Comodo dragons and Paradise!

Trip Start Mar 09, 2011
Trip End Apr 21, 2012

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Where I stayed
Centro Bajo

Flag of Indonesia  , East Nusa Tenggara,
Friday, September 16, 2011

16th September - Labuan Bajo/Rinca

Comodo dragons and Paradise!!

We got up at 6:30 and got ready and waited for Jack (the guy that sorted us out the trips) to pick us up, he took us down to the port and we got on the boat, it was nice, a lot sturdier than some i've been on and it was even easy to stand on it and go on the front bit without falling over!!

The views were amazing! All these beautiful little islands are dotted everywhere, some of them are quite big and some are just like a big rock jutting out of the sea. Some have beautiful white sandy beaches and some have forests, some of them were covered in brown tufts of dead grass and bushes and some were lush green.

We got to Rinca island and walked onto the pier, there were all of these guys at the end and one stuck his hand out to greet us, he said his name was Castro. We walked round this pathway that had fields either side that had gone all brown and dry and it's no wonder! It was the hottest driest place any of us have been for quite some time!

We got through to this area where there were some little huts and things, there were monkeys everywhere and they were so cute "Castro" said that the comodo dragons eat them sometimes, poor little monkeys.
We then went and got our tickets and went back outside, "Castro" then stopped us at this board and showed us the map of Rinca island and Komodo Island, he then said "my names Fidel and i'll be showing you around today" I don't know if his name is either one of them but it was all a bit nuts. He also said we may be unlucky and not see any dragons, but there is spitting cobra's and other snakes too!! He did have a stick in his hand, so that makes it all better....!

We started to go off on one of the trails and before we'd even got out of the hut area, he said there's some!! They'd gone round to one of the huts as one of the rangers had just made some food and they'd smelt it. There was loads all underneath it in the shade and they were all laying there flaked out, they laid so funny, there legs and arms go back by there sides so there proper cotched out flat on the floor! He kept us about 5 metres away from them, but basically we learnt that they can move up to 80kms an hour and there saliva contains 60 different kinds of bacteria, so if you get bitten, you die. Someone had died there but it was years ago so we were alright.

We looked at them there for a little while and it was quite funny watching them at some points, one would be a bit uncomfortable so would move, if there was one already in the spot he wanted, he'd just lay on top of him! And they'd rest their heads on the other ones back and stuff. One of them already had one's head on his back, and another decided he wanted to be on him aswell and clambered right on top of him and laid on his head! He sat there for a bit and then pulled his head out dopily with a grumpy little expression on his face haha!

A couple of them also made this really weird noise and "Fidel Castro" told us that's what they do when they want a fight, it was like they were sucking in or blowing out loads of air and having a big huff or sigh at the same time. Or an under the breath roooaaarr!

We started to walk the trail and a little way along there was a nest on the left, it was like big holes in the earth where they go to bury their eggs when their nesting. "Fidel Castro" told us that when they're nesting they're very protective and angry. They also lay 15 to 30 eggs each time, and when the weathers hot and dry (like today!) they have a 50% chance of survival and when it gets cooler they only have a 15% chance! The mum digs one hole then covers it a bit as a fake one then digs the real one. The mum looks after the eggs for 3 out of the 9 months then leaves them, when they are born the climb into the trees until they grow bigger as there's a chance otherwise that the mum will come back and eat them as they're cannibals!

We carried on a bit more and there was a nest that wasn't fenced off (the other ones we'd seen had blue ropes around them) we looked in them really close and then realised the end of a tail was poking out the hole on the right. "Fidel Castro" threw a rock in... Ok dude, you just told us 5 minutes ago that these things are psycho when their nesting... Do What?!! He suddenly jumped back and whispered "she's coming out, go!" we started legging it along the path and stopped a little way away and watched. It didn't come out the top, so he grabbed onto a tree to get a look inside it again from above further away and said it had moved to the other hole. We went back to the edge and it had moved into the other one which was straight in front of where we were standing so we could basically see all of it! He threw another few rocks in, but it just stayed in there then.

We carried on the rest of the trek and didn't see anything else except for more monkeys and a couple of wild boars, quite glad we didn't get to meet the snakes to be honest as the hospital you'd have to go to is in Bali and lets face it by the time you're there youre going to be brown bread anyway!

It was really good fun, and great to see them. There weird creatures really! The skin on their legs looks all flappy, and it's hard to tell what's inside doing the work when they walk, it reminds me of one of them water snake things, that you roll about in your hands.

After that we got back on the boat and were going to head somewhere fof snorkeling, yaaay!
We'd gone most of the way back and then they started pulling over to one island, it looked amazing! There was a white sandy beach and the water around it was crystal clear. We stopped and jumped out and got straight in to see the fisheys. There was coral all the way around it and loads and loads of fish of all different colours, they were all quite small though compared to the Perhentian islands, maybe they catch them all here when they get big. It was great though saw some amazing ones we saw before and new ones too! There were little ones that looked like bees, all black and yellow stripes. And these ones that had yellow and greeny chessboard bits on the top of their heads.
Basically they were all really cool!!

The last few days have been the most amazing days of my life, it has cost quite a bit and was worried about the money situ but now on top of the world again, it was worth every penny! Will just have to work a bit harder in Oz!

Definitely will be returning to Indonesia in the future. THIS is my favourite place so far now. Xxxx
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