Monday, 17 February 2014

As you arrive into Komodo Island jetty there is a deep channel which is clearly marked between 2 reef sections …     Anyway…   our trusted skipper, maybe still not fully awake yet, somehow parks us on top of one of these reefs and we    are     stuck. 

Bloody hell, really mate?  Our skipper has driven in here hundreds of times and should know the way easily…   even I could see the channel?!  So here we were, ran aground at Komodo Island!  Haha These are the stories that always get told though, you rarely hear wild tales about the trips that went according to plan right?! 
A dinghy from shore is sent out to pick us up while the crew are left to sort out the slight issue of us being parked on a pristine reef.  Once ashore, we are again given a 'dragon fighting' stick, but also a guide this time and are led off into the Komodo bushland. 

Our guide is full of information and we learn a lot.  Small dragons actually live in trees until they are around 3 years old to avoid being eaten by their parents or other dragons.  We get to see one on our walk, his head poking out of a hole high up in a dead tree.
 Not long into our trip there is much excitement between all the guides and we are hurriedly all directed to a spot up the track where a group of seriously big dragons are tearing apart a pig. (not to worry, he was dead already, one of the dragons had previously killed it, they hunt solo but can eat together)  

Our guide says this is very rare to see, that he had only seen it 3 times and we are VERY lucky, was he serious or just scoping for a bigger tip?!  All I know is, it was unbelievable to witness and a stark reminder of how dangerous these things could be.
We watched this unfold for over half an hour before moving on, standing mere meters away as these massive reptiles fought and climbed over each other to get a bite of this pig, their immense power clearly evident.  

We see a few more smaller dragons on the rest of the walk but nothing to compare with our earlier display of raw nature.  But from here things weren’t all smooth sailing.  There are different routes you can take on your hike and the other lady in our group decided she wanted to do the longer one….
Patty and I really didn’t want to do it, nor did her boyfriend I don’t think, but we kept the peace and went along with it, I hate when that happens!  It was absolutely scorching hot and we had no shade for most it, and the scenery and views were definitely not worth the extra hiking in that heat.  Not for a second.  I was wishing I had of just said ‘look, I really don’t need to walk further, meet you back at the station’.
 So unless you’re into trudging up dry, barren, featureless mountains to look at fuck all, in the burning heat and humidity for no apparent reason…  then I would probably suggest skipping the extended version of the walk.  I wouldn’t have minded so much but I burn easily and really don’t like to be out in sun like that for too long without a better reason. 

By the time we got back to the station I was pretty well over it, but we walked around the beach a bit further and got really close and personal with a dragon, sitting literally right behind him maybe a meter away. 
We returned our guide and our 'killin’ stick, and recovered for a bit in the shade and had a warm coke!  It was here that I ran into the guy that I had chatted with for ages on the ferry over from Sumbawa.  After a big smile and wave we had talked briefly and i simply said to Patty ‘Yep, I have friends all over the place’!
Not our boat,  just a sunrise picture
Komodo legend
Dragon fighting sticks...   
Baby dragon, you can see his head poking out of the tree
Look away now if you're squeamish....      poor piggy
OI...   what are you looking at?!
More pork consumption....   again, not for the squeamish