Get Up Grand Turk!
The Caribbean has been hit twice with hurricanes this year 2017. That doesn’t exclude this archipelago in the Caribbean, the Turks and Caicos Islands. I was in Turks and Caicos Islands mid November and I saw how the capital of the archipelago territory, Grand Turk, devastated by hurricane after hurricane. It was so heartbreaking that the people of Grand Turk were trying to make ends meet. But I saw the resilience of the Turks and Caicos islanders and I’m here as a traveler helping them in a way boosting tourism in the land. With this trip, all I can say is, Get up Grand Turk!
I was in a Caribbean cruise and Turks and Caicos Islands was one of the destinations we had on that voyage. I never heard of this territory before but I am a person who loves to indulge in an adventure and before I left for my cruise, I did a research and added the territory on my list of places to visit. When I woke up in the morning and the cruise ship was already docked in the port of Grand Turk, I was hyped to head out and to explore the place.
Turks and Caicos Islands or TCI for short are British Overseas Territory consisting of larger Caicos islands and smaller Turks islands. These group of tropical islands are primarily known for tourism and as an offshore financial center. The TCI lie southeast of the Bahamas and north of the island of Hispaniola (Haiti and Dominican Republic).
When I got off of to the shore of Grand Turk, it was lively with live shows going on. I would have never thought that the place has been hit by hurricanes if I didn’t go out of the Grand Turk Cruise Center. When I travel, I always make sure to do some exploring instead of just staying in the hotel. I took the best of Grand Turk excursion because on the brochure, it showcased the old places and the top tourist destinations of the land. All guests were brought to these touristy areas. These locations were;
1. Grand Turk Salt Salinas
Salinas are everywhere in Grand Turk since Grand Turk was one of the three islands of the TCI developed to produce salt. Development of Salinas for salt production began sometime in the early 1700s when the British colonials in Bermuda recognized potentials of the shallow ponds in the Turks and Caicos. Inlet connections to the ocean were made to feed the Salinas with sluice gates to control water movement. Grand Turk Salt Salinas has seen more development than Salt Cay and South Caicos. But due to recent devastation when the hurricanes hit the land, the borders of the salt Salinas were been damaged making the flow of the water exceeds to even side walk and main streets.
2. St. Mary’s Anglican Church
The colonial beachfront St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Cockburn Town is one of the stops in our excursion too. Many of the island’s churches were built during golden age of sea salt production in the early to mid ’80s. The most beautiful thing about this church is it is located infront of the finest sand beach of the land.
3. Grand Turk beaches and shores
The whole time we were touring around Grand Turk, I have noticed its beautiful and finest sand beaches and shores. The water was so clear that you can see the bottom of the sea. Since they are known as a tourist destination, Turks and Caicos islanders used this advantage by putting up sea activities such as swim with the turtles, snorkeling, jet skiing, and more.
4. Grand Turk Historic Lighthouse
It is a lighthouse located on the lighthouse road on the coast of Grand Turk. It is situated on a small limestone hill overlooking the shallow reef that extends from the northern end of the island. The 60-foot tall structure was completed by a British architect in 1852 to alert sailors of the shallow reef. Today, the lighthouse and lighthouse keeper’s house are a historic site protected by the National Trust. The lighthouse has donkey trails to the beach. Mangrove trees can be found also anywhere on the coast nearby helping prevent soil erosion.
The whole time I was in Grand Turk, I found how strong the locals are. They only need opportunity to get back on their feet to live life normal again. I may have a small reader community but somehow I did something to open the eyes of the outside world that people in Grand Turk needs a helping hand. Since their primary way of getting money is thru tourism, travelers can try and visit TCI and able to assist in getting up, Grand Turk.
Here is my vlog on Turks and Caicos Islands few months after it got hit by hurricane after hurricane.