Yes people won't leave these sweet little creatures alone and now they're on the endangered list. But it was heartening to see this turtle farm where some good people are doing everything they can to save them. They collect the eggs that the turtles lay on the beach and bury them under the sand. The babies hatch in about two months. Then they are released back into the sea. Sometimes they get caught in fishing nets, sometimes if people get to the eggs they eat them. Only about 80% of the eggs collected hatch and out of those only a small percentage survive in the sea and live to be 30 years old and be able to mate and produce babies.
This is a baby Ridley Turtle. He was just floating in one place if that's even possible. He would blow bubbles at short intervals as if to indicate that he was alive and well. As I love to say- Ketlo cute che ne! ("So cute isn't it!" in Gujarati)
This one was swimming at super speed hence the blurry picture. I wanted to pick one up in my palm but you're not allowed to touch them. Although when the attendant wasn't looking Ruwan picked one up and waved it around at me as my eyes became wide with fear that he might drop the poor little guy.
I fell in love with this ugly boy's face. He was so cute and unfortunately was missing his right front leg. I cooed and talked to him for quite a while and he would keep his chin on the wall and look at me as though he understood everything. The attendant told me the turtles can't hear but they have great instincts so he could probably sense the vibrations of my voice. I wanted to pet him so badly but unfortunately as I said that's not allowed. He will stay at the farm for another couple of years and then released back into the sea. Right now because of his missing limb he is unable to submerge under water and hence cannot survive in the ocean. Once he gains more
weight he will be able to do so and it will be safe for him to go back to his natural habitat. I asked if I could feed the big turtles but was regretfully told that was not possible. The one on the left was equally cute and I talked to him for quite a while too. If I moved to the other end of the tank he would follow me and rest his chin on the wall. I couldn't stop cooing and saying,"I love you."
I wish I could have pet them but I'm sure you're not allowed to do that for good reason so I came away with wonderful memories.
We went to the Unawatuna beach which is quite famous but the tsunami that hit these shores has unfortunately changed the face of the land. It's a much smaller beach now. The place itself reminded me of Goa. The same narrow lanes lined with little shops selling beach dresses and loose pyjamas. The only difference is that this place is very clean quite unlike Goa.
We stopped for tea at the Unawatuna Beach Resort. We were the only people there aside from some Chinese people who are everywhere. They do love to travel. And my huge hat makes another appearance along with the wayfarers and one of my favourite dresses.