In early April 2013, I was sick and tired of the Canadian winter that was dragging on and on and decided to book a ticket to somewhere warm but not too far from Montréal as I had DJ obligations to attend to four days later.
A friend suggested Turks and Caicos Islands, a British Overseas Territory, reputed for its amazing beaches and a short flight from Montréal, my homebase. A Turks & Caicos vacation is exactly what I needed. I actually should call it an escape or gateaway because it only lasted four days and consisted of two major activities: lying at the beach and racing around Providenciales, the major Island, on a quest to discover it but also feel wind in my hair.
I brought my Nikon D600 camera along — of course — and I managed to capture 780 images but to keep it manageable, I will only share a few with you, if you care.
Turks & Caicos Islands is reknown for its world class beaches and resorts that are growing like mushrooms. I could go on and tell you about this island nation that is NOT considered part of the Caribbeans but I will rather let Wikipedia do all of the explaining.
This mural is a painting of the map of the tropical island. As you can see, it’s all about beachs in Turks and Caicos Islands. I was in Providenciales, the most populated part.
See where the water is slightly turquoise? It’s not deep at all. I could have walked 3 good kilometres into the water and it would have only reached my knees. Apparently this is why hurricanes do not really hit this island as hard as it hits the others because by the time they get into that shallow water, they lose their force.
Resorts in Turks and Caicos Islands are the most popular types of establishments by travellers. Why? Because they are all inclusive and you can just check in and never have to worry about anything else.
This is not my style of travel. I prefer to book a hotel and just explore the island (Providenciales, in this case). A friend advised Ports of Call Resort which was perfect for me. You will notice that they bill themselves as a resort but they’re a hotel and they should be proud of that fact. The rate was affordable because it does not have direct access to any beaches but a 3-minute walk did not kill me. It is Canadian-owned (like almost everything there!) just in case anyone cares.
I never used that pool for a good reason: why travel for hours to go to the beach then spend time in a swimming pool???? We have more than plenty in Montréal!
Beaches of Turks and Caicos Islands are the reason why this is becoming a travel destination of choice by millions of tourists every year. No matter which side of the island you find yourself on, they are just breath-taking. The waves are not too big and the water is nice and warm.
If you are travelling to Turks & Caicos, travel agents and marketers will try to sell you on many other activities there. The truth is that there is not much to do there that you cannot do better in other islands. But their beaches alone are worth the trip. The one I attended regulary got voted the best two years in a row by the leading travel website on the Internet!
The truth be told, Providenciales as a city is nothing to get excited about. As a curious person, I needed to check it out with my very own eyes. It’s a typical place like in every island except that it’s slightly pretty high-end which makes sense because this country is chock-full of people who left their rich countries to come and settle here which, I understand completely given how gorgeous it is.
Turks & Caicos Islands should just become an overseas Canadian state or territory given the sheer fact that everything there is run by Canucks even the electricity!
While I loved Turks and Caicos beaches, I needed to do something else and on my way from a lunch, I came across this scooter rental place and I thought it would be pretty cool to rent a Vespa and just tour the island.
Initially, I wanted to do it by biycle but since I was short on time, I knew there was no way, I could tour the island in less than 4 hours.
This iPhone 4S snap, shows me (JaBig) on a Vespa S50 ready to visit the island with my camera hanging from my shoulder so that I could make quick stops and take photographs of interesting places or people.
Yes, I did ride with a helmet on. It’s just that for this shot, I did not want to look ridiculous since the helmet that they had provided me with was too big and I looked funny with it on. And, no, I was not scared that my camera would fall of my shoulder. That’s what that strap is for. My only fear was that if I fell, the camera would shatter into pieces. But hey, adventure has its risks, right?
I would stop, enjoy the scenery , take some photos and move along
Turks and Caicos Islands is the capital of stray dogs in the world. I would list this as my only downer on this trip. Whenever, I stopped, they’d come running and barking and I had no idea what their intentions were.
My last objective was to get bitten or mauled so I would calmly get back on the scooter and move along. In this case though, I just had to wait for them to get bored and go bark at other interesting subjects.
Riding a Vespa scooter under the tropical sun meant that I would get hot pretty quickly! My solution was to simply stop, undress, jump in the ocean to cool off and then hop on to the moped again and travel along!
Why am I wearing shoes you ask? I am smart enough to know that I would not want to make an emergency stop on a scooter and put my feet on the ground wearing flip flops!
At one stage, I took a wrong turn and ended up on this deserted unpaved road. There is no way the Vespa Scooter was going to last 10 minutes so I got off and pushed it back to the nearest paved road.
Don’t trust any maps provided to you by locals. They told me not to trust Google Maps on my iPhone but it bailed me out more often than theirs!
At one stage, I came across a group of people that were parasailing and they asked me to join them. I was tempted but had no idea if my travel insurance covered any risks associated with it so I politely declined, had a swim and “scooter-ed” on.
This has to be the biggest home I have ever seen in my life. It is said to belong to a wealthy (obviously!) American celebrity. I went by scooter the first time and surprisingly missed it and on the following day, I finally saw it and from about 3 kilometres away, took a photo of it.
More interesting sights from Turks and Caicos Islands…
And of course, there is no way, I was ever going to miss the amazing sunsets!
Turks and Caicos Islands is a beach destination. You go there to just be lazy and also enjoy the ocean. That is what I did. It’s not far from Canada and I will return there and I encourage everyone to visit it before the party people (yes, that’s me too! There’s a Club Med there too) invade it and completely trash it! I may have found my piece of paradise in the Americas…