I have a soft spot in my heart for turtles. Their vulnerable state, resilience in the wild, glorious grace as they move and quite simply, those little faces and big eyes :) I also have a dream of how I want to live one day. It involves palm trees, hammocks, the sound of the sea as you fall asleep and water temperatures above 25' C.
These past few days I got to experience both the above- lucky girl.
Along with one of my project supervisor, her 2 kids and a local contact we roadtripped from Durban to Hluhluwi up to Bhanga Nek (right on the Mozam border!).
Through herds of cows, national parks and local villages we drove. Over sand-dunes and through tropical jungle we made our way.
We stayed in little huts overlooking the mouth of an estuary that leads to Bhanga Nek. We showered with bees, frogs and cockroaches, ate with ants and slept with mosquitoes:P
The beach below, Bhanga Nek- is sight to the turtle monitoring station established by George Hughes (my hero!). Every year, adult turtles come and lay their eggs here and every year, just a few months on, the babies hatch and make their way to the sea. We got to witness the second! :) A night trek along sand dunes, revealed nests of newly hatched loggerheads scampering down to the sea! It was quite overwhelming-watching these little beauties so determined to get to the ocean, knowing that they are going to face so many difficulties and obstacles, that only one in every thousand is going to live long enough to come back and nest in 20 years.
Other adventures over the 4 days included snorkling in warm water! (glorious!), enduring 95% humidity, driving through a KZN thunderstorm at 3 am and getting stuck (and unstuck) on sand-dunes in the jungle :)
What a treat and privelage to see something so special and to live amongst the palms, pineapples and sugar cane of the tropics. To be able to live by the currents, plan by the tides and follow the sun in the truest sense :)