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Cinnamon Bay Estate Ruins

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After visiting the Annaberg Sugar Plantation with Peter’s Dad, Wiley, we continued our tour around the island of St. John.

In Cruz Bay, we stopped for fresh fruit smoothies.

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These handsome gentlemen were telling jokes all day long, making us all laugh :)

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The view of Cruz Bay, Great St. James Island and the Eastern tip of St. Thomas is breathtaking.

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We stopped at several of the postcard-worthy beaches…


…and we even got to see the wild donkeys along the roadside!

The Cinnamon Bay Estate was one of the most prosperous sugar cane operations on the island in the 1700’s. Situation on the North side of the island, ruins from the factory can be found along the Cinnamon Bay Loop Trail, preserved by the National Park Service.

We walked through the majestic forest and saw where the inner bark of the trees had been scraped off. This bark is dried to make raw cinnamon.

At the end of the trail we walked across the street to see what Cinnamon Bay looks like from the campground. We are used to looking in from the mooring field, never from land, so it was fun to see a new perspective.


Back at our boat we finished off the day with a gorgeous double rainbow! :)


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Belmont Estate Part 3: The Goat Dairy

goat dairy-22 One of our favorite parts of the Belmont Estate Tour was The Goat Dairy.

The Grenada Goat Dairy is a small non-profit organization that began as a grassroots effort led by Christine Curry in 2007. It is run solely by volunteers and has grown to “support and empower the local farmers of Grenada by providing a living example and training facility for quality goat dairy farming and production.” This project supports sustainable farming and economic growth for the people of Grenada and was purposefully built up in the mountains of St. Patrick’s parish, the parish with the most poverty and highest unemployment. Over the years it has literally changed the lives of the local farmers.

The Goat Dairy opened its doors and started selling fresh goat cheese five years ago along with locally spiced milk, pudding, yogurt and ice cream. Composted fertilizer is also a byproduct of this operation and sold to local farmers, gardeners and landscapers. These items alone are enough to sustain only 50% of the operation. Though it’s not nearly enough, but for a young business in the West Indies, that’s actually pretty remarkable.

TGD has partnered with St. Patrick’s Anglican Public School for what is called The Kid to Kid Program. Healthy kids (baby goats) from The Goat Dairy are moved up to the St. Anglican Public School, where they will remain for a year or so. They have created a fully functioning goat farm at the school, complete with barn and milk production capacity. The facility provides both hands-on and classroom activities, where the students learn the responsibilities associated with animal care, growing their own food, composting and record-keeping. goat dairy-3 goat dairy-4 Meet the residents of The Goat Dairy at Belmont Estate: goat dairy-5 goat dairy-6 goat dairy-7 goat dairy-8 goat dairy-9 goat dairy-11 goat dairy-12 goat dairy-13 goat dairy-14 goat dairy-15 goat dairy-16 goat dairy-17 goat dairy-18 goat dairy-19 goat dairy-20 goat dairy-21  goat dairy-23 goat dairy-24goat dairy-10 goat dairy-25 goat dairy-26goat dairy-27 goat dairy-28 goat dairy-1goat dairy-2 During our short stay in Grenada we had the opportunity to meet many of the wonderful locals that live here year-round. Marti, now a very dear friend, is what you could call a ‘surrogate nanny’ for the babies from TGD. She and her husband Danny have many years worth of practical livestock experience and they have volunteered their time, their home and their love to care for the kids in need. They also care for older goats that are failing to thrive which might need hands-on TLC. They always try to step in before a bad condition worsens.

Baby C, their most recent baby, was a bit of a special case. She and her sister were born outside of the normal kidding time this past July. Christine had just gotten back to the island a month earlier and called Marti because she felt that the biggest one, Baby C, just wasn’t “right.”

She couldn’t walk or stand very well and they suspected she had either been stepped on accidentally by Mama Rudy or had been born with or picked up a bacterial infection at birth. It happens fairly frequently, unfortunately.

So, Marti took her home.

In October we had the pleasure of joining Marti as she returned Baby C to the farm and said her goodbyes. Baby C had grown to literally be her ‘baby’ from the age of one month to three. marti-1 We got to see Baby C run around Marti’s property like a wound-up puppy. She darted across the trails that led up the hillside and bounced all around with an incredible amount of energy! She was fully nursed back to good health. marti-2 The long ride up to The Goat Dairy required quite a few stops along the way. Baby C rode in a large dog crate where she was safe, but she DID NOT like the motion. She was on the verge of getting car sick. She didn’t have any accidents in the car and politely waited until she was outside to do her business. She sure enjoyed all the pit-stops! marti-3 marti-4 marti-6 marti-7 marti-8 marti-9 marti-10 marti-11 marti-12 When we arrived, there were a lot of good smells. She must have heard ‘the songs of her people’ as Marti would say. Very inquisitively, Baby C set out to investigate though she didn’t stray too far from Marti. marti-15 marti-16 marti-17 Baby C’s real mama and Marti had a very heartfelt moment as the baby was brought home. marti-18 Of course everyone else got some treats… marti-19 marti-20 marti-21 marti-23 marti-25 Several other babies were there, though MUCH smaller than Baby C. marti-26 marti-27marti-40 These little guys were just one week old! marti-28 marti-29 marti-30 marti-31 marti-32 How cute is this little tongue? marti-33 marti-34 marti-36 marti-37 marti-38 marti-39 Marti and Danny also started connecting with the vet school students at SGU, especially those that are interested in large animal care. SGU is the local university with a Medical program as well as a fantastic Vet program.

