Lubuanbajo at last!
Trip Start Mar 19, 2008
31Trip End Jun 05, 2008
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Where I stayed
But now we had finally arrived! The most exciting part of getting to LB was the hotel. A real hotel. Ok so the room had single beds. But the beds were clean and had fresh sheets - a novelty in Flores. And a shower - ok so we couldn't get the hot water to work but it was a shower all the same. And best of all - it had a perfectly clean flushing toilet
The main reason to visit LB is the boat trips that take you to visit the komodo dragons. So once we arrived, we scurried off in search of a boat and bumped into a Belgian guy called Jean Louis (shy but strange) who was happy to share a boat with us and split the costs. The dragons are lizard-like, dinosaur-esqe creatures that live on 2 islands off the coast - Komodo and Rinca - and can be up to 3m long. They're pretty vicious little buggers and eat big buffalo, deer, wild horses, small children and anything else they can get their teeth into. That is, after they've watched it bleed to death. Even their babies hide up a tree for their first 2 years because they are terrified that Mummy or Daddy will eat them! And chances are they probably will. I'm starting to wonder why we want to keep these things from becoming extinct!
So after a good night out with an English couple we bumped into called Sam and Liam, we set off for Rinca island as we'd heard there is a better chance of seeing dragons there. The boat trip to Rinca was stunning and mercifully calm. When we arrived at 9.30am it was already scorching hot
The walk through the grasslands in search of other dragons (what were we thinking?!) was soo creepy. We were walking through fields of shoulder-high grass and I was convinced that a dragon was going to get me! It was like one of those scary movies where nothing happens but there is that constant feeling of terror. Of course in those kinds of movies, the guy at the back always gets it. So we made sure that we put poor old Jean Louis at the back!
Our next encounter with a dragon was in a dry river bed, where we saw 2 of them scurrying away over the rocks at an unnerving speed. We looked on at the damage they had done to some wild buffalo. One of them had a nice bite on his nether regions (ouch!) - the dragons like to attack from behind
A few hours and a few more dragon sightings later, I was relieved to be heading back to the safety of our little boat. I was hoping to use the toilet on the way but there was a dragon guarding the door so I decided I could wait! But just as we turned to walk along the pier, another little monster appeared - and he was sitting between us and the boat. Suddenly panic set in all around, as he stared at us and we stared at him. Of course the boys got their cameras out and starting taking lots of photos. That morning, I'd asked the guide what we should do if a dragon charged at us and he had said to stay absolutely still, and whatever you do don't run. Of course when it starts charging at you, common sense goes completely out the window. Paul and Jean Louis almost dived off the pier when he started his frightenly fast charge and guess who was standing behind them! Mind you I didn't see the dragon get off the pier because I was too busy running like a big girl in the opposite direction. I will never forget the sound of the dragon's feet getting closer and closer as my mind raced and I struggled to get away. 2 boats full of local fishermen in the meantime looked on and cracked up with laughter - thanks guys
Want to see dragon photos and much more? Have a look at Paul's Flores pics....