I wanted to do something special with my Mom while she was here over Christmas, and after a little bit of investigating decided that a turtle tour would be perfect. I also thought it would be fabulous to have her tell you all about it! So without further ado…here is my mom!
(PS: She would like it known that she wanted this blog post to be called “Moonlight Magic”)
There we were, my daughter & I perched on a curb waiting for a shuttle to take us to see Black Turtles, otherwise known as Pacific Green Turtles, on a remote beach, in the dark…maybe. Well it was going to be an adventure to be sure. Bring it on.
We drove out of the town of Tamarindo where we are staying, into increasingly more sparsely populated areas down super dusty roads that brought back memories of trips down farm roads on the prairies in the dry heat of the summer. Best not to be following too close behind any dust kickers ahead. Also good not to be watching the condition of the road ahead and the unpredictability of where it might be headed. Looking out the side windows exposed a glimpse of everyday family life as we drove past houses that are completely exposed to the outdoors, families sitting around fires, on porch stoops lit by Christmas trees just outside the front door, neighbours meeting in common spaces and Christmas lights of every colour, some flashing, some steady, some random scattered, but all delightfully festive. A bonus Chrismas light tour.
The beach that we finally arrived at was one of four. Our guide informed us that we were going to go to the next beach over which involved an amazing hike across a mountain trail in the dark. It was a single file hike on a narrow path on the edge of a slope of unknown height…yes it was very, very dark. We were advised to keep the light of our small flashlights on the path and not ‘into the hole’…translation…don’t look over the edge. It was a great trek rising higher and higher, concentrating on not tripping over the number of obstacles in the way and hearing the sound of pounding surf recede into the distance and get replaced by the sometimes deafening sound of the jungle.
We finally got to the next beach and all lights were extinguished to disturb the turtles as little as possible. As our eyes got accustomed to the moonlight, the stars began to flood the skies and the white foam of the crashing waves became more and more dramatic. It was moonlight magic.
We then hiked down the beach, to where a large turtle had dug herself into a huge hole in the sand and then dug a second hole into which she had begun laying her eggs. We watched as she lay some eggs then retreated a distance away to let her finish while our guide gave us more information about what is known and what is unknown about these particular turtles. We then went back to watch her cover her eggs before we left so that she wouldn’t see us when she turned around to head back to the ocean. I can’t even begin to describe how humbling it is to be able to witness such an event. An experience that absolutely makes me know why we refer to the ‘wonders of nature’.
Thanks Kate. You are my wonder of nature…xoxoxooooo to infinity and back.