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Trip Report Our First Turks & Caicos Trip

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First, a 'thank you' to all that helped with their expertise on planning our trip to these GORGEOUS islands!!

We now understand all of the posts about the colors of the water. I agree with whomever wrote It is an "assault on your retina" -- its blue, then blue green, then turquoise -- it keeps changing and all such stunning shades of blue! And the white talcolm powder sand against it draws makes it even more colorful.

Now the boring details:

Airlines: Spirit Air from DFW to FLL. First time flying them. They are new airplanes so very clean and nice leather seats for Plus and Coach seats. Not very many Plus seats are offered depending which plane they are using. The attendants and gate people were very nice and accomodating. My experience with the 1-800 people revealed they need a lot of work in the customer service area. I learned the hard way that they will not service you AT ALL by phone if you made your reservation through anyone but their website. Also, we never got through to them from T&C before we flew home. Always said that it was a high call volume and to call back another time. We did and never got through. Ran into mechanical problems on the last leg of the trip and they downsized the plane and we were bumped from our Plus seats so I have to initiate a refund process for the difference this week. I'm interested to see how well they handle it.

North Caicos: Stayed on this island for a week on Whitby Beach and was so knocked out by its beauty. Houses were small and did not overwhelm the scenery on the beach. We saw only a handful of people the entire week on the beach. Only one day did someone actually pass us walking on the beach. Didn't have snorkel gear but supposedly had good snorkeling all around the island. No restaurants to speak of except at the airport. The other two were not open since it was low season so we hired someone to cook dinner for us several nights.
The grocery store was adequate and received a new shipment of supplies and produce every Tuesday. I realize how spoiled I am with all the choices I have here at home now. Our rental car was fine and was $480 for a week. Gas was about $4.50/gallon but didn't use much as a very fuel efficient car.
Took a drive to Bottlecreek for a sim card but they were out. Roads were good enough to drive about 40mph on most of it. Lots of pot holes in the road but they are working on them. The roads to Three Mary Cays was a dirt/gravel road but not bad at all. Three Mary Cays was gorgeous and we wished we had snorkel gear as it was filled with great snorkeling as well as a nesting area for Osprey. UNTIL we saw a 5ft plus shark in 2 feet of water along the beach with us. Heard it was mating season so they were coming into shallow waters.
The road to Sandy Point was not passable as it had rained the day before but heard it was building up with multistoried condo units - heard Jamie Lee Curtis bought the penthouse for something like 11million so must be quite a place they are building. Also, saw building going on around from 3 Mary Cays, too.

Flew Global Air by charter from Provo over and flew Air Turks and Caicos back to Provo. I will not fly Air T&c again. My husband flies and was a little nervous flying over to Provo. I asked him why when we landed & he explained they must have overloaded the plane as the pilot was "hanging on the props". He confronted the pilot and was was quite surprised my husband noticed and didn't deny it but tried to make it sound as if it was not a problem. Also, they didn't run on schedule at all but I expected that.

Provo: Stayed at Royal West Indies in a beachfront room for a week. Nothing special in the decor but a good location and view from the room. Nice having a small kitchen. The beach chairs went very quickly and early -- 8:30am daily through July 4th. Then it tapered off a little. They were allowing people to get up early and put towels on chairs to hold until they came out. I asked about that and they told me they were not going to enforce the 45minute rule for holding. So, I had to get up earlier than normal just to go out to get an umbrella. They ran out of umbrellas a couple of days even after getting the reserve umbrellas out. They did have plenty of chairs just not umbrellas.
Restaurants: Hemmingways: beautiful setting with lights on palm trees and music. Food and service were good and had no problems with mosquitos -- think they had something in the misters going.
Tiki Hut: my fish was good but this was the WORST SERVICE EVER. Our waiter checked out after we placed our order and we never had another waiter. Serviced ourself for silverware, water, drinks, napkins, etc.
Anacoana: Very romantic and steps away from RWI from the beach. Very good food, more expensive than Hemmingways -- entrees around $33/+- . Slow service. Took us 40 minutes to get our predinner cocktail. Went downhill from there. The other waiter for tables next to us seemed to be just fine. Modern fun outdoor bar with fire pit.
Da Conch Shack: beachside shack with conch anything and warning; if you want spicy conch salad - hold on because it will light you up! I thought I was going to die after the first 5 or 6 bites. Then I think I just went numb. My husband who likes spicy tried a bite and agreed it was quite "warm"!
Rental Car: Rent A Buggy. Picked us up at the airport and had a Kia something -- 4wd. Rent 7 days and one is free. Someone sideswiped us in a roundabout and had to run him down. He went with us to the car rental and they worked it out quickly. No big deal. Will rent from him again.
IGA Grocery reminded me of the ones at home! Chaos. Its a large grocery store with a busy parking lot.
Beaches: Grace Bay: Stunning. Beautiful long stretches of white sand with ever-changing blue to blue green waters!!! A little busy though for us but we couldn't get enough of that beach!! Its everything people said it would be. There is construction 2 doors down from RWI and heard it everyday except Sunday. Bring your iPod. There are high-rise condos going up everywhere it seemed. It reminded me of Cancun --only in the buildup of the beach hotels. Parasailing boats, banana boats, etc. are along the beach as well.
Malcolm's Beach: our personal favorite. Looooong gravel road to get to it once you leave the "highway" but so worth it. Beautiful water and reef. Someone told us they were snorkeling out at the wall and saw many sharks -- over 30 sharks over his 4 days there. Plus, a supersized baracuda, too. But said it was a long swim out to the wall but worth it.
Northpoint: visited the resort and it was very quiet there. 2 people on the beach. Not as pretty as Malcolm's and Grace Bay. However, quite a long drive if you wanted to go into Provo every day.

Oh, the airport. Get there early!! We saw the lines outside and inside when we arrived and knew anything under 2hours before our flight would be risking it. We got there 3 hours early because we had an early checkout and glad we did as it gave us time to order a burger-to-go at Gilley's to go and get in the security line (20minutes) and eat our burger on the other side as not much to eat on the other side of security/immigration. I can see they are going to have to enlarge their airport with all the people coming to this island.
And for those of you in Leeward, all I can say is LUCKY! Love that beach!

The secret is definately out about this stunning beach!!

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