Sunday, December 31, 2006

Saturday 30th December

Turtle Cove Marina.
Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands.

21 47.136 N
72 13.602 W

The morning began with Gerry putting all the various parts of the gen.set back onto the newly fixed frame work, then he decided to leave the reassembling of the gen set into the nav.station until tomorrow. We had planned on taking a trip into the town to have a look around the place so we gathered up our money, camera backpack and the tokens for the bus and headed to the bus stop where we waited for about 20 minutes until the bus arrived. They are small 12 seater buses which apparently run every half hour and cover almost all the island. We told the driver we wanted to go to the art market, handed over our tokens (worth $4 each) and off we went. A comment here about the place in comparison to the Bahamas – it is very much more developed, the roads are decent, the shops are like any westernized country, the restaurants are diverse and plentiful and the whole place is much cleaner and better presented than the Bahamas. Obviously they cater well for the tourist trade here which is reflected in the overall presentation. It started to rain whilst we were on the bus – not a good thing when you want to walk around shops, and was still raining when our driver set us down at the art shop, he was very helpful and told us that there was also a local “cultural arts and crafts market” just 2 minutes away on the beach pointing out the way. To be certain that we had a way of getting back he asked what time we wanted to be collected even though the bus was supposed to run every half hour to the designated bus stops (and we had been dropped off at one of these), anyway we gave ourselves an hour and he agreed that the bus would be here to collect us. We dived into the art shop and then browsed around for the next half hour, chatting with the owner – an expat Irish lady, after making our purchases we then headed off to the “cultural market” which we spent some time at, examining the supposedly local made crafts including wood carvings, shell monstrosities, bead work, paintings, clothing and the usual assortment of holiday mementoes also known as dust collectors. I am in seriously doubtful that some of them are locally made but as I didn’t buy them it is of no consequence. We headed back to the bus stop where we found the bus waiting for us, with a different driver – it didn’t matter, we handed over 2 more tokens and he drove us back to the dock. Another observation here – the locals seem like fast travel, whether it is driving a bus, car or stink boat they have to do it at break neck speed, you have to hold on tight and hope that nothing else is going to get in the way – this is particularly distressing when you are in a sail boat in a narrow, shallow channel and they are headed your way. Once back at the dock we headed into the Tiki Hut grill and ordered a couple of drinks and some lunch which we enjoyed before heading back to the boat. We had been told that Tiger Wood’s boat is here in the marina at present, we think it must be one of the enormous luxury yachts berthed near to us but we haven’t seen the man himself as yet so we can’t be sure. As it rained for most of the afternoon Gerry had a sleep and I read my book. Our evening was also a quiet one, spent onboard watching a movie.



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