For the last three weeks I´ve been living on Playa Camaronal, a secluded beach on the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica. My days pretty much consisted of several hours of manual labor, lots of trash clean up, reading in a hammock, rice and beans, beans and rice, rice and beans, going to sleep early, and waking up in the middle of the night to walk on the beach for three hour shifts. Working with the turtles has been a spectacular experience. Their plight is pretty desperate, and I definitely saw why. We were tasked with trying to save the turtle eggs from poachers and animals. The poachers would hide in the trees lining the beach, and run out to dig up the nests before we could get to them. They can sell the eggs for around $20 per nest of around 100 eggs. It´s a valuable source of income for the very poor people living near the beach. The racoons find the eggs to be quite hard to resist as well, and I can´t really fault them – circle of life and everything. The problem is that only one hatched turtle in several thousand will reach maturity, so every little ping pong ball of turtle goo is precious. Can´t we all just get along?
At the end of last week, my new friend Anne (from Deutschland) decided to tag along with me to Nicaragua. We had a pretty typically stressful experience – I kept trying to get on the wrong busses, and she got hosed by money changers at the border – but we arrived otherwise intact and have been exploring Grenada for the past several days. Tomorrow morning we´ll go to San Juan del Sur where I´ll have more Spanish class and surfing for the next two weeks.
Home in Camaronal
Perk of walking the beach from 3-6 am.
First sunrise babies.
These things liked to divebomb us at night.
Getting ready to walk in crazy rain. You´ve seriously never seen it rain this hard.
Daytime turtle – not a common sight.
Nest – Olive Ridley turtle
Slogging across the Nica border.
From the tallest church tower in Grenada.
On the chicken bus with Anne.