The Dragons' Den

Trip Start Sep 30, 2013
Trip End Jan 10, 2014

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Where I stayed
Gardena Hotel Maumere
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of Indonesia  , East Nusa Tenggara,
Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Went to travel agency for 0800 as planned to be told we are expected at 1000 as it's Muslim prayer day and the captain sent a message to say he'd be late. A negotiated 0900 and we had a cup of tea while waiting. Boat was a small fishing boat we had to selves. Took two hours to get to Rinca. Alighting from boat we walked along a path for quite away in what felt like Jurassic park before coming across ticket office and guides. Picked up a guide and literally went three metres and the guide said "ah, there's one" and a Komodo dragon was just sitting there by the path! Guide poked it with his stick which we weren't sure was advisable (!) and it walked around. A then stood on a mound and the guide said "careful, that's nest"! Saw a deer (all other animals on Rinca like wild boar, deer, buffalo and monkeys are food for dragons). Then came across five dragons lying in the shade under a building behind the ticket office. We and a bunch of schoolchildren were all admiring the dragons when a huge one came down the hill behind us. I spotted it just before it reached us and would like to credit myself with preventing the consumption of several young kids! Stood there flicking its tongue at us as it smelt, then decided shade was more appealing. We followed trail with guide round to a komodo nest where a mother was outside as sentry (although apparently they eat their own eggs and young as cannot tell which are theirs!?). Saw more monkeys and deer, climbed to a viewpoint, then was done.

Back in boat, we sailed for an hour or so back towards Labuan Bajo then captain dropped us off for a snorkel on one of the offshore islands. Very pleasant (and more relaxing than scuba!). Saw loads of reef fish and a turtle. Back at Labuan Bajo, went up to balcony of bungalow to watch the sunset then to fish market in quay for dinner of delicious grilled tuna.
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