Playa Tortuga

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In Spanish, Playa means beach, and Tortuga means turtle. We’d heard about Playa Tortuga and were intrigued – interested to see how many turtles we’d end up spotting on our adventure. With water bottles in our back packs and cameras in hand, we set out across town to the trailhead we’d heard about.

Along the way to the trailhead, we saw some beautiful flowers. So many of them bring back a flood of memories from my childhood, since I remember them all in Africa.

Beautiful rock outcroppings from volcanoes past, supported cacti and trees. It all painted a peaceful landscape.

We reached the ‘trailhead’ after about a mile, which was not a trailhead at all, but rather a beautiful paved path stretching 1.5 miles to a glorious beach.

Along the path so many cute little lizards ran this way and that.

Some of them poked their heads out from behind rocks.

Black finches sang beautiful songs from lichen covered branches as I breathed in the beauty that surrounded me.

I always seem to be the last to arrive, because I stop and take so many photos. The path emptied onto the beach, and all the creatures were sitting relaxing and cooling off.

I stood in awe as I looked out across the big beautiful white sand and turquoise water. What a simple yet complex and exquisite scene!

Off to the left, cactus and rocks overlooked the ocean,

and far off to the right I could see more foliage…and everything in between was a cool blissful ocean and breathtakingly beautiful beach.

I walked ankle deep in the water watching the ebb and flow, noticing patterns in the sand that speak peace to me.

It’s moments like these that make all the difference in the world. When I am in physical or emotional pain, this is my happy place that washes it all away.

I reached place where marine iguanas lay basking in the sun.

Their black bodies thick and firm.

Some lay asleep,

while others watched in boredom as the day wore on.

Walking a little farther down past the mangroves, a calm waveless bay was filled with several groups cooling themselves. Our creatures were some of those people.

The boys were playing with the body board while the girls relaxed, submersed in the coolness.

The area seemed to be a shark nursery, because we saw so many baby black tipped reef sharks, about 1-2ft in length.

We played and relaxed for a long, long time, then began making our way back past the basking iguanas,

past the bright waves against the turquoise ocean where the creatures stopped to swim once again,

and where pelicans dive like bombers in a war.

We returned to the path where lizards hurry about and beautiful birds sing their song.

Our water bottles almost empty, we walked slowly in the hot sun, stopping in the shade of cactus periodically to rest.

And finally returned home, sandy, exhausted and filled with peace from the beauty we had witnessed. It’s a good day when you have been surrounded by natural beauty and shared it with those you love.

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