Each term, there is often a group of students interested in the Kid Foster Program. Marti and Danny will host a class at their home to go over what a human goat nanny does in the course of the day. If it’s not too overwhelming for them by the end of the session, the students can sign up to be foster nannies. Last year there was a total of three foster nannies for The Goat Dairy kids.

Soon, Marti and Danny will only be in Grenada during the kidding season. Because of this, volunteer support for The Goat Dairy and the Kid Foster Program will be desperately needed. Not only do they need financial support, but they need boots on the ground helping out.

Please take a few moments to watch this video that tells all about The Goat Dairy. It’s narrated by our friend Thelma, the Cheesemaker!

If you would like to show some support to this wonderful non-profit organization, please visit their website at

To see our tour of Belmont Estate Part 1 (The Scenery), click HERE.

To see our tour of Belmont Estate Part 2 (Cocoa Beans and Nutmeg), click HERE.


The Belmont Estate Part 2: Cocoa Beans and Nutmeg

The Grenada Chocolate Company makes delicious chocolate ‘from tree to bar’ right here in Grenada!

We took a tour of Belmont Estate with our friends David, Toutou, Maya and Tyler on Four Coconuts during the island’s annual Chocolate Week in July.

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We learned about how the cocoa beans are processed…

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And also how mace and nutmeg are processed.

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We sampled an EXCELLENT local chocolate drink that’s 10-times better than the hot chocolate we grew up with from the U.S.

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And we tried samples of the final product… locally made gourmet dark chocolate!

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Kelly was our excellent and cheery guide.

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And of course we had to take home a few souvenirs :)

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Up next… The Goat Dairy!!!

The Belmont Estate Part 1: The Scenery

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One of the first adventures we took upon arrival to Grenada was a tour of Belmont Estate during the island’s “Chocolate Week”. Grenada is famous for making delicious chocolate from the plentiful cocoa beans that grow all over the island. Our friends David, Toutou, Maya and Tyler on Four Coconuts shared an hour-long bus ride (16-person van) up into the mountains of Grenada to visit Belmont Estate.

I took so many beautiful photos that I’ll have to split up the posts. Scroll down to see some shots of just the gorgeous grounds…

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Many colorful flowers were in bloom…

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There are vegetable and herb gardens on the Estate…

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The Red-Footed Tortoise is native to Central and South America but has been introduced to several Caribbean islands, including Grenada. There is a significant population in Carriacou and many of the islands in the Grenadines.

The kids had fun meeting the tortoises that live at Belmont Estate…

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We saw talking parrots…

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Butterflies were everywhere!

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I think they do weddings here too ;)

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My favorite photo… Maya and Toutou!

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Up next… a lot of cocoa beans and nutmeg!!!

Dominica: Indian River Tour

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The Indian River Tour in Dominica is a great way to see some of the natural beauty this island has to offer. Named after the native Carib Indians, this river is the longest in all of Dominica and once served as an important route of travel between the mountains above and the sea below.

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Who remembers the little house in the mangroves where Calypso lives? That scene from Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed here… We even got to go inside!!

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Our guide, Titus, rowed us as far as we could go, slowly pulling up to a little wooden dock on the river’s edge.

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We stepped out of the boat and followed a small trail up the hill toward what is known as the “Bush Bar.” The vibrant flowers and lush gardens were bursting with color.

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Termite nests were everywhere…

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Fresh Avocados…

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Sweet cocoa beans…

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Cinnamon bark and nutmeg…

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Fresh squeezed juice was waiting for us at the top of the hill…

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The most delicious guava you could ever imagine…

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Sugar cane cut into small pieces were a delight to suck on.

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The farmers sent us home with a huge handful of fresh lettuce, herbs, vegetables, spices and fruits, all harvested especially for us straight from the plentiful Dominican lands.

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Fresh coconut water and coconut meat to snack on…

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Fresh coconut is my FAVORITE treat!!!

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Dominica is a beautiful island and we only got to see a small portion of the many wonders it has to offer. We will definitely return in the Spring to explore again!!