I can't believe it's been a month already

Josh and I have now been in Kyparissia for over 3 weeks, we've completely settled in and are loving the camping lifestyle as well as all of the conservation work that we're doing. We're loving it so much that we're having difficulty keeping on top of writing a weekly blog post, so we'll be posting as and when to include our highlights and thoughts.

Since we last wrote a blog post we've said goodbye to many people on camp, it was a rather sad experience to say farewell to people you'd worked closely with nearly 24/7. Our numbers on camp were over 40 when we joined and we're now at around 20. Even though it was sad to lose so many lovely people who I would now call friends, we now have a closer knit community and are learning a lot more about the people who remain. Another bonus is we get to have more communal pancakes – woop!

We've had a few more shifts each week as people leave, making it very busy for us. We have still only had one shift together so it makes it difficult to spend any quality time together. But that's okay as we've still got ten months of each other's company after Archelon! I've had a lot more PA shifts which has included going to a posh hotel (word on the street is that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have holidayed there) to inform the public about our work and to raise funds, as well as giving presentations to the public about our work. I find the presentations quite fun as it uses my teaching skills. Josh and I have both been trained to be morning survey leaders now so our responsibilities have increased – got to love a challenge!

Outside of our shifts we've had lots of parties, Josh has re-discovered a love for Fanta and baklava (it's dangerous if he goes near a bakery!), and I'm obsessed with getting ice creams when I don't have a full day of shifts or am stuffed with pancakes.

Mmm, baklava

Some of our highlights over the past fortnight included:

  • Josh seeing a naked man having a poo on the beach during morning survey, he told everyone that would listen when he came back to camp - it was rather amusing!

  • During one of Josh's morning surveys another volunteer missed the shift due to sleeping through her alarm and felt so bad that she made Josh and the leader apology pancakes.

  • I told Josh about seeing tree roots draining eggs but he didn't believe me/understand until he saw it for himself.

The small roots penetrate the egg and drain the nutrients, leaving a dry paste inside and deforming the shell

  • Nikki got a free strawberry slushy drink at a hotel after doing a presentation - a nice change from drinking water out of Josh's old Fanta bottles.

  • We played limbo and the cereal box game one night with a group of volunteers and leaders - there was so much laughter and it really boosted morale after lots of people had left the camp.

  • Josh got rudely shooed off of a table at the taverna which he was pretty miffed about.

  • There was a storm one night which made the waves very large - the next morning Nikki's morning survey team had to rescue 153 nests from inundation to prevent starvation of oxygen to the nests.

This was taken when the waves had calmed down a bit, but they were still crashing into the beach

  • Josh and I both went to a posh hotel in the area, on separate shifts, where celebrities are said to have holidayed – we felt very out of place but made lots of money for the project. (It was like a super upmarket Centre Parcs – Josh)

  • We took one of the project's cars to a car wash, where it took over two hours to complete! Due to tiredness from quite a few shifts, Josh fell asleep. The Greek employees enjoyed pointing and laughing at him, but gave us free orange juice when he woke up.

It wasn't very comfortable – Josh

  • One of Josh's morning survey teams found an unusual hatchling, it had 4 scoots on its carapace (circles on the shell) as well as abnormally large flippers. When they brought back photos to camp everyone was impressed with their find.

Its colour and pattern was also very different to normal Eventually it fought through the waves and made it to the sea

We are still really enjoying our time at Archelon and know we made the right decision to come and help the loggerhead turtles. It's even more pleasant now that the temperature has dropped a little! This weekend we will be having a night's break from camping due to it being our wedding anniversary – very exciting!

An upside of getting up at 5am for morning surveys is seeing the sun rise


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