Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Turks & Caicos

Welcome to Turks and Caicos. Where are we, you might ask? We are on an island and cay chain slightly North of Puerto Rico and more East to Cuba. And what is a cay? Actually pronounced "key," like the Florida keys, it is a flat island created by dead coral reef and wave patterns. Many of them shift or are wiped out by a  single storm. The low lying shrubs and sandy soils remind me of driving through Florida. Except that the water is more turquoise than any I have seen anywhere. Even with drops of rain and rolling rain clouds around us, the intensity of the turquoise sang to us. Unbelievable!!
Our journey began at 3am from Burlington, VT. Then to NY, NC, and finally Providenciales (Provo for short), Turks and Caicos. Aside from a screw needing to be tightened on the very top of the plane, which somehow took over an hour to fix (which got fixed, might I add, once we were already boarded...on a plane to nowhere fast), the flight was smooth and uneventful.  
Post sunset on Grace Bay.
The above photo was me doing a long exposures as it got darkness breathed down upon us. You can see ghosts of Dave taking shots as the lights of a huge, new condo complex provides lines of light in the background. 

Our hotel: Comfort Suites. It gets the job done. It is no all-inclusive, which we luckily both find unattractive. We want to smell the burning trash and check out different restaurants around town. Swim in beaches on both the Caribbean and Atlantic sides of the island. Get a taste of local flavor. 

So, here we are. Ready for bed by 7pm because of our unnatural early morning and a day of head bobbing in the air. Naturally, we found the closest supermarket to our hotel, "Gateway Gourmet," an equivalent to Healthy Living or some other outrageously expensive health food and gourmet food store, and we bought the cheapest rum possible (one of the only local commodities besides conch and lobster the islands produce). 
Along with some snacks and mixer, we were ready for the night. Oh, and a side-note: The supermarket had aged Cabot cheddar for the same price as home. For those of you that are not from Vermont, Cabot is proudly made in Vermont. It was here and cheaper than many of the "local, healthy, responsible, etc., etc. health food stores" in Vermont. Although it was one of the cheapest cheddars here, we felt like buying it was against the adventurous spirit of traveling, and instead bought an imported Irish farm cheddar for the same price. Cheap cheese and expensive beer. A six pack of Bud Light was $10.19. No thanks. We were happy with our Bambarra local rum. 

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