Fast forward, and of course we didn’t get to Indonesia as quickly as we’d earlier anticipated. In fact, were it not for Bart & Ann suggesting we meet in early April in Bali, we wouldn’t have come here at all. Today, though, I finally got to check off one of those items we’d had to pass on last century, the Komodo dragons found near Flores Island. I don’t know what it is, there is just something instinctive I feel about searching out dragons. Can’t figure it out.
Komodos are the largest lizards on earth, growing up to nine or 10 feet in length, and found on only a couple islands in this area, the largest being Flores. Since we’re staying just off Flores and a relatively short boat ride from Komodo National Park on Rinca Island, off we headed this morning to get our first view of dragons.
And what did we learn from our encounters with dragons? Well, to be honest they look like big lizards more than dragons because, well, they are big lizards, not dragons. Still dangerous, though. When we were watching our first Komodo dragon up reasonably close and the park ranger was using a very big stick to keep it away Mark asked if they eat people. “Yeah,” he answered, in a tone that suggested there really are stupid questions. Then as the ranger took our little group of four out for a hike into the island he noticed that the Singaporean couple with us was lagging behind. He encouraged them to keep up with us, since the dragons sometimes come up from behind to get the slowest person in the group. They did.
We also learned that Komodo youngsters must have some pretty serious psychological issues. They hatch underground after incubating for about eight months. When the baby dragons climb out they have to quickly find a tree to climb because otherwise they’ll be eaten … by their parents. Right. Komodo dragons are cannibals. Imagine growing up knowing that your mother would have eaten you given the chance. It would mess you up.So that was our day. A boat trip to the park, a walk through some forests and fields, a stop to snorkel on the way back. Very cool.
Meanwhile, a word on our current location. After a week or so on and near Lombok, with another week to go before my brother Al comes to Bali for a weekend, we decided to head further east to Flores, the island we’d passed on 17 years ago. We discovered this great little 10-cabin resort on a small, private island maybe 20 minutes off Flores and here we are. There is really nothing to do here except read, sleep, eat, swim, and snorkel. So that’s what we’re doing this week.
Getting here was an adventure, a three-boat, two-car, one-plane, and one horse-cart adventure. To be specific it was a horse cart on Gili Trawangan to the first boat, a mid-strait transfer from the first boat to the second boat when the first one died midway to Lombok, a race in a car to the airport since the whole dead-boat thing left us way behind schedule, a plane to Flores, a car to the harbor, and a boat to Angel Island. After that stress, we deserve some down time, right?
We’re going to spend a week here, then it’s back to Bali for three weeks and in mid-April off to Paris. Yea!