Saturday, March 19, 2016

Turtles and snakes!

Monday 14/03/16

It was hot during the night even with the fan but we both managed to sleep reasonably well. I woke earlier than Della so headed down to the beach to watch the sunrise. Peaceful. Managed to get some decent captures. 

Back at the room we had no electric so no cuppa! Sat on the balcony watching the chipmunks and bird life. Caught up with emails and did some admin before showering and breakfast. Breakfast was plentiful but the least appetising of our stay. Standard fare. We had toast eggs and pancakes, fruit juice and coffee.
After breakfast we went out to the beach with our books and grabbed a couple of hammocks where we stayed for the best part of the day!! 

Later in the afternoon we wandered along the east of the beach and found a nice place to grab a bite and a beer. We also spied a snake! Thankfully it was the harmless variety, a rat snake so only rats need be afraid!

Earlier we had arranged for a three wheeler to take us to Rekaw Beach where there us a conservation site for nesting turtles. It sounded as though things were well managed with the turtles well being the main focus and the protection of the nests paramount. For a donation of 1000LKR you could accompany a guide and hopefully catch sight of one or more of the five turtles that return to this beach each year. We had a bumpy three wheeler ride to the beach about 1/2 hour away and then we waited with at least 25 other people for the call (guides on the beach call ahead to let staff and visitors know when there is a turtle nesting - you are prohibited from being near the turtle until she is nesting. So, at just after 10pm the call came in and then we all trudged 2kms along the beach (we saw a number of tracks which had been left by nesting turtles), in the dark as no torches are allowed. Thankfully, the moon was bright and the stars were lovely. We eventually arrived at a spot where a turtle was heading back out to sea having abandoned her nest! The guide explained that she had started the process of nesting but was unable to make the egg chamber because the sand was too dry and kept collapsing so she slowly but surely headed back into the ocean. It was a wonderful sight to see but, in our opinion there were too many people and the whole thing was poorly managed. We would happily give a donation but in hindsight probably not visit again. We are not convinced that the presence of people on the beach did not have a detrimental effect on the turtle we saw although the guide assured us otherwise. It was certainly an experience and the conservation people do a sterling job and from that point are to be congratulated.

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