Tuesday, 4 February 2014

After around a 2 hour trip through perfect conditions and fantastic views, our first stop was Rinca Island, part of the KNP.  As we jumped off the boat we were pointed to a ‘path’ by the rangers and one person in our group of 4 was given a large 2 pronged stick as we were waved off into the unknown, tasked with finding our own way there. The stick was to fight off any man eating Dragons if we had to…  
A fucken stick??!  Man I love Asia!
Not to worry, we found our way to the Ranger Station, unaided and uneaten by gigantic gecko’s. It was here that the real predators were, don’t ever forget to bring your wallet to Komodo National Park!  It wasn’t super expensive it was just all the little bullshit they wanted to charge you for, x amount per camera etc.  These ‘camera fee’s’ seemed to be popular at the Indo hot spots.
A guide took us on a great walk around the island, plenty of wildlife around though not a whole lot of Dragons in the bush, they all seemed to congregate around the Ranger Station and just laze around.  So we did see some there and a few not far from camp and it was a very enjoyable couple of hours. 

When we got back to the boat, the boys had lunch ready and we sat down to an assortment of tasty dishes as we headed out of the little bay and off to Pink Beach.  The food on this trip was amazing, I can’t credit these guys enough for the spreads they were putting on, some of the best food I’ve had.  We all commented that we wished we could just eat like that every day, so tasty, healthy and so much to choose from.
Pink Beach is a fairly well known beautiful little bay for great snorkelling and at the right time of day the sand seems to glow a pink colour.  I’m used to some pretty dam good snorkelling back home, but this was easily some of the best I had seen in SE Asia, so full of life and some seriously big fish in there.  It takes a lot to impress me when it comes to beaches and reefs after what I have grown up with, but this place really was a good snorkel.
The crew took us over to Kalong Island where we set the pick for our overnight stay, but we still had a couple of hours of daylight left and the fishing rod was out almost before the engine was cut. 

We were way too deep for my outfit though and to make things worse there were schools of tuna busting the surface all round us, much too far to cast anyway but they came right past the boat a few times and I didn’t have the right lure with me!?  1 metal slicer was all I needed and it’s something I usually always have with me.   

Oh well, we had cold beer, great company and a view to die for, kicking back on the deck of our boat as the sun went down with some snacks the crew had whipped up to tide us over until dinner.  Life really is tough sometimes!
Kalong Island is more of a large ‘rock’ really, than an island, it’s covered in trees and is home to a huge population of fruit bats.  As we sat in paradise for the afternoon, many of the local villagers had paddled out with an assortment of things to try and sell to us.

  I didn’t need any souvenirs, but I will have 2 of those large warm Bintangs thanks mate!  One little boy was out there with his dad and was losing patience with it all, a couple of chocolate bars from us and his troubles were soon forgotten.
Dinner was superb, washed down with a couple more cold ones and it wasn’t too long after that we were setting up mats on the deck and getting ready for well earned sleep.  Most of us were up pretty early and we watched the sun come up behind the mountains that seemed to surround us in the cove we were sheltered in.  Breakfast was served while underway to Komodo Island, little did we know what the day had in store for us!
Sailing out of Labuan Bajo

Most fisherman know,  you NEVER take banana's out to sea....   I hoped this wasn't a bad omen
Not a bad office

Rinca Island

Dragons 'hard at work'

Wild Bee's nest
Pink Beach and the beautiful clear water
We found Nemo
and Patty

Does it get any better...?!
The kitchen
Prep area
 The cook/deckhand