June 10, 2013
During our stay at The Somerset on Grace Bay, the Turks and Caicos Tourism Board wanted to share with us some of their favorite things to do and see while vacationing on Providenciales. Since this was our first time visiting, we were excited to experience the best of what the island nation had to offer with some locals as our guides. Our first stop was lunch at Bugaloo’s Conch Crawl. Located in Five Little Cays, this restaurant is quickly becoming one of the most popular places to eat due to its amazing location and delicious fresh seafood.
We ordered a sample of conch fritters, coconut cracked conch, conch salad, and fried shrimp that we simply could not get enough of! Bugaloo Williams, the owner of the restaurant, is the originator of “fresh from the sea” conch salad, which then resulted in a conch frenzy between locals and visitors alike. Along with being a master of “conchology,” Bugaloo’s is great at brining people together, especially on Conch Crawl Sundays with live music.
After lunch we had some time to wander around the adjacent beach. I almost could not believe what was in front of my eyes, because it was that beautiful. This breathtaking part of the world should be enjoyed by everyone. Do not feel like you cannot see it, either. Yes, you have to save up some money if you want to spend your holidays in Turks and Caicos, but you can also find some good deals on hotels if you look in the right places. The best piece of advice I can give, having traveled to this region, is to start out by looking into some online travel websites. You will be surprised by the prices of some hotels and that might just inspire you to start planning an unforgettable vacation of your own.
We spent some time with two of the restaurant’s conch gurus. They taught us everything we needed to know about how to find, cook, and eat conch. I have never met two men more passionate about their jobs before.
Then it was time for a completely different experience on another part of the island. We were taken to the Potcake Place; a dog rescue charity whose mission is “to reduce the number of homeless potcakes on the island.” Locals have affectionally named the homeless dogs ‘potcakes’, which is the term used to describe the leftover part of a rice dish that no one eats and is then given to the animals. At one point the population of dogs was becoming unmanageable and thus Potcake Place was formed. It is responsible for taking care of the potcakes until they are adopted. Many tourists who visit the rescue shelters find them irresistible and bring them home like souvenirs from their trip. Unfortunately, due to all of my traveling, I cannot take care of a dog right now, otherwise I would have definitely brought one home with me.
On the way to our next stop, my husband asked the driver to pull the car over on the side of the road. He quickly got out, grabbed something from what looked like a bush, and then came back to me with the biggest smile on his face. He had found some cotton! As per tradition, second anniversary presents are supposed to be cotton-based and he said once we returned home he would find the perfect glass casing to showcase it in. This spontaneous romantic gesture was definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me.
Where would our next stop be? All we knew was that it was our guides favorite place on the island. . .