Last year when I visited Grenada (the Spice Islands) I had a goal to pick my own nutmeg. I was able to fulfil this dream, to learn so much about nutmeg and to bring loads home with me.
This year I was hoping to be able to see how cinnamon is grown and harvested as last year we ran out of time to achieve this.
Our hotel owner was asking me what I wanted to see that was different this year so I told him about my cinnamon quest. He went and made a phone call and within a few minutes was back with the news that he had arranged for a gentleman called Mr MacDonald to collect us and take us up to his family plantation which included cinnamon trees! I was really excited and even the prospect of getting up early on the arranged morning didn't dampen my excitement!
Mr MacDonald arrived on time and suggested we go in our hire car but that he would drive - the roads are really steep and windy in Grenada. Mr R and I had to agree this sounded a good idea. It took us about an hour to arrive at the family 'plantation', relieved to get out of the car really. I usually sit in the front passenger seat which means being on the side of the edge of the road, usually without any barrier to stop the car rolling all the way down!
Serious said next time I came to come and cook lunch with him - this is an opportunity I will take up next time!
The house was a simple set of rooms on the ground floor pretty much open plan with a huge rock in the entrance, painted a sort of electric turquoise with a great saying painted on it. Imagine waking up to this every morning!
Chris pointed out the tell take pink leaves of the cinnamon tree which of course we spotted many times later - once you know what you are looking for it is much easier.
The little girl that lived in the house was called Akita and kept looking at me with huge eyes and sometimes a little smile!
The family was so keen to show us around and all of the lovely produce they have there. As we were leaving Chris's brother's wife handed me a bag of turmeric she had dried and grated as well as some cocoa balls she had made. She also gave me a bag of the cinnamon rolls with instructions to leave them out in the sun during the day until we went home and this would help them dry out and the rolls would tighten up leaving us with one of my favourite spices - cinnamon!
I followed instructions and by the time we were leaving my fresh cinnamon rolls had dried out and curled into the darker and tighter cinnamon rolls that I knew.
As well as our cinnamon experience Chris was a great tour guide as we made our way pointing out loads of interesting places and houses on the way with a stop at a great place to view St Georges' harbour.
The following day when we got back to our apartment there were three nutmegs on the table still in their protective fruit outer. I questioned where they had come from and apparently Chris had dropped the off for me earlier that morning. How kind!