I was just another ripple in the water. Whatever waves you make or sand that trembles between your fingers – the bay doesn’t care. It’ll all get washed up anyways. Go ahead – leave your footprints in the sand. Shimmering lights shine through your underwater path. A handful of sand blows through your fingertips. You kick waves as you walk out of the water: dizzy, lightheaded, and collapse on the sand to watch the rosy-cheeked setting sun wrestle with clouds for your attention as it sets. Even the sunset will be different tomorrow. The blushing clouds will never paint the same shade on the earth. Boats, extending out of the water like teepees on flatlands, start packing up for the evening.
Jonathan and I had taken a trip to Turks & Caicos and were enjoying a sunset on what we started calling our beach: Sapodilla Bay. Sand as white as icing sugar, the turquoise water warm to the touch even as the sun was saying its goodbyes. It’s just one of many beaches on Providenciales, Grace Bay being the most popular for tourists. This one, with its seclusion and glassy waters just a short drive away from where we had rented an apartment, became our favourite. It’s located in a secluded area on the opposite end of the island (which is a 30 minute drive from one end to the other) in a residential area, with no hotels nearby. You’ll find Taylor Bay a few minutes away, which is similar but more shallow – with what feels like miles of water that doesn’t go past your knee, making it great for families with small children.
“Here he comes,” Jonathan said, waking me up from being lost in thought. Who? Who else. The sun was the only other one here. He had escaped the grasp of the clouds and was making a break for it – racing towards the horizon and creating a thicker reflection in the water.
I wonder if what I like most about the beach is its lack of permanence. Back home, at work, everything that you do has an impact. Stresses and pressures are rooted in the effects that your actions (or lack of) will have on yourself or on other people. But not here. Here, everything is out of your control and nothing is permanent. And even if I could control the sun, would I want to? Let it leave and allow for rest before another busy day lounging at the beach.
Where to eat in Providenciales
da Conch Shack
Deemed as one of the world’s top 50 beach bars by CNN and included in 1000 places to see before you die, da Conch Shack is the most popular restaurant and bar on the island. With the CEO being a fellow Torontonian, I was impressed by how ideal they made this restaurant for visitors. It’s family-friendly, fun for tourists, but keeps authenticity with delicious island food inspired by local and Jamaican recipes. Your tables are right on the water, with your feet brushing against the sand.
On the menu? Conch – cracked (breaded lightly and fried), fritters, curried, or coconut stew. They also have fish, lobster (in season), chicken, and shrimp. Their jerk chicken leg with a side of macaroni and cheese, cracked conch with a zesty coleslaw, and conch combo with fritters, cracked conch, peas and rice were highlights of eating in Providenciales. The laid-back atmosphere with beach front views is the best you’ll find on the island.
They host an island beach party with live music every Wednesday after 7pm. It’s worth a trip for the rum punch alone.
Blue Hills Rd, Providenciales
Bugaloo’s Conch Crawl
Bugaloo’s is a beachfront tree-house, with a large bar and lights hanging from palm trees amidst the tables. You can choose to sit right on the sand, with never-ending, unbeatable views and a front row seat of the fishermen gathering the catch of the day. Or, by the wooden bar beneath the trees. It’s on the other end of the island and feels quieter, so you can enjoy an intimidate dinner on the beach, if that’s your preference. Its proximity to the airport means you can go straight there – which I recommend – and cool off with your feet in the water. Their food tastes fresh, with the coconut-battered cracked conch and conch fritters being my favourites.
Five Cays Settlement; Beach near Fish House, Providenciales
Phone: +1 649-941-3863