Category Archives: Travel animal stories

Costa Rica, the turtle conservation.

I’m finally able to top up my blog after so long. I’m sorry it’s taken so long but I’ve been so busy lately and things kept getting in the way. Anyway enough of that, let me tell you about the sea turtles!

I went to Costa Rica for two weeks in early September. I had lots of fun there and saw lots of interesting animals. The best part about the trip was to help out with the sea turtle conservation which lasted for five days, the rest of the time I was busy touring. I stayed at a hostle by the sea and met loads of friendly people. Some were there for a year doing this so it was more of a job to them. I learned how to make a sea turtle nest! You have to dig out enough sand to fit your whole arm down and then round the base of it. It should like like a vase, with the big round base and then a thin neck. This is how a mum turtle digs the nest, then lays her eggs, berries them and then heads back to the sea. I built many nests this way, only to cover them back up again with sand ahaha.

We did beach patrols at all sorts of hours of the morning looking for a mum turtle laying her eggs. When we found her we waited for her to finish and then head back to the sea before collecting the eggs and counting them. After the count was done we put them in a hachery on the beach, dug a nest and put netting over it with a label on top. On the label it had a date of when the nest was dug. From here members of staff could accurately guess when the eggs would hatch out.

Members of staff could also excavate nests in the hatchery. I sadly couldn’t do this. I had to patrol the hatchery with another volunteer and just look for any movement in the sand. If we saw movement and the nest collapsed we were to inform a member of staff straight away. Once they excavted a nest they then started pulling out all the struggling baby turtles and put them in a basket on the sand. This could take awhile as there could be alot of babies. Also some had to be mesured as shown on the image on top.

dig, dig.
dig, dig.

Us volunteers racked the sand clear of any debary in the way then we’d gentley place the turtles on the sand and watch them make their way to the sea. Sadly we couldn’t just dumb the basket full of babies in the sea as that’s not a natural way of doing it. It had to be as natural as possible with them making their own way to the sea front, us humans had to just stand back and watch, that’s it! I watched many babies make their way home, some really struggled where as others were quicker. However we never left the beach until ALL babies were safely back in the ocean. Below is a picture of them making their journey across the sand.

All the baby turtles.
All the baby turtles.

I was also lucky enough to watch the sunrise come up over the beach as well. This happened when I was on patrol at the hatchery. I’ll share that picture with you at the end of this blog. When us volunteers weren’t busy with the sea turtles we cleaned the beach free of people’s garbage, built a wall around the hatchery and of course went swimming in our spare time. The five days went very quickly and I was sad to wave goodbye to the turtles. I keep wondering how they’re all doing and the fact that it was a great experince to do this. I would do something similar to this in a heartbeat. But for now it’s back to Canada and back to work.

Sunrise.
Sunrise.

The rodeo.

After seeing the ducks I went to the rodeo. They had to have it inside as the weather was so terrible. I saw these children participating who were only 7 or 8 years of age and hoping to become the next rodeo champion. They were doing things such as barrel racing and weaving in and out of posts. They had to do it as quickly as they could and with a lot of people watching as well. I took pictures and made some videos of this like I did with the ducks. The horses were all nice looking and had a lot of energy.

Unfortunately one poor girl fell off her horse in front of everyone. She stood up on one foot and then cried out as she tried to stand on her other one. Clearly it was sprained so someone went rushing to her. She couldn’t walk so she had to be carried off crying all the way. Her horse was caught and taken away. The judges were always really nice and gave support no matter what the consequence. They kept asking the crowd to clap and make a lot of noise.

When it got to the weaving in and out of posts I think one boy was just too nervous as I saw his gran out in the rink with him. Just by her being there helped him calm his nerves. I could tell the horses were enjoying it. The ones waiting to go in kept rearing up as they were getting impatient.

I used to go horse riding for three years when I was living in England. I remember being really good at trot but not so good at canter. A time came where I just didn’t want to go anymore but I was told I was a good rider. I know that horses spook easily so sometimes I’m surprised that they’re not spooked by the loud crowd of people. This rodeo I went to was called ‘The little britches rodeo.’ It probably went on for most of the day but I left around 4 o’ clock. I like watching rodeos so I’ll probably go to another one in the future.

Barrel racing.
Barrel racing.

The national park.

Back in 2008 I went travelling in Canada. I joined a travel group called ‘Moose Travel’ and had an amazing time. I saw much of Canada and took some wonderful pictures. I met some amazing people and saw some awesome wildlife. We were on the ‘Moose Travel’ bus on our way to Ottawa. The guide took us to a national park along the way and it was HUGE! We had to stay inside the bus and the animals could wonder around freely. I saw bears, wolves, elks and lots of others up close. The guide gave us carrots and said we were welcome to feed the elk. I fed this elk and snapped this picture. To be honest it’s probably one of the best pictures I ever have. He munched away and stayed there awhile looking very happy. After awhile he got bored with us and moved onto the next car or bus.

After that I remember the guide pointed out some white wolves. No kidding these wolves recognized the ‘Moose Travel’ bus and ran after us as we drove along. I was scared of wolves as a kid, I had nightmares about them but I found these guys interesting and cute.

It was the biggest national park I’ve ever been to and so far the most interesting. I hope I can go travelling again soon and meet some more fantastic creatures.

The white wolves.
The white wolves.

Horse riding in Jasper.

I had to drive 4 to 5 hours to get to Jasper. I was going to go horse riding all day in the mountains once I got there. It was just me and the guide and once I got to the ranch I was given this beautiful horse to ride. It was one of the prettiest horses I’d ever seen. The guide also had a hairy border collie with him and the dog trotted along side the horses as we went along the trail. The guide was ahead of me and my horse had to follow him. Sometimes I had to gently kick the horse because he kept falling behind. The guide was forever bending branches out the way so they wouldn’t smack me in the face. The trees where very thick and the grass extremely tall as we got deeper into the wilderness. My horse was getting bothered by flies and when I turned and looked I was shocked to find the amount of mosquitos that had landed on him.

The horses had to climb up the small mountain. I basically clung on for dear life but it was worth it when we finally got up top. Both me and my guide had lunch up the mountain. I could tell my horse was tired as it was snorting and panting away. I played with his dog for a little while and we just sat, relaxed and looked at the amazing mountains!

Getting down was a little harder I remember. We couldn’t ride the horses down the mountain, something to do with their shoulders and it was too dangerous. My guide lead the way and I tripped and stumbled down but managed not to completely fall. I did think if I were to completely fall the horse would land on top of me…. I was happy when we finally got back onto some flat land.

As we headed back after a busy day the guide owned other horses in the area and they wondered around freely with bells on them. I remember the free running horses followed as we rode back to the ranch. All you could hear was snorting horses and clanking of bells. Then a car came down the narrow line. My horse didn’t like this car and began to freak out. The driver then switched off the engine and we passed with all those horses no problem. After a point the guide and I left all those other ones behind as they could only go up to a certain point. There was a lot of jumping on and off the horse. My legs were getting tired so my guide had to give me a leg up a fair few times.

I took lots of pictures during this trip and I think my horse was very happy to go back to his paddock and eat grass. I’d go again in a second it was amazing! I stayed in a bed and breakfast near the ranch for two nights after that I drove back to Edmonton with a huge smile on my face. But not before I said goodbye to the dog and horses.

Jasper.
Jasper.