Puerto Escondido, where magic happens

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October 6th 2016
Published: October 6th 2016
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If I had one word to describe Puerto Escondido it would be magical! I didn't really know what to expect from Puerto Escondido, it looked nice so we made it a stop on our itinerary - and I'm extremely glad we did! We've met a number of people who have told us to skip it, and go to Mazunte up the road, but I'm so glad we didn't listen!
After an overnight bus and a quick nap we headed down to check out the beach. We're staying at Playa Carrizalillo, which is a beginners surfing beach so much nicer for swimming than some of the other beaches in town. It's a beautiful beach, the only problem is the 186 stairs to get off the beach! It's keeping us fit though. Whilst on the beach we met a group of friends who were heading out to the Manialtepec lagoon and asked if we would like to join. In my last blog I said that the waterfall pools would take some beating, well we managed to completely trump that! Manialtepec lagoon is famous for its phosphorescence, although we had read it only occurs 4 times a year. Either that's inaccurate or we were very lucky! We were also lucky there was not much moon light. We got to the lagoon and look a boat trip with a group of other people out to the centre of the lagoon, then it was time to jump in. The phosphorescence was amazing! It was like small glittering lights, like twinkling stars, when we lifted our limbs out of the water, and we left really light trails whenever we moved. I could not believe the amazing light display all around me, simply set off by any movement. We were swimming for over half an hour, just so amazed by the phenomenon all around us. This would have to be the most incredible nature display I've seen. Unfortunately we didn't get any pictures, but it really is something that has to be experienced first hand. Pure magic.
Day 2 in Puerto Escondido we got a tip off about going to the 'turtle beach' not too sure what to expect, but to head down at 5pm, with a roughly hand drawn map, we set off. After walking down a rough track to the beach, scrambling over rocks and a further 10 minutes along the sand we were there.... A turtle release sight! We were two of only around 40 tourists there, with a man from a turtle conservation programme where they incubate the eggs to protect them from harvesting by the locals, and release them back to the sea after hatching. They're very adorable little Olive Ridley turtles.
You pay 50pesos (£2) towards the conservation project, and get given a held coconut shell. After a quick talk in Spanish it was time to release them. You get given a tiny baby turtle in your shell, to protect them against being touched by humans, then it's time to take them to their short runway to the sea. My turtle was very energetic and didn't want to stay in the coconut shell! I like to think this means he has a greater drive for survival out in the ocean. Once I set him down he raced away down the beach into the crashing waves. It's a very magical experience, cheering on these tiny turtles as they travel down the beach, being pestered by small crabs, and the waves take them out into the sea. Some poor turtles kept being pushed back up the beach by the waves, and one very slow baby got a massive cheer when it was finally swept away into the sea, as it'd been a long journey into the waves.
After watching numerous turtles make it to the sea we realised there were more to release and went back to get another baby each to set off in to the sea. There is definitely a sense of pride as your turtle makes it down the beach and begins its long journey in life.
Jess and I raced our turtles, releasing them next to each other at the same time, but both mine raced off much faster than Jess's. It's a bit more interesting than snail racing! But can be about the same speed I'd say!
The long walk back along the beach suddenly didn't seem so far on the way back, with a spring in our step and great enthusiasm about our turtles.
We were very lucky to be told about the turtles, as we hadn't heard about this, or seen it advertised anywhere. I also can't believe how little they charge to be a part of this amazing experience.
Once we got back to the hostel we were due to have a hostel BBQ. In true British fashion it started to rain on our walk back, but then it poured! The road outside the hostel turned into a gushing river, the roof leaked so the kitchen and hallway flooded, the thunder sounded very close, and we wondered if we'd ever get dinner! All the shops and restaurants closed too, as no body would go out in that weather! Luckily around 10:30pm the rain stopped, allowing us to finally get round to eating just after 11, as well as helping mop up the kitchen and hall!
Luckily the bright blue skies were back this morning so we could head back down to the beach!

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