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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Turks and Caicos


Turks and Caicos
Providenciales
North and Middle Caicos
Miami
May 28-June 4, 2011

Day 1
We had an early flight out of IAH  (Houston) so we drove down the night before and stayed near the airport (we live 1.5 hours from the airport).  We still had to get up early 4 a.m. for our 6 a.m. flight.  We flew American airlines.  I think a first for us. Flight to Miami, then onto Providenciales. 
We rented a car from Avis.  A tiny red car.  The gas is more expensive there than in the states (I think about $5.60 a gallon).  We used one tank of gas during the trip.  We did do a lot of driving.
It was raining when we landed, just a drizzle.  I am used to outside airports where you walk down the metal stairs they roll up, what I wasn’t aware of is that when you land in Providenciales how far away the plane is from the actual airport.(lol).  Also, they aren’t too keen on you taking any photos of the airport.  I knew this on the inside, but I wasn’t aware on the outside.  Glad I had my camera put away before I was told to put it away.  Customs really wasn’t bad.  We were in line maybe 20 minutes and this included a bathroom break.  They had a live band playing to welcome us to the island!
 We stayed at Silver Palms Cottage on Long Bay Beach.
The house was in a great location.  Ocean front and was in a quiet neighborhood.  Tatum and her husband, Wesley met us at the airport to take us to the house.  She stopped at both grocery stores to show us where they were.  The house was perfect for us.  It had everything we needed and more.   The house is also really close to Grace Bay and most of the restaurants.  So after settling in we went to check out the beach.  So beautiful!!!  From the porch you could see the different colors of the water against the dark clouds.  I really have never seen water so pretty!  I had already planned for us to go get supplies at the grocery store then eat dinner at sunset on Grace Bay.  The food there is more expensive there than at home.  I did my research (Tripadvisor) and knew to take some food etc.  This was a good plan.  After we dropped of the food at the house we went to Somewhere for dinner.  We really liked the restaurant.  Very causal.  A good place to watch the sunset. 

Day 2
Day 2 started with breakfast on the beach…  this happened every morningJ
This morning we went to Taylor Bay and Chalk Sound.  We did a lot of driving around looking at the houses.  Chalk Sound was very pretty.  We had planned on kayaking Chalk Sound but never got to it.  Taylor Bay was very pretty.  No one was at the beach when we were there.  We went to Smith Reef to try and snorkel but a storm came up.  So back to the house for lunch.  Nap and long walk on the beach after the rain passed.  Then onto Pelican Beach.  I really thought this beach was very pretty.  One of my favorites.  A few more people here like 10 people.LOL .  Tonight we ate dinner in.

Day 3
Breakfast on the beach again.  We went back to Smith’s reef to snorkel without rain.  Very good snorkeling here.  Not as bright coral as at Grace Bay, but easy access and no people.  Went back to house for lunch.  This afternoon we drove to Da Conch Shack (we didn’t eat here) did buy two conch shells.  We drove up the Millennium Highway, just sightseeing.  We came back to the house to regroup and then to Grace Bay for the sunset which was so pretty!

Day 4
This morning we were up early to catch the 6:30 a.m. ferry to North and Middle Caicos.  The ferry takes about 30 minutes, we were met by Susan with our rental (http://www.pelicanbeach.tc/) did a little paper work and we were on our way.  Our first stop was to see the Flamingos at Flamingo Pond.  I could not wait to see them.  However…..  You really need binoculars to really get a good look.  You can see some closer up if you drive the back roads to Three Mary Cays, which we did.  We even saw a few flying…seemed odd to see big pink birds in the air..:)   The roads are pretty rough in some areas (the dirt roads) Three May Cays is very beautiful.  We were the only people on the beach.  We decided to drive to Middle from here.  There is a road connecting Middle and North.  It has a lot of damage from hurricanes but is drivable.  We stopped next at the Indian Cave.  It looked like a set from a movie.  We took a few pictures then moved onto Bambarra Beach.  We only saw 4 people here.  There is a Cay, Pelican Cay that you can walk out to.  The water is only thigh high. It takes maybe 30 minutes to walk to it.  Saw two starfish and found sand dollars.  This is a must-do if you go to Middle.
Next on the itinerary was Mudjin Harbour.  THIS PLACE IS AMAZING!  If we ever go to T & C again we will stay here. http://bhresort.com/
Here you find Dragon Cay which you can walk to.  We found a lot of shells on this beach.
The secret beach is SO NEAT and beautiful.  We spent the most of our time here.  On the way back to the ferry we stopped at Horsetable Beach for one last glimpse.  We decided to take the 4:30 ferry back.  I think 5:30 is the last ferry.  I do want to add that they have a store and restrooms at the ferry dock.  They will make you lunches for the day also.  We decided to bring an ice chest and lunch for the day.
Arrived back in Provo then went to Grace Bay for sunset.  It was AMAZING tonight!!!

