There is much on Facebook to scowl about, but also much to laugh about. One example of the latter is this photo, showing Rita Shaw of Middle and Patti DesLauriers of North trying to open a wine bottle while waiting at Bellefield Landing for the My Girl ferry.
The photo is very Island except for one thing: These women both live there, and neither one has learned to always carry a corkscrew?
OK, I’ll give them this one. After a while, you start to think of island life as normal, forgetting the lessons learned when it was still Adventure Travel. If they had been going somewhere more unfamiliar than Provo, I’m sure they would have taken a survival kit, with corkscrew.
Still, continued use of a survival kit isn’t a bad idea. It’s less likely that you’ll get stuck on Provo overnight, as sometimes occurred in the days of the InterIsland Airways chaos, but being prepared for the unexpected or for some roughing it can save you money and your sanity.
Even if the plan is only for a day, here are some things I carry to Provo that I don’t bother with when running around on North Caicos:
Wallet with both cash and multiple credit cards. This saved me once when the Do-It Center’s system was taking American Express only.
Passport. If your day involves a bank or a government office, you may need it for ID.
Small, collapsible cooler. Sometimes the itinerary puts the grocery store stop earlier rather than later.
Swiss Army knife or some other combo tool with, yes, a corkscrew and bottle opener. No explanation needed.
Toilet paper. Not every restroom is well-equipped, and you often discover that too late. You don’t need to carry a whole roll, but some squares in a baggie just might save you some unpleasantness. Related item: Wet wipes.
My TCI black book. Less Luddite folks will be OK with their phones, I’m sure.
Off! Yes, there are fewer mosquitoes on Provo than on our islands, but even they have their days. Besides, you’ll likely be spending at least some time at Bellefield or Sandy Point.
And, depending on recent weather, a folding umbrella. If you have a lot of errands and need to make a ferry, you don’t want to waste time sitting in a parking lot waiting for a cloudburst to move away.
One thing I stopped taking along but probably shouldn’t have done is a towel. Yes, I stole the idea from Douglas Adams’ “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” but a towel really is most useful as a cushion, packing material, pillow during long waits, and yes, a towel. Once, when I went to South Caicos not knowing if I would make it back in one day, I’m sure my towel saved me from sunstroke as I sat on the back of Ba Parker’s boat, trying to stay out of the way while he and his crew filled the hold with conch. It also wiped my face after I threw up from the heat, ocean motion and smell of conch. And I needed it as a pillow in my spartan overnight accommodations on South.
Yeah. We might be all, We’re A Major Tourist Destination Now, but in truth no matter where you go in the TCI it’s still closer to Adventure Travel, so I think we should all continue to pack our survival kits for day trips. Because you never know.