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Grenada: Carib Leap

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Carib Leap | Grenada | Americas

[Visited: October 2011]

At the end of the day, a minivan took us from River Sallee to Sauteurs, the main town on the north side of Grenada. Walking towards the coast, we were looking for the historic place where, in 1651, a tragic event took place. When Columbus discovered Grenada, there was a large community of Caribs living off hunting and fishing; understandably so, as the island is rich and diverse. Initially left in peace, both the English and French started to show interest in the 17th century, and in 1650, the French established a colony here. Buying themselves into the island with knives and other goods for trade, and brandy for the chief of the Caribs could not prevent the Caribs from attacking them a year later.

Picture of Carib Leap (Grenada): The sea and coastline at Carib Leap

Eventually, the French were ordered to wipe the original inhabitants off the island, and drove them to the north of Grenada. Standing near the cliffs on this northern shore, the remaining approximately 40 Caribs, chose to jump into the sea rather than surrendering to the French. Some say that several Caribs survived and escaped, but the event is not forgotten. In fact, the name of the village, Sauteurs, literally means jumper in French. The place is also called Leaper's Hill. A tragic story, one that reminds you of the brutal and cruel events that took place in the years of colonization, but in this case, at least not a forgotten story.

Picture of Carib Leap (Grenada): The cliffs of Carib Leap with a natural arch

A girl on the minivan pointed us the way, and we walked to the catholic church towards the coast. Passing a small cemetery, with a statue for the Lady of the Caribs, we arrived at the cliffs where the Caribs once jumped to their death in the waves far below us. Unfortunately, we found the place closed, and had to explore without any explanation. The coastline here looks pretty, with a view towards Carriacou in the north, and we even saw a natural arch just off the cliffs. But it was clear to see that these cliffs are, indeed, high, and the sea deep. Nowadays, a partition protects the visitor from coming even close to the actual cliffs, although you get a good idea of the height from a viewing platform. May their souls rest in peace.

Picture of Carib Leap (Grenada): Cemetery just above the cliffs of Carib Leap
Picture of Carib Leap (Grenada): Viewing platform close to the cliffs of Carib Leap
Picture of Carib Leap (Grenada): Pattern of indigenous nature painted on the floor
Picture of Carib Leap (Grenada): Statue of Our Lady of the Caribs at the cemetery
Picture of Carib Leap (Grenada): Rock with drop-off at Carib Leap

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