Key information: Belmont Estate
- Another fascinating walk, in one of Grenada's best-preserved plantations.
- An old track takes you up a magically pretty hill, past well-kept steadings then into the remains of the plantations, reaching the hill-top and a gorgeous, wide, grassy stretch of track under huge trees.
- Walkopedia rating86
- Natural interest13
- Human interest14
- Negative points0
- Total rating86
- Length: 40 min+
- Maximum Altitude: n/a
- Level of Difficulty: Straightforward
Grenada's history, like so much of the Caribbean, is painfully interwoven with colonialism and slavery. Sugar was the crop which made it valuable to the colonialists, its intensive production of course made feasible by slavery. After emancipation rendered sugar unviable, the island's main crops became cocoa and nutmeg. Huge swathes of the old plantations are long-abandoned, and have returned to secondary forest, in which you can pick cocoa, nutmeg and mangoes (we have feasted on ripe fallen mangoes- some bush tucker!)
They are now charming, fascinating, atmospheric jumbles of trees and scrub, the old trees and the plantation structures much in evidence including the fine old graded tracks which lace the hillsides. You will meet the melancholy remains of chunkily built plantation buildings as you walk. They are stark reminders of the human misery which underpinned this economy.
Belmont Estate: William’s account:
“ Belmont is another delightful and fascinating walk, albeit quite a short one (30 mins?) but for the time spent dawdling to examine plants, views etc.
It begins below the buildings of one of Grenada's best-preserved plantations, which once grew sugar but now processes cocoa beans. Walk up a minor road, past houses and bright gardens and a somehow surprising bakery.
A track takes you off the road, up a magically pretty hill with flowering hedges on both sides, past well-kept steadings and their little fields then into the remains of the plantations on a fine old graded track, reaching the hill-top and a gorgeous, wide, grassy stretch of track under huge mango trees, the overgrown groves of the plantation – cocoa and other crops mixed up with wild growth –stretching out each side.
Down the other side, you are back quite soon into the manicured grounds of the estate buildings, and a short palm-lined avenue. They produce a lot of cocoa here, by the old methods. It’s a fascinating, peaceful, even charming place now, but again has grim echoes of the miseries of earlier generations. Not far up the road are the remains of a slave pen.”
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