In our search for the ultimate beach vacation, we took a one week vacation to the Turks & Caicos. Rumor has it that Christopher Columbus first landed in the islands in 1492, thus discovering the “New World”, but it is only a rumor. However, it is where the color turquiose found its name and you can see why from the powder white beaches and the turquiose water.
Our vacation started immediately after work on Friday night when we had to take the bus to the airport. Nicole’s mom, Olga, dropped us off at the bus station around 5:30 PM then we spent the next 2 hours driving to SFO. We took a red-eye flight from San Francisco to Miami, where we landed in Miami at 6 AM on Saturday morning then spent 4 hours roaming the Miami airport until our flight to the island of Providenciales. Everything went without incidents and Club Med met us at the airport where we were transported in vans to the resort. The resort was located in Grace Bay about 25 minutes from the airport. On the way we caught a glimpse of the island: flat, lots of unfinished construction and the roads need work.
By typical Club Med standards, we were greeted at the entrance by the GO’s. After a quick introduction and a tropical drink, we were lead to our room. Club Med is not known for their luxurious accomodations. Most Club Med rooms are simple and basic but they meet the needs. Plus most of the time you are not in your room. The rooms at this resort were nice and we had a decent view of the ocean (the picture below is the view from our door). The most difficult part of keeping the room clean was keeping the sand out of the room. We did find a large cock roach wandering our room one night but that was about it for critters in the room!
The location of our room was on the far end of the resort and next to the snorkeling and diving shack. Probably from end to end, the resort was a few hundred yards long. On the complete opposite end sat the tennis courts and trapeze. But the walk through the club felt like walking through a park. The grounds were well kept and we couldn’t help but enjoy the view.
Morning usually started about 7:30 AM where we would enjoy a small breakfast, usually yogurt and granola for me. Tennis started at 8:30 AM and usually 3 or 4 of us would drill with the tennis instructor. Having free tennis lessons every morning is quite a luxury on vacation. There were two tennis instructors at this resort and both took their job very serious, almost like they didn’t realize we were there on vacation. After the first morning of the instructor barking out orders, yelling “You guys shouldn’t be sweating. This is the advanced class!”, I turned to another player and said “The humidity is killing us.” It was humid but not too bad. The temperature seemed to hover near a perfect 85 degrees, only a few degrees higher than the 82 degrees of the ocean. The only problem was after 1 hour of tennis, I had just used a shirt and socks. Halfway through the vacation, I ran out of socks.
I would take more than a week to adjust playing on the carpet surface. Sand was spread across the courts making it easier to slide. There were a couple decent players that I could hit with throughout the week.
When not on the tennis courts in the restaurants, most of our time was spent at or in the water. The club had about 6 small catamarans that we could take out. One day a dolphin swam directly underneath our catamaran and surfaced close enough for us to touch. Everyday, a snorkeling boat would take people to 1 of 2 snorkeling spots about 20 minutes off the beach.
Snorkeling (vest were mandatory so I had no choice! Nicole had slipped out of hers for the picture) throughout the week, we spotted a 5-6′ nurse shark, swam with a 5′ baracuda and hundreds of other fish. Visibility easily reached over 100′ on good days. It rained one day near the end of our stay so the water lost some visibility.
Otherwise, we spent the rest of our time reading and/or napping on the beach. Most of the time we would drag our chairs down to the water and hang our feet in the water.
The food was great and the favorite was the white chocolate bread. We also had conch (the local favorite).