A long weekend in Grenada | Island tour to the Diamond chocolate factory and Annandale waterfall
We'd heard so many good things about Grenada - and were desperate to explore away from the beach. So we decided to take an island tour and drove up into the hills for the day. It was the best thing that we could've done.
Our driver (a local guide who we were put in touch with via our hotel) met us at Mount Cinnamon - the stunning complex where we stayed - and we started by off driving along the coast road from Grand Anse beach close by, through St Georges - the island's capital. We passed the fish market and drove along a busy narrow road where street vendors were selling mounds of breadfruit, bananas and mangoes.
We were excited about getting up into the cluster of green hills that had been our backdrop for the past couple of days and it was interesting to look down on the leafy slope below punctuated with houses in a rainbow of colours. There was lots of see on the way up into the centre of the island. The roads were quiet - amazing given there's only one route in and out of the city. And although the villages we passed though weren't exactly bustling, there was a keen sense of pride evident in the way everything from the local kiosk to the roadside walls had been brightly painted red, green and yellow in the national flag's colours to represent the 2016 celebrations for the country's 50 year's of independence.
The diamond Chocolate Factory is housed in a beautiful old colonial building just outside the town of Victoria in St Marks surrounded by cocoa farms. Majority owned by Grenada's independent cocoa growers, the factory is one of a handful bean to bar chocolate makers in the Caribbean and despite opening just two years ago it's already establishing a reputation as one of the best producers in the region. We received a warm welcome from our wonderful, friendly guide, Rita, who was wearing a head tie and dress in a brightly coloured Caribbean pattern.
It was brilliant for the children to learn about the process of transforming cocoa beans into chocolate and Rita willingly answered any and every question thrown at her during the tour. Rita started off by cutting open one of the yellow cocoa pods that grow right next to the factory, and look a bit like large firm papayas with distinct ridges - not what I'd expected