St. George’s Town is the capital and largest city in Grenada. Grenville, on the east side of the island, is the second largest city (or town I guess you’d say). Prickly Bay is probably the cruising sailor’s capital.
That makes Gouyave (gwav) the fishing and party capital of Grenada. Combine the fishing and the partying and you get the Gouyave Fish Friday Festival, maybe the hottest seafood festival in the Caribbean, and every single week of the year! Complete with lobster bigger than you’ve ever seen, more than enough beer to go around, and steel bands. But the festival is a manageable size that still gives it an intimate feel. Looking for things to do in Grenada? Don’t miss out on this.
I quickly passed through Gouyave last week during a daylong island tour with Cutty. I wrote in that post that I’d definitely have to come back for the Friday fish fry – and I got my chance yesterday! Some other sailors organized some transportation with Cutty, put out a call on the radio inviting other sailors to join, and I was in. Round trip price from Mount Hartman Bay: $30EC, or about $11US.
We arrived at around 7pm and stayed until 9pm, though the festival starts at 6pm. Advertised closing hours are 11pm, but in Gouyave, festivities go longer.
The food tents are set up in a small alley – there were maybe six tents in all, selling more or less the same things but with slight variations. Prices ranged from $50EC ($19US) for a lobster plate to $1EC ($0.37US) for fried plantains. Fry bakes, coucou, and bread stuffed with a seafood mix were also on the menus. And I learned “lambie waters” is the local name for conch soup. I haven’t had conch since I was in the Bahamas in 2012.
A steel pan band was set up at one end of the alley. Most of the musicians were of high school age, some older, and some younger including a six-year-old girl on the tambourin. They played for hours and people of all ages were feeling the music, locals and tourists alike.
I sampled food from almost all of the tents and didn’t taste a single thing I didn’t like. After eating some exotically-prepared seafood in Haiti (exotic for what Americans are used to) I now feel pretty bold, though still maybe a bit squeamish at times. But it’s good to get over it! When in Rome, right?
Grenada has been putting a spell on me these past few weeks I’ve had a chance to get out and explore. I know I’ll be back in Gouyave again for the Fish Friday Festival.
Here’s a quick 1:45 video for those who prefer more visuals & audio: