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a green turtle heaves herself out of the sea

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Thursday 17th October 1985
Egg laying

Egg laying

6am bus to Puerto Moin. Then problems at the dock, too many people for the small Japdeva canal boat, everyone is returning from the carnival. Surprised to find about 12 foreigners waiting for the boat too. Local people get priority. In the end a barge is lashed behind as a whole Nicaraguan baseball team has to be accommodated as well, and so we head up the coast.

About 100km through lagoons and canals straight up the coast to Tortuguerro, separated from the sea by a narrow strip of tropical forest, see alligators, sloths and monkeys on the way.

On arrival find some cabanas and share with Tom for 230 C. Walk for 40 minutes along the beach and am rewarded by the sight of turtle tank tracks, they typically come in at 8 -9pm, only late arrivals now as the peak season was last month. She is covering her eggs by flinging sand about. Enormous effort. The dutch woman is aghast. As we approach the turtle in the inky black night, we hear its laboured breathing, the dutch woman stops 10 feet away and says 'Oh no its my first turtle and its soo moving' The turtle is emotional tho, its cloudy eyes wet with tears, some weigh over 300kg and moving on land takes a lot of effort, she is floundering in a big crater, every few sweeps of her paddles she pauses, extends her neck and takes a long noisy breath, respiratory rate less than 10/minute. Later she lumbers back to the sea, has to rest every yard, it all seems primitive primeval vision of the past.

Posted by 1985 trip 11:10 Archived in Costa Rica

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