Today we’re back in Acapulco and I was able to get a pass for a tour I’ve been eyeing since coming to the Spirit.
We started out driving through Acapulco with our guide telling us about the city and country. We went to the far end of the city in a direction I hadn’t been yet so that was interesting for me. Then we turned away from the bay and headed up over the mountain. We stopped at a lookout spot over the bay for some photos.
About half an hour outside of Acapulco we reached our destination - “Three Sticks Lagoon” (I didn’t catch the proper name in Spanish, just the translation). There we boarded small motorboats to explore the lagoon. As we cruised around, we were on the lookout for different types of birds that live in the area. I don’t know birds well enough to name what ones we saw, but we saw plenty of them!
We stopped at one point and (Rosario) the girl driving our boat hopped out. Though everyone had thought the lagoon must be quite deep - we couldn’t see through the water at all - it wasn’t even waist deep.
We were told that the water was murky and brown because of the mangrove trees - their roots make the water that colour. Then Rosario pulled up some clay from the bottom of the lagoon and smoothed it over her face. The clay the guests pay hundreds of dollars for in the spa is just at the bottom of the lagoon.
Back home, in the area where my mom grew up, is a road called Spooky Hallow Road. The road twists and turns, the trees all bend overhead and it seems like the place where story books take place. When my sisters and I were young, we’d drive along that road and my parents would make “spooky” sounds. At one point today, we went boating through the mangrove trees, twisting and turning through them. It reminded me so much of Spooky Hallow - but the mangrove lagoon version of course.
After our time on the lagoon, we went back on the bus for a short drive to the turtle preservation centre. This was what I was most excited about for the tour. We were introduced to the man who owns and runs the centre, a marine biologist. At
the centre, they work to educate both tourists and especially locals about sea turtles. In the wild, sea turtles only survive 1-2% of the time! They are hunted by various predators. A big problem in Mexico is people taking their eggs. A folktale has people believing that the men are more macho if they eat sea turtle eggs. At the centre, they try to increase the turtles’ chance of survival by taking the eggs from where they are laid, keeping them safe until they hatch, then setting the babies out into the ocean. Every night they go out on the beach and gather the turtle eggs. We got to see where they were now safely nested. Then we were shown baby turtles that had just hatched this morning. They were so little! And they were eager little things, scooting all over the place - and all over each other!
Down at the beach, we were each given one turtle to name and release. I called mine “Hope”. I held it, took photos, whispered words of encouragement. Then we set them down in the sand. Hope stayed still for a moment, then took off, scuttling towards the water. A wave
came in and then she was off, riding out to sea. It looked like when people surf, but backwards, as Hope rode the wave, little legs paddling back and forth.
We’d been told we would have a competition, for whose turtle went to sea the fastest. I thought, I’d rather my turtle survive than be the fastest. But Hope was the second turtle gone out there! So I was given a prize. Then I was able to watch the rest of them make their way into the sea. Standing there, looking at the waves and the horizon over the vast Pacific Ocean, I wondered how anything out there makes it. But that’s nature.
The sun began setting over the water. It was so beautiful.
I hope they make it.
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