Here Be Dragons: Part 1

Trip Start Jan 30, 2012
Trip End Aug 08, 2012

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Flag of Indonesia  , Siem Reap,
Monday, May 7, 2012

Rinca was the epitome of everything you'd hope a dragon habitat to be. The lush green hills (or were they mountains? Im not sure...) were pocketed with dense jungle that was home to all sorts of monkeys and birds making strange little noises, and while the plains appeared to be completely desolate we spotted a few little friends that previously we had only seen on Attenborough - boxer crabs! Well done to Steve for remembering their name.

And then there were the dragons. Wow. We were told there was no guarantee that we would see any of the 1500 dragons living on Rinca but sure enough about an hour into our trek our guide spotted one skulking in the undergrowth. We watched it for about 10 minutes and although it was very still you could see that it was watching us right back. That was it first dragon but not the last, and each and every one of them were fascinating and bizarre.

Back on the boat, we made a stop for some snorkelling and lunch prepared by the lovely guys that crewed the boat and, although the setting and sea air may have had something to do with it, we all agreed it was easily some of the best food we've eaten on our trip.

By then, it was time to sail to Pink Beach on Komodo where we were due to drop anchor for the night. We made an impromptu stop at Komodo village so the couple that we were with could pick up some beer. It looked interesting so we all disembarked and I am so pleased we did. Although Komodo island gets some visitors, they rarely stop at the village so we very quickly attracted quite a lot of attention. The people there were so friendly and keen to show us their village. We spent a lot of time with an ever-expanding group of kids who just never stopped laughing (apart from the one who was terrified of Steve and cried when he looked at her. Poor thing.) and singing to us. I believe I started the singing and dancing spectacular with the conga line. I also tried to teach them "Everybody Dance Now", which didn't go down too well but we also played Follow The Leader and that was a favourite. A man in the village told me that I was a "man zigzag woman". Someone later told me that "man zigzag" is the literal translation in Indonesian for "crazy person". Judging by the fun had by all, I'm taking that as a compliment.

We spent about an hour there and it was one of those rare occasions when you feel like people are just as interested in learning about you as you are about them. No one wanted money or medicine from us, no one tried to force us to buy anything or invented any "tax" for us being there. We just made a hundred new friends and it was wonderful.

Although there was a cabin on the boat, Steve and I opted to sleep on the roof of the cabin under the stars. It was warm, comfortable we were up with the sunrise ready to go for Dragons: Round Two.
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