October 15, 2008

Four Days and Four Nights: Komodo Boat Trip

Journal Excerpt - Day 3
October 8th, 2008

-A giant male Komodo. Komodo Island, Indonesia.-

When I woke up this morning the boat was still humming along. The night passed quickly. I woke up many times but somehow managed to fall back to sleep quickly.

After breakfast we stopped in the bay of a small island adjacent to Komodo Island. We jumped in the water and headed for shore. The jellyfish and sea lice were ruthless. As we swam quickly to shore and as we approached the beach we realized that the water was riddled with sea urchins. We were relieved to make it to the hot sand in one piece with nothing extra protruding from our dripping bodies.

-An uninhabited island off of Komodo Island. Komodo in the distance.-

We started to climb up the mountain. Trev began to get dizzy and I was so worried about snakes in the grass that we turned back. As we began to wade out in the water I noticed a wiggling motion. Another snake. Another Banded Sea Krait. One bite injects 10 milligrams, while 1.5 milligrams is enough to kill an adult. Needless to say we waited for our crew to pick us up in the canoe. Jellyfish, sea urchins, sea lice and sea krait sound a little to painful for me.

-Giant clam. Red Beach, Komodo National Park, Indonesia.-

Heading off again we arrived shortly as Red Beach. Amazing coral. Amazing fish. Trev and I saw a parrot fish that had to be more than two feet long. Red beach is within Komodo National Park and as such is off limit for fishing and the coral is also protected. I imagine this underwater wonderland could be a good representation of what reefs could have looked like in the past.

The last part of our day took us to Komodo National Park on Komodo Island. Upon arriving we were greeted by our guides. Two guides, with forked reptile handling sticks per group. They ran us throught the strict proceedures for our walk; stick with the group, no talking, watch were you step, and stay behind the guide at all times.

-Park entrance.-

As we started our walk into the jungle the winds picked up and it started to drizzle. None of us minded, our minds were set on catching a glimpse of dragons in the wild. We weren't dissapointed. The king of all lizards were laying sprawled on the jungle floor, surrounded by deer and wild boar. They were massive and sloth-like, yet so dangerous. In fact we were told that just last year a small boy from the village on Komodo was eaten by hungry dragons. Our guide kept a wary eye on the giants while ensuring that us, camera happy tourists, stayed well back. It was amazing to see these rare magnificent beasts in their natural habitat wilderness of Indonesia.

-A hustlers boat. He rowed out to sell us trinkets as we bedded down for the night.-

Docking in a bay off the Island of Komodo, we settled down for the night. As we watched the sun set we were enthralled by the flying foxes (large bats) flying to and fro above our boat. The evening has been peaceful in this perfectly calm bay.

-Sunset over Komodo National Park.-

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