Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sri Lanka: The Beach and Sea Turtles

We made our way to the south-west coast of Sri Lanka, where we stayed at Beruwala Beach.  The famous Bentota Beach is just a short stroll down the sand.  Our hotel was a very interesting place.  There were two main groups of people staying there: young, hot Russians who wore almost nothing and smoked by the pool most of the day, and conservative Muslim families, whose clusters of wives sat by the pool in their Burkas, watching their children swim while their (few in number) husbands rubbed oil on their hairy chests and stroked their gleaming mustaches.  
The beach was great.  The water stayed nice and shallow for ages, and the sand was soft.  Best of all, there were no big crowds!

While we were at the coast, we visited a sea turtle hatchery.  This hatchery in particular had been completely devastated in the 2004 tsunami, and had to rebuilt from the ground up.  They pay local fisherman to bring them whatever turtle eggs they find while on the beach.  They then carefully hatch the eggs, raising the young turtles until they are ready to be released back onto the beach.

Here, we examine the turtle eggs.    
And then, we got to hold the baby turtles.

Then, we got to hold some adult turtles who were in the sanctuary because they were born blind. 
(H. ended up being the photographer for most of the hatchery because holding the turtles made him slightly anxious.  He needs a few lessons with the camera.)

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