Part 3…Visas…Not a good day for Tom!…Visited Proyek Penyu Turtle Hatchery!…Check back tomorrow for my embarrassing cultural experience!

For more information and details on the Proyek Penyu Turtle Hatchery, please click here. The cost to visit the site was a donation of IDR $50,000, US $3.68 for both of us.
Stats were a little outdated, but the efforts of the staff appeared dedicated to the project from what we could observe.

“Sightings on the Beach in Bali”
It wasn’t Tom’s favorite day.  As a matter of fact, it was his third less than a stellar day since we arrived in Bali almost one month ago. The first was the four-hour harrowing drive from the airport in Denpasar to the villa, with the remaining two to Lovina this week (four-hour round trips ) for our visa extensions.

We arrived at the Reef Seen Resort, the location for the Proyek Penyu Turtle Hatchery in Pemuteran Village, Gerokgak, Singaraja, North Bali.

As an aggressive driver, albeit a good driver, not being at the wheel for long road trips leaves him with a degree of angst only he and others like him can understand. Surely, many of our readers can relate to this.

This is the sandbox where the recovered turtle eggs are placed while they mature.  There were 126 eggs maturing in this enclosed area.  Once hatched, they’ll be moved to the pools and later released to the sea. Turtle meat is a delicacy in Bali.  Fishermen are paid to bring the eggs and baby turtles to the hatchery, more than they’d be paid as “food.”  This hatchery isn’t as natural an environment as we’d like to have seen, the intentions are good and the concept suitable for saving the lives and further preservation of many sea turtles.

With him in the back seat, upon his insistence, allowing me to take photos from the front, I can feel his discomfort especially when the cautious drivers we’ve had drive too slowly or someone darts in front of us, a common occurrence here in Bali. He doesn’t need to say much when the faintest of sounds escape his lips, perhaps only audible to me.

Looking closely at the sand, there was no indication or sign that turtle eggs are incubated here. Often, dogs, other predators, and humans dig up the eggs on the beaches for food. This is a good alternative for the turtle’s eventual survival. The optimum temperature as would be in a natural environment is between 30 and 32 degrees. If the temperature is predominantly 30 degrees, it’s like the eggs would all be male. At 32 degrees they’d be female. 

Oddly, his angst doesn’t make me anxious although I do feel bad that he can’t relax and enjoy the drive, regardless of where we’re going. Of course, the purpose of yesterday’s second trip to Lovina in three days only added to his discomfort of visiting the immigration office for trip two in the three, five-day process. 

There were over 100 baby turtles maturing for future release attracting tourists to the venue.

No doubt, it’s not a pleasant concept…spending an entire week, out of eight weeks, messing with this process.  Then again, as we sat there with others who’d also chosen to abide by the country’s immigration laws, we both wondered why such a process isn’t observed and respected (by many) throughout the world, let alone in our own USA. Following the “law of the land” isn’t all that difficult.

Baby turtles that had hatched in the hatchery, not quite old enough for release. We’d hope to release a few but they weren’t quite ready.

For tomorrow’s third and final trip, we’re waiting to hear from Gede that a driver will go to Lovina to pick up the final documents with a letter from us in hand authorizing him to do so.  The immigration officer explained this is acceptable for this third trip only.

There were three mature turtles on display (not the parents of the baby turtles) which we’d preferred were instead out to sea but were used as mascots to inspire donations for the baby turtle release program.

Luckily, we were photographed, fingerprinted, and out the door within about an hour before lunchtime began, after paying the required IDR 710,000, US $52.14 in fees for the two visas. 

The other two confined turtles used as mascots to promote the hatchery.

We’d planned to visit two points of interest on the return drive but I was willing to forgo that idea if Tom would have preferred we immediately begin the drive back to the villa (considering another two hours on the road).  He insisted we continue with our original plans to visit the Monkey Temple (shown in tomorrow’s post) and the Proyek Penyu Turtle Hatchery, both on the return drive to the villa.

The hatchery is located on the beautiful grounds of the Reef Seen resort, known for its scuba diving and snorkeling.

It was an hour’s drive from Lovina to both venues within minutes of each other. Over the next several days, we’ll continue to post the many photos we’ve taken this week, still leaving us with dozens more we’ve yet to share. There’s certainly been no shortage of photo ops in Bali.

Religious statues on display at the resort.

Today, we’re blissfully staying put. The weather isn’t as humid as usual, the sky is clear and the crystal clear pool awaits us. We have a bit of “work” to accomplish for future planning that we’ll tackle in the afternoon while sitting in the cabana after our exercise and fun in the pool. 

There’s a variety of flowers blooming at the Reef Seen Resort.

We started our day as usual in the chaise lounges at 6:45 am savoring Tom’s perfectly brewed French press coffee, watching the activity on the beach and the sea including dogs howling and playing, passing boats and barges and who knows what else may come our way today?

The road we drove to the Reef Seen Turtle Hatchery,

Tomorrow, I’m sharing an embarrassing culturally motivated event that occurred to me yesterday, one I hesitate to mention but, let’s face it, life’s not always a “walk in the park.” Sharing such experiences are all a part of the reality of traveling the world which isn’t always pleasant.

May your day be pleasant wherever you may be in the world!

Photo from one year ago today, May 26, 2015:

One year ago today, we boarded Royal Caribbean Legend of the Seas in Honolulu on its way to Sydney, Australia with 1400 Australians on board for one of the most fun cruises we’d experienced. Here’s our balcony cabin before we messed it up with our stuff!  For more photos, please click here.