>Travel Pictures



Pemuteran - Turtles

The reason we had chosen Permuteran as our final stop, however, was based on more than just the weather and water. It has become a growing center of environmental care in Bali, demonstrating reef regrowth techniques and turtle repopulation efforts, both of which are very good things in our books.
Upon arrival at Reef Seen, we met up with the few baby turtles that were on hand. Because it is not the hatching season, these few are kept for guests to see and touch, but we would not ba able to release them. We were also introduced to Boomer - a sea turtle that was released from here but kept returning (like a boomerang, hence his name).
He is very un-shy and comes right up to people, so we had no problem getting properly acquainted. Apparently his favorite leisure time activity is having his shell scrubbed, so we all took a bit of time giving him a rubdown! 

We were all a little disappointed at not being able to release turtles, but perfectly understood the rationale why the little guys had to be kept on hand. When we returned a few days later, however, we found that things had changed. Apparently a local fisherman had brought in a turtle that had been caught in his nets (part of the education piece here involves teaching locals not to eat turtle meat, and offering a small reward for bringing them in helps out with this).
This turtle had a huge bite taken out of the back of it's shell, but the would was old and healed, so was obviously doing quite all right at fending for itself. We gave it a scrubdown, just like Boomer, and were thrilled to find out that she (we got to calling it a her, and even named her Dawn) would be ready to release in a few days. Well, no way were we going to pass that opportunity up!
When the big morning came, Alea and Breck took turns carrying the flapping turtle out onto the beach. We were told to set her down quite a way from the water, just to give her a chance to acclimate a bit to being outside again.
As we gathered around Dawn for some farewell pictures, it was hard to not feel a bit emotional about this turtle. Heading off into to ocean, facing dangers from nature as well as humans, and we will never know if our efforts resulted in any good.
But with a final pat on the back, Dawn pulled herself to water's edge, stopped for a moment as if to say good-bye, and the swam off, disappearing almost immediate off shore.

We watched her as best we could, each silently wishing her the best of luck, and then we turned away.
Her journey was just beginning, but ours was ending, and it was time to bid farewell to Bali. Three glorious weeks of travel, adventure, and culture had ended on a high note, with just a bit of service rendered. We felt good about our time here, and look forward to coming back again someday...
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