TURTLES – RAS AL HADD

Growing up in the Middle East was a real privilege and looking back I probably didn’t appreciate it as I should. I was lucky enough to enjoy good weather for the majority of the year with a few months being unbearably hot.

We lived near the beach and every school holiday we would explore places which very few westerners had been to, so I have some really happy memories.

Photo: @sbjoman

 Photo: @abdullhabri

For seven years I lived in Muscat, Oman, where the beaches are beautiful, the reefs are untouched and the people are friendly beyond belief. Usually in large convoys of 4×4 cars, family friends would drive down the coast from Muscat – inside each car all of the kids would be sticking together as we fought for air conditioning.

And this was proper camping; putting up our own tent which was made up of a million parts and seemed to require an engineering degree to piece together!

We made our own fire which generally meant my dad would go and empty some petrol from the spare tank on the back of his bright orange Nissan Patrol!

And eating food all with the added crunch of sand which was just everywhere! Generally all that ‘fun’ which has put me off camping to this day!

 Photo: @m0hd_hassan

Besides the camping there was one trip which was always very special, this was to Ras Al Hadd where green turtles laid their eggs and hatchlings would make their maiden journey to the sea. The pregnant female turtles arrive at the beach from hundreds of miles away, crossing the Indian Ocean to dig large sand pitts to lay between 100 and 200 eggs. Then cover and hide them by sand, with the eggs hatching around 100 days after.

Hatchlings instinctively crawl out of the nest and head straight for the sea undertaking the most dangerous journey of their life. We helped as many of these little hatchlings reach the ocean as we could, as birds and crabs are their biggest predator at this stage.

 Photo: @_tobefree

Waking up at the crack of dawn to watch this happen was spectacular. With no artificial light, the sights were amazing with phosphorescence in the sea and moonlight being our torch until the sun poked it’s head up.

I remember this experience so clearly and enjoyed every moment while watching nature take place.

Photo: @m0hd_hassan

These days numbers of green turtles are on a downward spiral and conservation is key. Many countries known for turtle nesting grounds have put in place laws to help conserve and retain population numbers, keeping beaches natural, untouched and banning the fishing and harm of turtles.

The improvement is definitely noticeable and the more the rules are enforced and followed the longer we will have with these beautiful and gentle creatures on our planet.

Photo: @sbjoman

For those travelling to Oman, who want to witness this for themselves, we recommend the Turtle Beach Resort in Ras Al Hadd with it’s own private beach and excellent amenities.

We have been in touch with the friendly staff at Turtle Beach Resort and for this Summer season they have an ongoing promotion of 15 % off for all the rooms (from 01 May to 15th July 2015).

Please see full details about the offer below:

Royal Hamoor room (with Ac, TV, Fridge, seating area, attached bathroom)
DB Non-Sea view – OMR 80.750 for 2 adults
SGL Non-Sea view – OMR 74.800 for 1 adult

Hamoor rooms (with AC, TV, Fridge, attached bathroom)
DB Non-Sea view – OMR 51 for 2 adults
SGL Non-Sea view – OMR 45.050 for 1 adult
DB Sea view – OMR 55.250 for 2 adults
SGL Sea view – OMR 49.300 for 1 adult

King Fish Room (with Ac, attached bathroom)
DB Sea view – OMR 38.250 for 2 adults
SGL Sea view – OMR 32.300 for 1 adult

Dolphin Room (with Ac, sharing bathroom)
DB Sea view – OMR 33.150 for 2 adults
SGL Sea view – OMR 27.200 for 1 adult

BeachPhoto: @comeseeoman

So make the most of this while you can, this truly is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

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