Well, we saw half of that. However, before you ask, photography is strictly prohibited when you are viewing the turtles, so you'll have to make do with Will's descriptive writing and Stacey's even more colourful graphic illustration (below) to build a picture in your heads.
We met our guide at about 9.30pm and walked a couple of miles along the beach to where an adult green turtle had been spotted digging a big old egg hole in the sand.
It was only when we met our guide that we realised she didn't speak English, and while our conversational Spanish is improving daily, we haven't quite grasped the vocabulary covering the reproductive habits of Caribbean reptiles yet. Maybe that chapter will follow 'asking for directions' in the Spanish phrasebook we've got.
So after a long, quiet, no, make that very quiet, walk, we met other tourists and guides at the spot on the beach. We were ushered over to a palm tree, where, in a hole, was a huge, I mean HUGE, turtle.
Rather strangely, we all stared at this turtle's backside for about 3 minutes until, amazingly, out popped some eggs. They looked like pickled eggs covered in golden syrup, if you need help with that mental picture. I'm pretty sure they would have tasted almost as nasty as that too.
But after a while, the old dear got a bit freaked out, so she upped and left early. Some of the guides we surprised that she hadn't stayed around longer, but with hindsight, they needed to look at it from the perspective of Diane, the turtle (that is now her name). Diane has just swam hundreds of miles to the beach, she is the size and weight of a pool table and she has just dragged herself 100 yards through sand, dug a 4ft deep hole, forced pool-ball sized eggs (continuing the pub game theme) into the hole, with about 25 people shining a red light where a light should never be shone. It's off putting to say the least, I would imagine (I have never actually gone through what Dianne had gone through). Diane had reason to be a bit annoyed.
Anyway, she pulled herself down the beach, stopping for breath every now and then. When she hit the water, she suddenly became more graceful and with a couple of whips of her flippers, Diane, the huge, slightly embarrassed turtle disappeared for another year. Her little turtlettes will hopefully hatch in two weeks. At least we think it's two weeks, but that was from our guide, so there's a chance she actually said they will hatch in 6 months. It's safe to say they'll hatch some time between now and the London Olympics.
We didn't get to see any little baby turtles, but there are plenty of tracks on the beach, which we took pics of.
Tortuguero, turtles apart, is a fascinating little place. Only accessible by by boat, it has sand and grass where other villages would have concrete and Tarmac. The trip was well worth the two days it took to get there and back.
We're back in Puerto Viejo now, where we'll stay for a couple of nights before heading to Bocas del Toro in Panama.