15 Feb 2016

The income of a cocoa farmer, per chocolate bar

The matter about the low income for farmers in the cocoa industry is widely discussed. We will have a look at this topic from a caribbean-european perspective. We will make a calculation with the current market price for cocoa farmers in Grenada and looking at a typical bar of milk-chocolate in europe.

We know that the Grenada Cocoa Association pays 1.50 XCD per pound of wet cocoa beans in 2015. That means the farmers pick the cocoa pods from the tree, open the pod and take out the beans.  These beans are sold to the  cocoa association. There it will be fermented an dried, during this process the cocoa beans loose about 30% of weight. Hence, one pound of wet cocoa is approx. 0.7 pound of dried cocoa.

8 Dec 2015

The traditional outdoor activity: Working the land

You aint't see bush yet! That's what I have heared many times from my local companions on our way to a piece of agricultural land in the parish of St. Patrick's on the north side of Grenada.
The mission was to clean up a typical piece of land with cocoa and nutmeg trees, cinnamon and mango, golden apple and sour sop and many more fruits.

The author's first attemts with the cutlass
At least twice a year the wild bush has to be removed in order for the trees to have enough space and light. The traditional way is to use the cutlass and this is still very widely used because most parts of Grenada are steep or partly covered with rocks. The machete is the way to go then. We had three very experience men with us which showed us all the tricks. 

Let m tell you, the right technique is really not easy. To cut the bush right above the surface and do it in an efficient manner.

31 May 2015

What to do on the Island? How do I find my way around?

These are two basic questions almost every tourist has in his head. Hotels which are able to offer a
great service not only inside the hotel perimeter, but also make their guests happy outside the hotel make a big step towards real customer satisfaction.

You can give your guests into the hand of professional guides and organisations. But that's not the right choice for every guest.

Make the step into the digital age and give a Smartphone Hotel-App into the hands of your guests which will guide them to the places you recommend. The App contains a map which works in every corner of the island without internet connection and show's the guest's position. Also your recommendations are marked in the map. That's how you impress backpackers, solo travellers, honeymooners and the like. iphone, android, hotel

Schneider Geo is offering a Hotel-App which will be customized to every hotel: schneidergeo.com/hotel. It is available for the caribbean and includes the maps from cariboutdoor.com

3 Jan 2015

Valley Of Desolation and Boiling Lake, Dominica

The most impressive hike we have done in the caribbean so far, is clearly the hike to the Boiling Lake in Dominica.

26 Dec 2014

Boeri Lake Trail, Dominica

Boeri Lake Trail, Morne Trois Pitons National Park, Dominica
We chose the trail to Boeri Lake for a day with lot's of liquid sunshine (aka. rain) because it is a short trail of only one mile. It turned out to be a fantastic little adventure through the beautiful rainforest of Morne Trois Pitons National Park.
It is a beautiful crater lake and at the same time the highest lake in Dominica. There is more background information on this site.

16 Dec 2014

Hiking with Telfor Bedeau in St. Patrick / Grenada

Telfor Bedeau is the legend among hikers in Grenada. He is looking back on years as a sailor and many years as the pionieer of hiking and discovering hiking routes.
Since he was, just like us, recovering from the Chikungunya virus, we chose an easy hike in St. Patricks. The route offeres many interesting insights into the agricultural areas of Grenada.
The starting point of this route is the bus stop in Mt. Rich, which you can reach with the bus from Sauteurs bus terminal. That's where the route ends.

Dana & Mr. Bedeau chatting.  He has many interesting stories to tell

12 Dec 2014

Hiking Grande Piton, St. Lucia

This is a hike we did in 2011, climbing one of the world famous peaks of the Pitons in St. Lucia. The pitons where the reason why we came to St. Lucia. I have seen many pictures and I had to see them myself!
View onto Soufriere and the Pitons from the road