“Meet a man named Gredy in this secluded bar at midnight. Oh and where dark clothing!”
Words that are either going to get us witnessing turtles coming ashore and laying their eggs, or, being the next set of tourists that have been murdered in Central America. I’m hoping for the first but if it does end up being the second, the headline will also include a British and Swiss couple.
As this is our last night in the Ostional area and the Arribada has not started yet, we had Rolf arrange for a guide to take us out to try and find some of the early arriving turtles, so that we can say that we saw it. Normally, the turtles arrive in the dark a few hours before high tide and right now high tide is around 4 am, thus the midnight meeting. There was also a young British couple and an older Swiss couple that were interested in going so that’s how we will all end up
in a shallow grave enjoying the adventure together.
We are meeting Gredy at the local bar in Ostional and he will take us to the beach and should be able to find us at least one turtle. It could take 10 minutes or it could take a couple of hours, that we are not sure of. One thing we are sure of though, I’ll be nervous as hell walking into that bar.
Update – I am writing this update from the comfort of our hotel so scenario two did not happen. Gredy was waiting for us outside the bar and, unlike Doreen, Michele had no concerns with him carrying a knife before he hopped in the car. He took us down to the beach where only red filtered light is allowed and no light is preferred. So we started walking with absolutely no light on a clear but moonless night. The sky was absolutely brilliant with more stars than I’ve ever seen but I couldn’t even see Michele whose hand I was holding! (pretty sure it was Michele’s hand)
On this beach there are volunteers that go out each night to look for turtles, measure, tag, and record information for future tracking. So after walking for about 20 minutes we saw the gaggle of red headlamps of the volunteers, which meant they had found one. We made our way over to the group and the turtle had just finished digging her hole and was now proceeding to lay her eggs. About 100 of them all perfectly shaped looking like ping pong balls. We watched her finish laying her eggs, camouflage her nest and followed her back out to sea over the next 45 minutes or so. It wasn’t the Arribada, but it was a turtle.
We headed back towards our car, again in complete darkness and returned to our hotel just before 2 am. Well worth getting up in the middle of the night for and I’m especially proud that I didn’t scream like a little girl once. Even though I wanted to!