We have been quite lazy recently with lots of laying on beaches, massages and eating too much so we hired some bikes to try and make ourselves feel like we were at least getting a bit of exercise! I think we cycled for about 4 hours, which in my unfit state was a lot!
We first cycled to the other end of the island to go and see the turtle farm. The guide book had described the living conditions as humane but I am not sure that we would have agreed...their pools were pretty small and very boring. However, when we found out what the centre did you could sort of overlook that fact. They are actually more of a research facility than a tourist attraction, and the money that they receive from people coming to see the turtles goes to help try and stop 3 species of them from becoming extinct. All 3 species that they deal with are considered to be endangered, mainly becuase human activity is resulting in less safe places for mother turtles to lay their eggs.
The farm has volunteers who clear the beaches of rubbish etc to make a nice place for egg laying. They then keep watch so they know where the eggs have been laid and once the mother turtle returns to the sea, they take the eggs back to the farm to keep them in a safe environment for them to hatch. Nowadays, most turtles in the wild do not make it to as far as the sea because of shoreside development, human interference and predators. Because the turtles would automatically set off for the sea as soon as they are hatched, the volunteers move them to a pool for two or three days and feed them so that they are strong enough to try and make it in the wild. So far they have managed to released 89% of the 63,927 eggs that have been incubated in the hope that these species will not die out.
After seeing all that the turtle farm had to offer we cycled to the most southern point of the island to have lunch before making the long on diffucult cycle back...well, Ian was ok, but the wind was so strong I could barely get my bike to move and I swear if I had stopped peddaling I would have started going backwards! It was made worse when we were overtaken by some golf buggies, the passengers of which shouted a very smug "weeeeee, woo hoo!" as they flew past...grrrr! We made it back with me almost in one piece to have a very well deserved ice cream.