This is Ignatious, aka, Pan Man selling his handmade drums and maracas on Tamarind Bay, Grenada (where my fear-busting dive school Devotion2Ocean was based – more of which in a later post).
Pan Man takes old drums and baked beans tins and turns them into beautiful-sounding steelpan drums. A small to medium-size one takes him a day to smooth, tune and paint – for which he charges around £8. The largest ones, such as the one below, cost around £50. Pretty, no?
I think they make a good souvenir – they come with instructions so you can play a tune – and are a way to give back into the local economy when staying all-inc at a resort.
Yesterday we visited the River Antoine Rum Distillery, which was established in 1783 and is the oldest rum distillery in the western hemisphere. It still uses all the traditional methods of rum-making, including: macheting the long stalks of raw sugar cane, feeding it by hand through a water-propelled grinder, shovelling the leftover bagasse to fuel the boilers that heat the juice, fermenting for eight days exactly and then distilling once it reaches 75% proof.
The result is the eye-popping Rivers Rum, which Grenadians imbibe by taking a sip and then adding in a sloosh of water before sending it down the hatch. Make sure you eat first – your stomach will need some lining.
Sitting in the courtyard of the Grenadian by rex at midnight, the rain began to pour. Our tour guide told us “It’s the weather for two nose and 20 toes…”
Turn the volume up for the full experience – and listen out for big sounds from tiny frogs at the end…
This inauspicious-looking shack housed the music studio where Billy Ocean recorded his 1984 hit, Caribbean Queen. It’s located on the coastal road on the west side of Grenada.
Meanwhile, it turns out that one of the waiters here at Grenadian by rex, where we are staying on this trip, is Adrian Lenz, a local music star.
Here he is singing a soca dance track called Cover Me for the 2010 Grenada Carnival. Muddy!