Monday, April 7, 2014

Amazing Provo

As I began to study the geography of Turks and Caicos, I thought that it was a somewhat hostile coastline with not many places to seek shelter. The few areas that there were required navigating around treacherous reefs to gain access. The whole southern coast of the islands is way too shallow to even risk going there with Mirador, I would literally be feeling my way around. I have had my fill of that.
Eva posing with the conch farm in the background. Yeah, not much there.

We are staying at a marina called Turtle Cove. As you may should have read in an earlier post, we needed a guide to get us in here. Once inside the marina you're totally protected from most weather short of a hurricane. The amenities abound on this island. I do not know how this island nation has been able to out-compete the other places around the Caribbean for tourism. Although surrounded by beautiful waters, the islands themselves are not very large. How they manage to attract a disproportionate amount of business is a mystery to me. Most of the northern shore of Provo is lined with resort hotels, one after the other. The grocery store is very similar to our "Fresh Market" chain only better manicured. All is available here, for a price, a high price. Yet, the store is full, a detail such as price is no matter. High-end shops frame the Boulevard, and the streets just bustle with tourists. In the souvenir shops it is standing room only.
On the waters side of all this mad peddling is a similar commercial phenomena. All manner of water activities are offered. They will push you, pull you, dunk you, and even fly you, all for a price. Everyone is trying to make the best of their 5 to 7 day vacation. They have waited all year for this. They are money rich, but time poor, and so a sense of urgency fuels this frenzy.
Then there is the culinary side of this race of indulgence. All of the "What-to-do in Provo" magazines that are handed out for free (the only thing that is) at every establishment are cluttered with ads for restaurants that feature some renown chef, and his creations. The images are so beautiful that one is torn between eat it or hanging it on the wall, reservations required.
On Thursday there is an emulation of a vernacular event called a "fish fry". On many of the islands, the natives have a recurring event, one day a week, or even one day a month, where several vendors sell local foods and the local bands get to demonstrate their talents, all in an open field or on the side of the road. The food vendors line up on either side of an open area, in kiosks, and display hand painted signs or banners of their offerings. Tables are scattered about where one can sit after the hard decision of what to eat has been made. In an effort to give credit where credit is due, all things being relative, they do pour a good drink. 
The kids enjoyed the playgrounds, they were quite nice.

The Junkanoo band at the Fish Fry.

The kids were able to gain access to one of the resort pools.

Provo, as do most of these islands, does have amazingly beautiful nature resources. The commercial side of this paradise exists only because we support it, and we support it because it's what some of us want. Different strokes for different folks. Life is beautiful.

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