Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Trip Report: Teresa in 'Laid Back Carriacou'

I had heard that the island of Carriacou was how Grenada used to be 50 years ago. So liking nothing better than to explore a small island and try and get to know something of the culture, we jumped on the local ferry. With a few days spare we hoped to get a flavour of what Carriacou had to offer.

It was late and dark but on the wharf was Claudia from Silver Diving to meet us. A quick supper, compliments of Max, and off we went to stay at Ade’s Dream. Ade’s Dream is a simple, small hotel. Our room was perfectly acceptable with air-conditioning, ensuite bathroom with a hot water shower and everything spotlessly clean. We didn’t need anything more. Breakfast was to be served across the road in a small café. When we woke up we realised we were in the centre of town with views across the roof tops to the sea.

I say the centre of town but this is only a couple of streets stretching a few hundred metres along the waterfront. There was time later to explore as we were to meet Silver Diving at their dive centre a few steps from our hotel. Set in a garden atmosphere next to their house the PADI 5-star Gold Palm IDC centre has everything you need. Claudia and Max have been on Carriacou for an age and told us that the diving was as pristine as it was 20 years ago.

We crossed the deserted road, on to the beach and there was the boat ready and waiting. Carriacou being ringed by reefs means that most of the dive sites are only a short 10 to 20 minute ride away. There are advanced wall dives for the more experienced diver but plenty of sheltered reefs for the novice. The soft coral reefs were healthy and full life. Carrriacou's twin tugs of Boris and WestSider, sunk in 2004 and 2007 respectively, provide new options for experienced divers and are already attracting strong coral growth and marine life.

Back for lunch and a choice of cafes with views of the harbour were easy to find. Offering basic local food we settled on fish and chips with a beach front seat. It was then time to explore the island. We headed up the hillside to take in the beautiful views across to Petite Martinique, which lies just east of Carriacou. Then back to the beach to relax and unwind or as the locals say “to lyme”.

Unfortunately already Carriacou had seeped under our skin and it was with regret we boarded the ferry back to Grenada. For those wanting to explore pristine Caribbean diving and a slow pace of life then Carriacou is the perfect gateway and makes an easy addition to a stay on Grenada.

Now that Claudia and Max have opened their new café we will have to return and sample once more the delights of Max’s kitchen.

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