In Samara we were lucky enough to be able to travel up the coast and see hundreds of turtles come ashore as part of an arribada. These occur every month on the new moon, mainly from August until November. In some peak months as many as 500,000 have come ashore in the few days they occur. They certainly were streaming onto the beach when we arrived, very intent on their mission. Continued below...
We had asked Sophia to do some research before we went and she had become quite concerned with the effect tourism was having, In September 2015 there was a lot of bad publicity about the unconstrained people on the beach. Thankfully it has changed. We were only allowed on the beach in groups of 9 with our guide and a local ranger. The groups were spread out along the huge spread of beach so at any time there was only a handful on any section. We watched one turtle come ashore, lay her eggs and return. Our turtle was missing a foot and had a small section missing from her shell. She was able to successfully get up the beach, lay her eggs and get back to sea It just took her longer than others. Eggs are still allowed to be collected by locals at this beach, one of the few in the world that allow this. Though there were lots of reasons it is still allowed, walking past bags of eggs on the way to the beach felt strange .
The two hour, bumpy drive there and even longer in the dark on the way back was well worth it to see such an amazing occurrence. The sight of turtles swimming in and slowly making their way up the beach was simply beautiful and I felt very lucky to be able to show this with Rob, Sophia and Olivia (and Blueberry of course).