Day 5
Breakfast on the beach.  This morning we went to Grace Bay to snorkel Coral Gardens.  We loved snorkeling here.  A few more people are always here, like 20 total on the whole beach.LOL I really would have wanted to get pictures of the coral and fish but out brand new underwater camera broke on the second day. Nice huh?  We have done a little snorkeling in other islands and I think so far this was the best snorkeling.  Lunch today was at Pizza Pizza.  They have great pizza very laid back.  After eating we walked around Salt mills and Port of Call for shopping.  Raining this afternoon.  Good weather for a nap!  Drove to Juba Sound and looked at the houses. Stopped at Cooper Jack beach which I assume is a local hang out?  I wouldn’t suggest taking the time to go here.  The rain lasted through sunset, so we stayed in for the evening.

Day 6
Breakfast on the beach… I sense a patternJ  We drove back to Pelican Beach and walked to the Leeward side.  Loved this beach..only 2 or 3 people and 2 doggiesJ. Stayed here for most of the morning.  A lot of good shells here.
Went to Salt mills Diner for lunch.  We really liked this place for lunch.  Looks like a malt shop. Did a little more shopping.  Back to the room to pack or sort of before our last day.  Spent time on our beach (Long Bay Beach) then went to the Ocean Club to eat at Cabana Bar and Grill.   If you tell them you are eating at one of the restaurant s they will open the gate for you to drive to the back of the resort. Good place to watch sunset on Grace Bay.  Causal outdoor eating.

Day 7
Breakfast on the beach.  This morning we went back to Smith’s reef for more snorkeling.  Weather was perfect and had a great time.  Lunch again at Salt mills diner.  Back to the room for the afternoon/finish packing etc.  Rain this afternoon.  Finally cleared up in time for sunset.  We tried to find outdoor restaurants on Grace Bay open but due to the rain they were not open, or at least the ones we tried to go to.  So we decided to get Pizza and go to the room!

Day 8 –Going home
Breakfast on the beach for our last time…  walked on the beach one last time then finished up the packing and left for the airport a little early.  We returned our car to Avis and went through security.  This was all really easy and there were only about 10 people in the airport.  I knew from researching to arrive early to get seats and go through security.  We arrived around 11 p.m. and our flight wasn’t until 1.  You do need to arrive early.  By the time we were boarding it was  VERY crowded with many people sitting on the floor.  Our flight to Miami was smooth.  We normally don’t check our luggage but with a long layover in Miami we decided to.  You do have to recheck your luggage once in Miami.  After doing that we stored our backpack in the storage area in the airport and took the airport flyer (I think it’s called that) to South Beach.  We ate at Oh Mexico, did a little sightseeing and shopping.  Then back to the airport for our 10 p.m. flight. 

We loved T & C!  We would go back in the future.  I think Middle was our favorite overall.
Tips: Take a back up camera (we had one break and one went swimming)
Take less clothes and more money
Take snacks
Take your own snorkel gear if resort doesn’t offer it.  Less expensive than renting.
Go to North and Middle for a day trip
Play/feed a Potcake
Eat the local made ice cream