Saturday, October 20, 2012

Turtles, Mangroves, and More on Curieuse Island

Curieuse Island is basically uninhabited. We come ashore on the Baie Laraie, where the beach is framed by giant granite outcroppings. 
This area of the island houses the ranger station, which is surrounded by scores of Aldabra giant tortoises. We are told in advance that the tortoises like being scratched along the bottom of their long necks and, indeed, once having gotten a good scratch, some of the tortoises actually chase you in hopes of more attention. However, being tortoises, they aren’t very fast, ensuring plenty of time to escape.

They are also very patient, enduring all sorts of ridiculous behavior on the part of their human visitors.
(To be fair, a giant tortoise will likely be an element in my Christmas card too.)

We hike across a section of the island to get back to the boats. This hike takes us over low ridges and along the coast where mangroves grow. Along the way we see more turtles, birds, whelks, crabs, geckos and skinks.

It's a fascinating place and I linger along the way, arriving back at sandy Anse San Jose long after most of the others. 

What a beautiful place!

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