Monday, December 27, 2010

Dragon!? A day trip to Komodo Island Indonesia

I had seen those reptiles before on TV.

I forgot the program was shown on Discovery or National Geographic channels but I remembered I felt horrified by the look and size of those giant lizards. I pitied the poor cameramen! Thats why I almost get a heart attack when B tells me we are going to have this day trip to Komodo Island for visiting those infamous Komodo dragon, what can I say besides life fulls of Karma.......

The plan is to take a one day trip to Komodo island from Lombok island during our Christmas vacation in Indonesia. The problem is the 2 islands are not that close to each other so we have to take a flight instead of boat [ it takes a week for a boat trip ]. The trip takes so many different transportation tools just for getting there. The schedule is as fellow:

6:00 AM : a car picks us up from hotel and take one hour to drive to the airport.
7:15 AM : 1.5 to 2 hours flying time to get to Flores Island.
9:00 AM : short car ride to the harbor and take a speed boat to Rinka Island [ a smaller island right by Komodo island where has more chance to spot a giant reptile] .
9:45 AM : arrive Rinka Island and hike for 1.5 hours
11:30AM : snorkeling by the Batu Bolong island and have lunch by the beach.
2:30 PM : take the boat ride back to Flores Island
3:00 PM : 2 hours fly back to Lombok Island and have a air tour see the second highest volcano mountain in Indonesia.
5:30PM : one hour car drive back to hotel
6:30PM : take a shower and celebrate we meet the biggest lizard in the world!

We are six people-3 couples and we booked a flight for 6 of us few weeks ago. Now, we have a problem--they only have 4 seats plane available this week! That means 3 passengers can get on the plane for a day and no couples want to be separated during the trip! I almost want to give up my right to go [happily] but I feel guilty when I see B's disappointed face. We decide one couple goes per day and use 3 days to finish our goal.

B's younger brother and his girlfriend went yesterday and we are going today. We manage to wake up on time, pick up our breakfast sandwiches from the hotel [lovely Oberoi resort!] and get in a Suzuki four wheelers heading to the airport.

This is my very first time fly in private airplane, I am extremely excited.

B is the co-pilot and I get to be the photographer. He has the responsibility to pull out the parachute of the airplane if we gets in trouble....scary.

The tiny airplane gets in the sky really quickly and I am stunned by the breathtaking view!
I fall in sleep on the half way!? When I wake up, I see this amazing "Jurassic Park" looks like view from my window! Ole! We are here!

The landing was bit trouble because the president of Indonesia parks 3 of his helicopters in the tiny Flores airport and we are not allowed to park with him.
What ever..we park ours on the grasses and keep heading towards to the port for the boat.
This boat is supposed for 6 but now just for us 2, Luxury

30 mins later, we finally land our feet on the Rinka Island--where the dragons hang out...
Well, generally speaking, I don't really enjoy the company of reptiles, the image of the lizard gets 50 times bigger than the ones hanging ot on our patio just makes my stomach sinking...I told B to try to imagine if one day I ask him to an island full of giant spiders 50 times bigger than usual ones..........he gets that.  I am here because of the greatness of love, haahaaa.

Here we go, the land of giant lizards!
For people who don't know much about those komodo dragons, their teeth are poisonous due to the heavy bad bacterias living in their mouths. You don't want to get too close to them and there is no medicine can save you on the island. If you get bitten, you better pray there is a flight to take you to Bali that day or you are screwed. Last incident was a ranger got bitten 4 months ago.............

We walk into an open field, dry and lifeless. Soon we see some interesting little one claw crabs and a water buffalo [ dragon's food...]

B spots one dragon wondering around the field even before the ranger, good eyes!
That is a female dragon. You can tell their sex by their size. Female dragon is smaller.
She looks quite fat not because she is pregnant, she just had her lunch and I don't want to know what she ate....Apparently, the Komodo dragon can eat up to 15 kg a meal.

We keep going but B is too focus on taking pictures to notice we are leaving and I have to drag him back to the group. I am not being too careful, last man got eaten 9 years ago was lost because he was taking pictures alone...they only found his glasses and camera......

We walk to the entrence bungalow to pay for the tickets and camera fee [ yes, you need to pay for taking reptile pictures] and a local ranger join us to lead our way to the trail. There are 2 trails, 5 km and 3 km. We choose the short one because it is too hot outside, the long one doesn't provide too much shade for the lizards or us to hide under.

There are some people live in the B&B bungalows here, they are very careful about what they cook. Dragons are very sensitive to the smell of blood. Girl shouldn't come here if she is in her period.

Even they only cook simple food like noodles and vegetables the dragons still gathering under the kitchen. about 5-6 of them.
 B is so excited and is taking about hundred million pictures of them. I say he never takes so many pictures of me but he replies " trust me, if I only gonna see you one hour in my life time, I would take a gazillion pictures of you." Hahaaaa. What a smart man knows the right answers to all the stupid questions.

Then, I find this guy, the true dragon look giant lizard! He is the coolest of all. The ranger tells us this dragon might be at the end of his life circle [ they can live up to 50-60 years] He is amazing!
After killing so many memories of our digital camera, we finally are going to the real trail. Before entering the national park, there is a wall with all the dead heads of dragon's food.
Couple seconds after we step on the trail, there is a strong and tough looking male dragon walking pass us. He has this mega attitude and poses like a big boss! 

We watch he passing by silently and think we are so lucky today to see so many dragons in the first 20 mins. Little do we know, we are about to witness a unusual event of this season--Dragon fight!


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