Handsome Husband and I like to go way, way south to get warm after Christmas. Being wanderers, we rarely go to the same Caribbean island twice. So this year we checked out the Turks and Caicos, staying on the island of Providenciales.
My father, who commanded a destroyer during World War II and spent time sailing in the Caribbean, was baffled by the fact that he had never heard of the Turks and Caicos. So we checked it out on a map. Much to his relief, it was located where no ships had a reason to venture and is surrounded by treacherous reefs and shoals.
I have included the map because I didn’t really know where it was either.
It also turns out that there wasn’t much going on there after about 1815. You see, the Turks and Caicos were the largest producer of salt in the world for 250 years or so before that. However, their principal market, the United States, fizzled out around then because the Turks were under British rule and and we were doing our darnedest not to be.
Then in the 1970s some smart person realized there were really gorgeous beaches there and started building lovely resort hotels. Here’s ours, the Seven Stars:
There’s still not a lot going on there, except vacations, and that makes it a very relaxing place. However, after our voyage to the Galapagos, Darling Daughter and I have become connoisseurs of rare lizards (among other creatures) so we were very excited to learn about the presence of the rock iguana, a critically endangered species endemic to the Turks and Caicos. So we signed up for an expedition to Little Water Cay where they are protected.
Here’s a handsome specimen strolling over the sand.
Can you see the dorsal fins down his back? Evidently, those are more pronounced in rock iguanas than in their brethren.
On that same expedition, we went diving for conch. Can you see the fellow’s eyes in this photo?
It made me feel a little guilty because later we ate him. Our guide made the most delicious fresh conch salad while we were out lizard-watching. Darling Daughter brought home his shell as a beautiful souvenir so nothing went to waste.
Honestly though, mostly we just lounged on the beach, drinking dacquiris.
And we admired the view.
By the way, I brought back a gorgeous pair of earrings from our trip which I’m offering as a prize in my website contest. If you want to see them (and perhaps win them!), hop on over to www.NancyHerkness.com.