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Guest Comment on Oaxaca Trip from Last Week

Wow where do I start. My wife and I worked with Dave to come up with a wonderful trip to Mexico City to see the Monarch Butterflies and travel our way around through Puebla and Oaxaca. We finished the trip at a lovely small village named San Augustinillo on the Pacific coast. We enjoyed the daytime beach type activities like beach combing and swimming. Dave recommended that we take a guide on the La Ventanilla, Oaxaca turtle reserve with Nicko– we would not be disappointed.

So we took a short 15 min ride to the reserve in a local taxi at 9:30 PM. We arrived and met Nicko who spoke very good English and has a college degree from the states. We walked nearby to a local place and had a Beer and Mezcal. After a drink and chat we headed out into the dark we had flashlights but for the most part we left them off so we could let our eyes adjust. We walked to the fresh water lagoon and he explained the different mangrove trees which live in the lagoon and the baby crocs that live in the root of those trees.

We made it to some boats and proceeded to board, he used an oar to take us into the lagoon and make our way to the beach. What a peaceful ride in the lagoon with the silhouettes of the mangrove trees with the starlight it was amazing!

So we made it to the reserve beach which Nicko explained was 70 km or 43 miles long. He or the other volunteers walk, horseback or use the 1 quad they have that was donated to patrol the beach. Tonight like every night someone has to walk to protect the turtles and most of the time its by themselves. We were going to walk as far as we could while looking for signs of turtles laying eggs. The surf was amazing with the bio luminescence. Every breaking wave produced a beautiful brilliant light. The stars were more visible than I have ever seen. Nicko and I shared details about our families and we became very good friends on our short walk down the beach 4 km or 2.5 miles. Time seemed to stand still for us walking down the beach with the awesome starlight. I looked down at my feet and noticed the bio luminescent also in the sand so when you stepped it made some cool tracer like marks behind you, I had never seen anything like that.   So we turned around and headed back the way we came. We walked about 5 miles that night and I saw a completely new night life experience that can only be shared by someone who has done it. After we got off the beach and back in the boat, I said it would really be nice to replace some electrolytes with a fresh coconut juice. He said that sounds good.

So we headed to the island in the lagoon where they had a small but very cool museum all in the dark since the solar light batteries were dead. He grabbed a hatchet and a couple of coconuts and proceeded to open them with the hatchet. Wow that tasted good! We drank these and shared a wonderful experience talking about how he had built the building from the palm trees that had fallen during the last hurricane.

We didn’t see any turtles laying eggs but the experience was a lifetime one! Please give Dave a call or shoot him an email and setup a trip to see the reserve. These guys only work through donations and tours and they need all the help they can get so give generously!

2/10/2016 Jim Hanna

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