What can you say about a day which takes you from cleaning up other peoples’ rubbish, to watching the happy release back into the ocean of two turtles which had been rescued and restored to health, to dining in a 5 Star Hotel?
I’ve always been kind of hooked on change and variety, as far back as I can remember, and so, in lieu of travelling to find it right now I am so lucky to be living on Tenerife, and to be able to enjoy all of this so easily! Yesterday I already listed all the things I didn’t do too!
As a Cruz Roja volunteer, I participated in the beach clean in Candelaria Saturday morning. To all intents and purposess the beach looked really clean already when we arrived, since the previous weekend had seen a very important fiesta, no doubt attention had been paid to the necessity to clear up afterwards, but it’s surprising what you find hidden if you just kick a stone. This was a joint effort by La Cruz Roja and the town hall of Candelaria, entitled La Mar de Limpia, and was to raise awareness as much as anything. It was really heartening to see so many children participating and taking so much interest, and very encouraging that Candelaria takes this so seriously, which was clear from a conversation I had with a member of the town hall staff.
When all the rubbish had been collected, which included a team of divers recovering things like bikes from the seabed as well as the usual cans, bottles and bits of old rope, two turtles which had been rescued in dire straights from the sea and restored to health by La Fundación Neotropico were released by members of that organization back into the ocean. Again, there were lots of kids, and with lots of questions too, which the members of Neotropico answered with great patience, and in great detail.
Turtles are fequent victims of our neglect or ignorance of the world in which we live. They ingest plastic bags, taking them for jellyfish and they become caught up in bits of old fishing nets or fishing line, which hobble them and make them unable to swim and dive as they need to do to survive. Given that turtles swim for thousands of miles without touching land, imagine how fatal it is for one not to be able to swim effectively. The speakers explained all this to the people gathered around, as well as details such as, where the ones we find in these waters breed, their life cycles and the work the foundation does in rescuing them. A sobering talk, but with a hopeful end as the kids waved and cheered these two on their way to resume their natural lives.
It was good to be out in the fresh air all morning, despite the heat, and it reminded me, amongst other things, that I’ve been spending too much time indoors since the weather hotted up! Must make more effort to be outdoors! Isn’t it a waste to live in this climate and NOT be!!!!!!!
A quick 40 winks and shower and I was off down the coast in the other direction, to dine with friends from England who are staying at the Hotel Gran Melía Palacio de Isora. The irony of the contrast between morning and evening, wasn’t (how could it be?) lost on me. This hotel is just beautiful, and our meal was delightful, but the evening was more about meeting up with old friends (who are really more like family) than about the food or the restaurant or the hotel, so maybe more another time, when they have formed opinions. For now, as I gazed across the manmade, but stunning, infinity pool, close to which we dined, I wondered if those little guys were out there, swimming, tasting freedom again, and hoping that they don’t have more encounters like the one which put them in the “hospital”.