Operation Turtle Rescue ???

Trip Start Dec 31, 2010
Trip End Apr 01, 2011

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Friday, February 4, 2011

Today started out early with another trip out to Rancho Chilamate. Our friends Clay and Kim from Chicago have been reading my blog about how much fun we have had riding with Blue and Jamie.So today we all left at the crack of dawn to make sure we got to the beach at low tide.If you want to do one of the many different rides, Blue and Jamie offer everything you need.All you need to do is call her and she comes to town, picks you up, and drops you off after your ride!

It was a great day for riding, a little bit overcast and quite a strong wind blowing in from the east. We got to the Rancho just after 8:00 am, and got all "cowboyed up" It is part of the whole fun experience going into their tack room and choosing a cow boy hat, boots, bandana, and even spurs if you want them (just for show though) Then down to the paddock to saddle up! Blue and Jamie carefully match horse and rider, so everyone is comfortable.


So after we were all saddled up and ready to ride, we headed out the back of Blue and Jamie's property. Once you pass through the gate at the end of the trail you come down to the river bed.


It is very pretty riding through here, as you pass by many herds of local cattle that graze in the area around the river bed. This is also a wonderful opportunity to see dozens of Howler monkeys.


Part of this 3 hour ride today was also through a private 450 acre ranch with lush pastures and rolling hills. It is something you really need to see in person to appreciate the beauty of this area.

After about an hour or so we reached Playa Escamequita, and still saw some of the "props" the Survivor's used to build their shelters on the beach. It was very secluded and quiet on the beach today, so we got off our horses for a break, and walked down to the north end of the Playa. We were just getting ready to get back on our horses and go for a run on the beach when Blue noticed a female Olive Ridley turtle coming up the beach.


We stayed away from her, and let her come up the beach. (they get frightened with people around) The tide was all the way out when we got there, but was starting to come in a bit, so after watching this turtle for ages we discovered that she must have been really tired, because she stopped and started digging her nest in the middle of the beach!! Oh no, not a good place for a turtle nest.Normally these turtles come to the beach at high tide when it is dark.They dig a nest in the soft dry sand, cover it well, and return to the water.


This poor gal must have been either very tired, confused, or maybe ill. As she started digging her nest the incoming tide kept filling in the hole. We watched this for a while and then decided if this turtle was going to have any chance to get a nest dug, we needed to give her a hand. I told the other people on the beach that I had seen the staff at La Flor help the females up the beach when they got stuck, so all 4 of of us gently lifted her up and "escorted" her about 200 yards to the top of the beach.OMG!! You have no idea how heavy these turtles are!! And this is a small species of marine turtle. This little female easily weighed 200 lbs!! I wish someone had taken a picture of the 4 of us hustling up the wet sand. The turtle by the way, looked over at me and "winked", so I think she enjoyed the ride!

It was all looking really good then. She repositioned herself and started digging her nest, so we turned slowly an left.However about 10 minutes later, more people came onto the beach, and scared her, so she returned to the water to come back another day!! So even though the turtle didn't lay her eggs right then, it was very cool to see such a sight in the daytime.!

After all that excitement we got down to some serious riding on the beach. My horse Bandito really loves the water, so cantering along in the surf is now my favorite pastime!! I have become a "regular" at the Rancho, so if there is anything you want to know, just ask:-)


There is Bandito resting up after a long ride. As soon as we get back from the beach ride.Jamie and Carlos take all the saddles & bridles off the horses and turn them out into a large grassy field for the day.These horses are not like most "trail horses" you may have seen in the past.Blue and Jamie treat their horses like family pets, and they love them all!  

Finally on the way back into town Blue stopped at a small house on the corner of the main road to have us meet "Rosie" This incredible little gal is 98 years old!! She makes moonshine here, and she is a really sweet lady! (She kinda had a thing for Ross!) Hahahaha!

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Marla on

I loved today's blog! So entertaining. Love the turtle rescue - but ummm, how do you know it was a female? I mean what are the clues? Couldnt a boy turtle just dig around in the sand? What DO male turtles do around the beach/water anyway? Probably just ogle the females I guess... So these turtles (the big ones) are protected from poachers etc? I hope!!! Let me know.

deedledee on

Well 'muchas gracias",
I can always count on you for the rave reviews! Remember when I went on that La Flor beach turtle expedition last month? We had a very informative video presentation before we left for the reserve. It is only the female turtle who returns to the beach where she herself hatched. She then lays her eggs on the same beach. The male turtles don't come near the beach, and all the turtle mating is generally done "at sea" ?? Yes sadly there are turtle egg poacher's everywhere. even on the protected beaches. In Nicaragua turtle eggs are regularly eaten.It is just their culture.They need to find food sources from many different places, so some of the eggs never do get to hatch :-(
I want to believe that this chance encounter had a happy ending !!

ralph on

The Bulls stay out to sea waiting for the cows to come back into their heard.
No reason for them to come into the land where they can hardly move about. Wow to be able to spot one laying in the daytime is out of sight.... poor thing.

Clay on

Thanks for hooking us up. This was the coolest horse riding trip ever. The turtle adventure was an added bounus. Nice pictures. In Nica cowgirls never get the blues.

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