“Toto, I’ve a feeling we aren’t in Kansas anymore.
Or should I say, Dad, we aren’t in Provo anymore. That is exactly how I felt after the half hour ferry ride to North Caicos, piling into a island Land Rover, and riding down rickety dirt roads with about a quarter tank of gas. It’s all about the experience, right?
My mom, dad, brother and I decided to embark on a day trip to North and Middle Caicos last week. My brother and dad had been, but it was completely new to my mom and I. New and exciting…
We started with breakfast at Silver Palms Restaurant. With a couple of wrong turns, an almost popped tire, and a long narrow rocky road, we finally found it. We passed few signs that said “Silver Palms! Worth the drive!” so we knew were headed in the somewhat right direction, but still…lost. But, the signs were right. It was probably the best breakfast I’ve had in a while; my college diet of granola bars and oatmeal was impressed. The owner Karen was an absolute treat and provided us with incredible hospitality. She whipped up fresh toast with butter and jam, crispy bacon, scrambled eggs, and two refreshing pomegranates for us. Being the coffee addict that I am, I gulped down two cups of her hot french press coffee faster than my tongue could handle. The atmosphere was very warm and peaceful, with inside and outside seating available, flowers and conch shells on the tables, and quiet music playing in the background. When it was finally time to continue our journey, I didn’t want to leave!
But I did, and we were back on the dirt road to explore North Caicos. I remember thinking to myself (and out loud) “Really? Is this it?” My mom did not seem impressed either as we drove for about 20 minutes and I swear all I saw was bushes and trees. I’m sure my brother Taylor was tuning my complaints out until at one point he said “Mackenzie, look!” and I turned my head to spot the sharpest, clearest, bluest water I have ever witnessed. We looked for a place to stop until stumbling upon Last Chance Bar and Grill at Bottle Creek, North Caicos. This little bar was a hoot; run by a man named Howard who my family took quite a liking to. My family ordered rum punches while I tried to capture the electric blue water with my Nikon, only to realize it is definitely something you have to see in person. Howard, a bartender, chef, architect and boat builder, had a million stories to tell. We probably could’ve sat out on the back deck sipping on his rum punches all day.
But again, we didn’t. We kept on moving. More food, more drinks. More pictures to take. Our next stop was Mudjin Harbor in Middle Caicos. We reached the causeway, or another long rickety road. Luckily my brother was driving who drives a Jeep back home in the states!
Mudjin Harbor…This is one of those things that if you’ve never seen it, you either need to hop on a ferry right now and go see it or take my word for it. People describe things as breathtaking all the time, but I’m telling ya, you don’t know breathtaking until you step onto this cliff in Middle Caicos. The first thing I saw was the ocean, which was beautiful in itself, but once I saw steps leading upwards to the cliff, my smile grew even bigger. I followed my brothers lead to the top of the cliff and when I got to the top, I was astonished. I felt as if I could see the whole entire world from that very point. But, standing on that cliff also made me feel smaller than I ever have. I was just this one tiny spec on top of a cliff, with this incredibly beautiful world we live in laying in front of me.
I remember I kept saying to my dad “Dude, have you ever seen something so crazy? This is crazy! Isn’t this crazy, dad?” I was blown away…but It didn’t stop there.
Next, we kept walking along the cliff until we got to this very narrow tunnel. I was very confused, especially because my mom and brother seemed to have…disappeared. But again, I followed my dads lead and dove down into the cave by walking down these narrow stairs. After a few flights, and me saying “where am I? What is this? Am I in a cave?” Once I finally reached the bottom, I walked out onto what my brother and dad called “a private beach.” I could explain it to you, but Kenny Chesney said it best…”It’s good for the soul when theres not a soul in sight.”
After I had finished up snapping my last pictures, we made our way to find Daniels Cafe to meet the famous Devon. We were greeted with big, cheery grins and ice cold beers the second we walked in. Devon, who was quite the riot, took our order right after he enlightened us about his music (MC One), his views on the world, and his family. His father, Daniel, filled us with even more laughs during our meal. Devon was in the kitchen singing and dancing and Daniel cracked jokes throughout our whole meal.The atmosphere was laid back, and island-y, and somehow, made me feel at home somewhere VERY different than home.
Then we headed back to North Caicos to check out one last incredible view at our friends property at Pumpkin Bluff that probably took us 30 minutes on another dirt road to find, but like my brother said, isn’t anyone up for some adventure? After I snapped some more pictures, we made our way to Barracuda Beach Bar. This bar is hidden, almost tucked away, but sits directly on the beach and is a little tiki hut- the perfect place to drink a beer and watch the sun move across the sky.
I think I saw most of the island through the lens of my Nikon, but it was fun being a tourist for the day with my family. I think we hit every bar on both islands that day and it was quite the adventure. We got back to Provo just in time for a light dinner and a sunset and we were all asleep by 9:30. And that’s island life!”