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The Gap Year Blog

Excavating Turtle Eggs

22 Oct 2019 13:20 PM

My time so far at Costa Rica has been incredible. I didn’t know what to expect, but what I was met with surpassed anything I could have imagined.  The wonderful people living and working here on camp could not be nicer and more welcoming, which certainly helped too.  


Living in the jungle is an amazing experience; being constantly surrounded by an abundance of wildlife means that there is never a dull moment. Even if you decide to have a swing in a hammock, you are bound to hear or see something unexpected. My first night in camp was memorable, listening to the songs of the jungle in particular - the peculiar (now not so peculiar) call of the howler monkeys gave me the best introduction to camp life and the best nights sleep, a lovely reminder how connected to nature you are on camp.

I really enjoy all the surveys that take place and I hope to participate in as many as possible in my remaining 2 weeks. You never know what you may see, and I could take up many lines trying to list all the animals I have seen so far (and I have only been here a week and a half). They are certainly an adventure, whichever survey you find yourself doing.

My first turtle patrol was particularly memorable; we had just finished excavating turtle eggs from their nests and were walking down the beach when we spotted sand flying up into the air. As we approached, we realised it was a mother turtle attempting to dig her nest. The sun was rising behind us and the jungle was slowly waking up as we stood watching this turtle carefully dig her nest. She decided to return to the sea without laying her eggs, but our eyes stayed fixed onto this incredible animal as it slowly disappeared back into the great pacific ocean, maybe to bless our beach again, or maybe to swim off into the unknown…

My time here is going by so quickly. I have learnt so much by being here and observing, and from the very knowledgeable staff. I am still learning and amazed every day at my surroundings. I think I may want to live in the trees forever now!

By Lydia Dawson Jones, Costa Rica Volunteer