Middle Caicos: Island of Secrets
If this place had turned out to be an armpit, I swear it wouldn't have mattered, so enchanted was I by the prospect of journeying to places called SECRET Cave and SECRET Beach. I guess you could say my inner 8-year old was totally amped up. I was ready to venture beyond the tourist throngs often found along Grace Bay Beach where we had been staying on the more populated Providenciales, a few islands over. As soon as we arrived at Mudjin Harbor, on Middle Caicos's Northeast coast, I spotted the narrow, rocky path leading to Secret Beach. It was set along a jaw-dropping coastline of vegetation-covered limestone cliffs. My husband, three kids and I hurried along the path with giddy anticipation. I put a vise grip on the 6-year old's wrist, and his fingers turned purple and sausage-like. No guard rails here, and the path meandered right at the cliff's edge. Soon enough we were led inland a few feet and came upon a primitive-looking staircase, spiraling down to who-knows-where. Down we, too, went, until we emerged, victorious, in a craggy, cathedral-like cavern. Secret Cave! It was cool and smelled briny. A welcome respite from the hot, windy day overhead. Beyond the cave's mouth was Secret Beach, and it was sublime. Baby powder sand with a backdrop of imposing cliffs, and a rocky break with a churning sea that unnerved and transfixed me all at the same time. My family and I were alone, yet together, in one of Earth's wild places. Bliss.