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Milford Sound is an incredible place to be on the planet. Lots of outdoors things to do. SCUBA diving with black coral. Sea kayaking down the sound (with sailing of you’re lucky). Hiking. Just wow.

Sadly, there is only one place to stay in Milford Sound. What we can say for Milford Sound Lodge is that they are taking advantage of their monopoly status. Not our cup of tea, especially when it comes to dining. (A better bet is to stay in the cabins in the national park on the other side of the tunnel.)

We were assigned room 13 (which we booked WAY in advance and overpaid for). The internet did not work.

Little cabins in paradise

The bedroom

At least the shower was not plostic!

However, the toilet was

On our way in, we did the Key Summit walk. A great hike.

Key summit reflection

panorama from key summit

Anyway, skip the Milford Lodge and just do all of the things. We recommend SCUBA with Descend and Sea Kayaking with Rosco’s.

SCUBA with descend diving in Milford Sound

Kayak with Rosco’s Kayaks in Milford Sound

More about high adventure fun at Milford Sound on apothecaryshed.

Two showerheads and some dinner service that works for Milford Sound Lodge. And maybe a staff with some training? Just camp.

Salt Cay is certainly off the beaten path. In fact, one of the only pernicious issues with a visit is the air schedule. M/W/F is pretty much it on the awesome Caicos Express airlines (unless you charter a plane for yourself). So good luck when your rhythm is constrained by the Virginia school system! But all in all, we seek out off the beaten path. Sand, salt ponds, diving, population 60, golf carts, nothing at all to do—perfection.

The Caicos Express Cesna (superb pilots all)

The Caicos Express Cesna (superb pilots all)

Salt Cay: a speck from space

Salt Cay: a speck from space

Castaway is on the north beach up by the airport. Renting a buggy is recommended. Gary has the best deal (and he apparently plays a mean guitar too). Proprietors Haidee and Porter run a nice set of bungaloos.

Castaway from the beach

Castaway from the beach

Inside castaway

Inside castaway

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Sadly, though the shower is phenomenal for Salt Cay (running water, clean, nice), it has a plastic shower curtain. Uh oh! We’ll pretend that didn’t happen.

Plastic curtain?  Say it ain't so.

Plastic curtain? Say it ain’t so.

But besides island donkeys and goats…

Salt Cay donkey

Salt Cay donkey

Island goat

Island goat

there is this incredible Caribbean beach.

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Sunset from Castaway

Sunset from Castaway

Of course, we really came as much for the diving as for the nothing. Deb’s dive shop is not only the island entertainment system, it’s restaurant Coral Reef is also the social hub of the island. But the real gem is Richard, the dive master. Buddha calm under water.

Richard the dive master

Richard the dive master

Coral Reef at Salt Cay Dive Shop

Coral Reef at Salt Cay Dive Shop

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Breakwater cove

Breakwater cove

Prime dinner location

Prime dinner location

Sunset from the breakwater cove.

We had plenty of fun at Coral Reef. Google glass was a phenom (first set on the island). The people of Salt Cay are warm, fun, and a tight community.

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Porter’s bar is also a fun place to carouse. And Island Thyme Restaurant (thanks to Lolli) is the best restaurant on the island. Lolli is a very good cook indeed. If they only kept regular hours…

Of course there are only three restaurants on all of Salt Cay, the other being Pat’s place. We tried them all. Pat is a retired school teacher with great stories of the island.

Karaoke night at Island Thyme after dinner? We’ll never tell.

Apol sings Karaoke

Apol sings Karaoke

Porter’s secret rum punch recipe looks like this:
2 oz white rum
2 oz brown rum
1 oz coconut rum
splash of orange juice
splash of pineapple juice
2 t grenadine
float of Gosling’s family reserve

We tried to teach Porter some new drinks as we tend more toward interesting cocktails than quantity consumed. Will they stick? Lets hope so. There is a very good selection of ingredients available to work with.

Salt Cay is a great place to visit if you’re into roughing it and real Caribbean people. Want to do some nothing? Visit Salt Cay.

We leave you with this.

Salt Cay North Beach

Salt Cay North Beach