had a great time.  The thing I love most about Cruising life is that you never know what your day will hold.  It's all about jumping in and seeing where you land.

Sometimes the surprises aren't so good... but mostly they are!

A huge thanks to Andy, Penny and of course, Shade Man!

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