Enter the Dragon

Trip Start Nov 08, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Indonesia  , East Nusa Tenggara,
Wednesday, March 20, 2013

We caught a short flight to Flores from Bali and I am sure that parts of Flores are very beautiful but the town we landed in we felt a bit disappointed with.  Labuanbajo is a sleepy port town, it's not pretty and there is not much to do.  That evening there was a vicious storm so heavy that we could not leave the cafe we were in, oh well that calls for another beer!

The next day we booked an overnight boat trip through the Komodo National Park.  To my surprise it was just me and James on the boat, a Capitan and a cook. I thought that there would have been more people.  To begin with I was not very happy; the boat was very old and rickety.   The engine was so load me and James had to shout to hear each other and there was a strong smell of petrol.  After complaining to James and giving him a headache I decided to grab a beer and get on with it.

 Visiting Komodo Park ended up being one of the best adventures that we had on our trip. The surroundings were beautiful and completely unspoilt.  We floated past hundreds of tiny perfect Island; anything that that is listed as a natural world wonder must be pretty amazing.   Komodo is famous as being one of the only places in the world were the ancient, highly venomous and man eating Komodo dragon can be found.

On the first day of our cruise we did some amazing snorkelling, saw a beach made out of pink sand, swam with manta rays and saw sting rays and dolphins. 

When swimming with Manta’s we jumped off the boat with our snorkels and a current took us quickly away from the boat.  We saw two manta’s which were enormous but then I started getting stung and realised that we were both in a pool of Jelly fish! I tried to get back on the boat as quickly as possible but we both got stung. 

That night we saw large bats migrate and watched the sun set in a small bay.  We slept on the deck of the boat under the sky, we could see the Milky Way and counted shooting stars as we drifted to sleep.  

The next day was an early start as we were trekking both Komodo island and Rica.  We got to see many dragons with our guild, that if we were attacked was apparently going to protect us with a large wooded stick!  I thought that they may have tranquilisers to protect us but apparently not.  We were told how a local man just a few weeks before had been attacked by the dragons and were in a critical condition.   One Dragon was lying across our path so the guild took us through the grasses warning us to watch out for the posiniouse  snakes and I was left wondering why I decided to visit a island full of things that want to kill me.

What surprised me is how much the big dragons blend in with the scenery.  I was walking straight towards one and didn’t realise until our guide stopped me.  In Komodo the Dragons lived under the island’s kitchen as they could smell the food.  They regularly sleep under people’s houses and I couldn’t believe how close the local community live to such a dangerous animal.

We ended our cruise by being dropped off at one of the only inhabited islands in the park,  Kanawa.  It was a real Robinson cruso experience.  We stayed in a bed right on the beach covered in a mosquito net.  Privacy was not an issue as there were less than 20 people on the island.  The island was barley devolved; water had to be shipped in everyday, showers were strictly limited to two minutes and were with salt water, electricity was only for three hours a day.   There was a restaurant to get food, the menu was limited and at times we had to wait over two hours for food.  Maybe everyone was busy sunbathing. James went for his first snorkel around the island and came back squealing with excitement as he had seen baby black tip reef sharks.  We later went for a walk around the island and paddled knee deep in the mangroves.  We saw little black tips swim passed, but then the baby’s mummy came passed and actually began fighting in front of us with another fully grown shark.!  They were blocking our way back to the land.   I was a right woman and petrified as I did not want to get in the way of fighting sharks even if they don’t eat humans.  Bear Grills eat your heart out! That night James went for a wee in the sea discovered the sea had luminesce which lit up when touched, like in the movie the beach.  That was our entertainment sorted as we danced and kicked the water watching it become covered in lights.  It was a great experience to be on such a beautiful and deserted island.  We spent four nights there, then made our way back to Bali. 
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