After sunset one evening we set off to witness the incredible sight of an arribada at La Flor la playa. A beach 20km south of San Juan del Sur. It is one of about seven beaches in Central America where turtles arrive en mass to lay their eggs in the sand. We did not see hundreds of turtles, but in the hour that we were there we easily saw no fewer than 30 to 40 turtles making their way out of the surf to lay their eggs.
It is amazing to watch their single minded determination to get the job done. They walk over each other, push people aside if you happen to be standing in the way, and most disturbingly, dig up other nests to lay their own eggs.
I was able to get some video, but it is a bit dark. The guides ask that you use a red filter over your flashlights in an effort to not to disturb the turtles more than necessary. This makes for difficult videoing. However I think it is worth a view as the imagines are pretty cool, I think.
Before anyone screams about us damaging an egg, this is one that had been dug up by another turtle and left discarded in the sand. We are firm believers in do no harm.
Before we headed out I was a bit skeptical about paying $30US a person to maybe see some turtles on a beach. Once we were there all scepticism departed. It was truly amazing to witness these creatures trudge up out of the surf and using their rear flippers dig holes over 30cm deep in the sand. After laying their digs and topping the hole with sand you could watch and listen as they used not only their flippers, but their whole body to tamp the sand down further in an effort to keep the eggs safe. I have never tired of admiring these creatures when they are swimming in the ocean and now that admiration is that much higher seeing how they overcome to carry on their species.