Turtle Eggs in Tangalle, Sri Lanka, 2012

Tangelle is a small seaside town on the South Coast of Sri Lanka. It has some beautiful beaches but is most famous for the turtles coming onto the beach and laying eggs during the night. We stopped in Tangelle because Queenie wanted to see the turtle laying eggs. It is a beautiful experience: sitting quietly on the beach with the moon overhead listening to the waves breaking in the dark while waiting for the turtles to arrive is just a wonderful experience.

Tutrtle Eggs, Tangelle, Sri Lanka
Turtle Eggs Tangalle, Sri Lanka

To get there we spoke to our hotel and they arranged a tuk-tuk to drive us to Turtle Beach. It was quite a long ride out there along some dark dusty and very bumpy roads and the tuk-tuk driver got lost a few times. After about 20 minutes he did find the right beach. When we walked onto the beach we were greeted by a guide on the beach who kind of explained that the beach was conservation area managed by the local community.

We had to sit quietly on the beach with another group of foreigners and wait for a while. The guide actually had other locals on the beach looking for the turtle trails that would indicate whether any of the turtles had come onto the beach. We sat on the beach for about 30 minutes in all (sometimes the turtles do not come) before receiving a message that the turtle had arrived. After that we trekked about a kilometer down the beach to find the turtle and watch her laying her eggs. It was quite an experience and looks like a very tiring job for the turtle. She looked utterly exhausted doing it. Once the eggs were laid she quietly crawled back to the water's edge and allowed the retreating waves to drag her into the ocean. The whole experience was incredible.

The video below shows the egg laying process. Lights were strictly forbidden as were flashes. The only light allowed was the guides small torch so we didn't get video of the turtle crawling back to the ocean or covering her eggs.

The best part of this was the quiet and solitude of the beach: just sitting quietly on the beach and listening to the waves brought us much closer to nature. It was a beautiful experience and a long time since either of us did that. The beach at Tangalle was wonderful (although the town itself was unexciting).

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