Mario Rigby was ready for more than just an adventure when he headed out to explore some of South Caicos’ neighboring islands with local fisherman and guide Tim Hamilton. Continuing on in this third installment of our Beyond the Page series with the modern-day explorer, we not only adventure to spectacular landscapes, but also learn about one of South Caicos’ earliest industries.

South Caicos is just a short hop across the Caicos Bank from Providenciales, where Mario took off on his day of adventure. Stunning views reflected in his sunglasses as he peered out of the window observing the shallow sea below during the 25-minute flight from Provo to South.

Stepping into the arrival area of the South Caicos airport, Mario was immediately met with friendly faces who welcomed him to the island. Just over 1,100 residents call South Caicos home, an island which boasts a growing tourism market including some recently opened hotels and resorts that regularly welcome visiting guests from far and near. After collecting a rental car, Mario headed over to meet Captain Tim.

He was immediately drawn to a pennant on Tim’s porch that read ‘Explore‘, a clear sign of their shared passion. After a quick chat about what Mario could expect from the day’s adventure – birds, fish, an eagle ray, maybe a nurse shark or two said Tim, the two eagerly headed off.

Their first stop was the uninhabited island of Long Cay, just off of South Caicos’ southern coast. The island’s majestic landscape offered the perfect balance of hills and valleys for the two to stretch their legs, while stopping to say hello to a local iguana or two along the way.

Mario has spent years trekking through countries across the world, but exploring alongside a fellow Turks and Caicos-born adventurer provided him with more than just a traveling companion.

“Gentlemen coming out of the salt ponds with their carts, the mule carts,” Mario listened keenly as Tim described some of his earliest memories of growing up on South Caicos. The men, Tim explained, would transport the salt down to the peer, “where they used to stack it and let it drain, so when the big ships would come in, it would be ready for shipment.”

Mario engaged Tim on every aspect of life on the islands as Tim had experienced it from childhood through to today. From the food he ate, to the games he played as a child, how he learned to fish, to how he spends his days now, stories poured from Tim to Mario as they walked, hiked and took in the beauty of their homeland.

Stay tuned as we continue this story and find out more about Mario and Tim’s shared passion for exploring the Big South.

Be sure to follow us on Instagram @TurksCaicosMag and @MarioRigby to get more updates on this adventure.

In case you missed it, here is a link to the first segment of our adventure with Captain Tim:

Mario Rigby: Ready to Explore

Also, check out more of our features from this series which delve into the history, culture and natural wonders of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Mario Rigby: Following History’s Trail

Mario Rigby: Traditional Basket Making