Chalk Sound

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During our week in Provo, we rented a car one day to explore Chalk Sound, another part of the island. As we drove down South Dock Road (hidden above, but parallel to the telephone poles), we caught a sudden, dramatic glimpse of blue even bolder than what we saw in Grace Bay:

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Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present Chalk Sound.

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Perhaps someday I’ll write a short story speculating what happened to the rest of this sign.

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Shallow enough to dock your sailboat in.

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A majority of Chalk Sound is blocked off by private roads, so we had to be a little creative in finding photo-taking spots. This one and the next four were on the grounds of the Neptune Villas, the area’s largest (only?) resort.

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I took many, many photos of this, hoping at least one would sufficiently capture the gorgeous view.

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Across the Sound, looking North.

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Closer up–much of the Sound is naturally dotted with vacation homes.

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One of the beaches at Neptune Villas.

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A strip of land runs south of the Sound, and we drove up and down it, seeking offshoot roads were we parked and photographed.

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A lone burst of pink.

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Typical architecture along the Sound…

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…and, a typical gazebo overlooking it.

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Many gazebos, in fact.

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At times, the sun shone in such a way that the water appeared even more vividly aquamarine.

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Close-up of the Sound’s rocky shore.

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Later in the day, we headed over towards the Northwest part of the island to an area called Blue Hills. Our destination was Kalooki’s, the top-rated restaurant in Provo according to TripAdvisor.

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Only 1,416 miles from Hartford! (actually, that might be kilometers since we are in the British West Indies.)

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Kalooki’s had one of the more… candid bathroom signs I’ve seen.

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Kalooki’s cuisine was delicious, but the best part was obviously the view from our table. I treasure the memory weeks later in a Boston blanketed by eight feet of snow.

Grace Bay

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East of Cuba, North of Haiti and part of the British West Indies, Turks and Caicos is a chain of islands in the Caribbean that I had never heard of before Steve and I decided to go there for our annual winter getaway. We stayed in Providenciales (the most populated, tourism friendly island, commonly called “Provo” for short), spending most of our time in Grace Bay. If you look at the map above (found on the side of a building there), Grace Bay is slightly Southeast of the sun compass on Provo’s Northern coast.

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I’ll get right to the point – Grace Bay’s greatest attraction is its beach, with some of the most striking, gorgeous aqua blue water you’ll ever see.

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Grace Bay stretches on for miles, packed with soft, white sands, umbrellas and lounge chairs for the dozen or so resort hotels along it.

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The grounds of luxurious Grace Bay Club.

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Beachside Eight Ball, anyone?

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Alas, we did not stay at the Grace Bay Club but across the street (above, Bonaventure Crescent, lined with beautiful pink and red flowers and lush, green hedges.) However, we still had easy access to the beach, for none of it is private.

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For accommodations, Villa Del Mar was more our speed. We had a spacious deck (seen here in the center)…

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…and terrific views, both of Grace Bay Club, the coast (behind all those palms)…

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…and Villa Del Mar’s swimming pool.

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We spent a lot of time at the pool, relaxing, reading and sunbathing in those comfortable, terri-cloth-covered lounge chairs.

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An extreme palm close-up.

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We occasionally spotted two rather friendly cats at the resort. Hours after taking this, we were poolside and this one nonchalantly walked passed us carrying what I though to be a long, thin weed in its mouth;

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It was actually one of these little guys, which are in abundance throughout the island, always darting in and out of grasses, bushes and other plants.

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These pink and white flowers are seemingly everywhere in Provo…

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…as are plenty of palms, naturally.

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I saw this nice little still life on the grounds of Ocean Club West, a resort next door to Grace Bay Club.

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One of Ocean Club West’s idyllic ocean views.

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Their pink umbrellas vividly stand out against the sand and surf (at least more so than Grace Bay Club’s white ones).

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Typical lodging at Oceans Club West.

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Grace Bay’s shopping district was about a ten-minute walk from our hotel.

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A sunny Saturday afternoon along Grace Bay Road with all the typical Caribbean tourist town staples: gift shops, ice cream parlors (including the suspect-sounding and looking “Turkberry”), high-end jewelry stores and restaurants.

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A shade of green to rival what I saw on the Handelskade in Curacao a few years back.

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Spoiler alert: my vacation felt complete, even though I did not stop at Mama’s.

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As seen at a shopping plaza. Can’t say I ever thought about putting my feet on a wall…

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Nightlife in Grace Bay is limited to restaurants and resort bars (there’s also a casino, but I’m not a gambling man); one of the most picturesque was The Deck Bar at the ridiculously opulent Seven Stars resort.

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My favorite night spot was the Infiniti Bar at Grace Bay Club, which we checked out our first evening in town (you can make out Steve down at the other end).

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Back to the beach and what appears to be a parasailing also-ran crablike character from SpongeBob SquarePants in the air, perhaps?

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The crab touches down right outside the designated swimming area.

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I took numerous shots of this sailboat, both in the water and parked on the sand; this might be my favorite one for its reflection.

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What other way to leave Grace Bay than this wide-angle beach shot? If you need one reason to ever make the trip, this is it.

More pictures from another part of Provo to come.