Confession: a working vacation quickly turned into simply a vacation; but I did find some meaningful projects while I was there, like doing attendant duty at a turtle rescue beach. The rescue run by Tortugueros Las Playitas trained my friend to supervise and inspect the nests while the eggs incubated. I went along to help pass the long day at the beach while the eggs hatched. The new hatchlings were leatherbacks, so they were released after the sun went down.
After a very long drive on a sunbaked dirt road, we arrived to a more rugged road and this sign designating the turtle camp.
The beach appears over an arid dessert landscape.
Hatchlings from earlier in the morning waiting for the sun to go down.
A new hatchling finds his way up through the sandy nest.
The distinctive markings on the bottom of the turtle identify it as a leatherback. If it is a male, it will live the rest of its life in water, never returning to land. If it is a female it will return to this same beach to lay eggs.
New turtles are identified by the markings on their underside.
After sunset, two turtles from a different day's outing were released. One's run to the ocean was quite swift while the other approached more slowly.
It was pretty amazing to watch the turtles being folded into the water and to think of their long journey and life before them.
A truly unique and amazing experience. Thanks to my friends for letting me join them.