Santa Catalina is the tiny island off of Providencia, itself a tiny island, and is connected to the "main land" only by a floating footbridge. No cars or scooters cross over. There are no roads, only a sidewalk and then a nature trail that goes all the way to the giant rock at the end of the island known as Morgan's Head. You see, Providencia was once a pirate haven, and Captain Henry Morgan (you might have seen his smiling visage on the side of a rum bottle) roamed these waters, burying treasure and snagging the occasional Spanish galleon.
The island is full of references to Captain Morgan and his treasure, and Vlad and I decided to investigate. What we found were scores of mangos, fresh coconut, a secluded beach, a couple of rusted cannons and a ton of tiny lizards that scattered with each step we took. There was also an iguana eating a mango, but he split as soon as we showed up, obviously scared that we would snag his precious fruit. Perhaps he was right to be afraid.
At one point, I turned around after washing the sticky mango juice from my hands in the sea water and saw Vlad trying to crack open a coconut with a rock. We were slipping into the island lifestyle. Not perfectly perhaps because a local would have used a machete, but we were definitely making the effort.
That was just a smattering of the critters we saw while hiking to the end of the island. As for Captain Morgan's treasure, alas, we are not currently rolling around in a pile of gold doubloons, but we did see something kind of strange - a rectangular shaped hole submerged in the water that was just a little too close to the size of a treasure chest and seemed as though it must have been made by humans. No doubt, if there was treasure there, it is now long gone.
|See the rectangular hole? Pirate loot!|
Instead, all we were left with was this view.