Hiking Carriacou – Paradise Beach Loop

George and I just finished a lovely lunch of lambi (conch) fritters and salad at Paradise Beach Club and are hanging out here for the balance of the day. George is reading and working on reconciling our credit card bills, Duhkxy is harassing crabs, and I am attempting to write this post.

Once Duhkxy hits a beach, he is digging up and chasing ghost crabs. They are nearly invisible on the sand if they remain still. After unearthing them, he LOVES to chase them and he will bark and prance around them if they don’t run.

They are called ghost crabs because, if they remain still, it is difficult to see them.

In the absence of Hashes on Carriacou, we decided to make it a tradition to take a mid-morning hike each Sunday. We start out and end at Paradise Beach Club in time for a delicious late brunch.

We were recently introduced to an app (wikiloc, for wiki location) that allows you to input routes you take and to insert photos taken along the way. Your route is then visible on the app for anyone else using it and you have access to any others that have been put in the app.

This is the trail we loaded https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/paradise-beach-loop-64152484
A trail that has been created in the app can be used by others. You can click on any location along a trail to see where you are, post or view photos of points along the trail (flags), and see elevations and distance.

The trail shown above is the one we created in wikiloc from our first Sunday hike. We actually started and ended at the red point with a black square (we forgot to activate the app until we reached the green triangle point). Starting at the Red Point (Paradise Beach Club) we turned left on the road to Hillsboro. This road is fairly busy and certainly not a highlight of this loop trail. It is almost flat and passes quickly. At the blue dot, we turned on to a quiet road for a short distance until we reached the intersection, Six Roads. From Six Roads the trail becomes a dirt road where we encountered roaming goats, new vegetation, trees with giant oval calabash-like fruit a very large immature soursop orchard, a hillside covered in Caribbean pumpkin patch, a beautiful bird we had not seen before, and the shell of a large turtle. We often observe new wildlife on our walks and do our best to identify them when back on the boat.

One with, one without tether. Neither secured to anything. Goats are pervasive, requiring any home or garden or farm be fenced.
Most likely Bitter Gourd (aka Balsam Pear and Bitter Melon), renowned for medicinal purposes. The Chinese type is lighter green, with bumpy, smooth skin (although still quite bumpy compared to a cucumber), while the Indian variety is darker green, much rougher in texture (even somewhat spiky) and with pronounced tapering ends. 

These large oval or round “fruits” grow from the trunks or larger stems of Calabash trees. When they dry, they are brown and hollow and often used to make pretty bowls.

This massive Soursop orchard is young and not yet producing many fruits. Soursop is a heavenly tasting fruit that lives up to its description of having combined flavors of banana, apple, and pineapple. It makes a wonderful juice, jam, and smoothy (personal experience)

Pumpkins (or very large squashes) are a staple in the Caribbean diet. There are many varieties. Patches are often, like this one, rambling vines on a hillside requiring little maintainance. They are delicious!!

Mangrove cuckoo
Shell of a Caribbean Land Turtle aka Red-Footed Tortoise

The Red-Footed tortoise is indigenous to South America and was introduced (or re-introduced?) to Grenada and a couple of nearby islands after hurricane Ivan.

By Bjoertvedt – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23889050
Graveyard we encountered along the way
The most papayas we have seen on one tree by 100 fold.

After a short gentle climb an overlook facing north provides a Glimpse of Hillsboro with Union Island (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) in the background. Travel restrictions due to Covid 19 have thwarted our plans to travel there. We plan to head there soon after we return next year.

Union Island is frequently the first destination for sailors leaving Grenada for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

As we continued the ridge there are views of the southern waters of Carriacou.

The hike continues west along the backside of the hill, views of the southern side of Carriacou Island overlooking Tyrell Bay emerge.

Property with beautiful overlook and a giant Ceiba Tree
Another property looking towards Harvey Vale and Tyrell Bay.
Overlook of Tyrell Bay, a very much used anchorage in Carriacou.

Continuing and descending northern views are of L’Esterre Bay (including the Marine Preserve and Sandy Island).

Sandy Island off Carriacou, Grenada
Homes above Paradise Beach overlooking L’Esterre Bay and Sandy Island

The loop ends at Paradise Beach Club, where we began.

Don’t miss your chance to visit Paradise Beach Club where you can “Put your toes in the sand, and a drink in your hand” to quote Allison, the restaurant’s proprietor. On Wednesday’s join “Sip and Paint” to add the name of your sailing vessel to the wall (Allison provides paint, brushes, and wood).
Sunsetting behind “The Sisters”

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