Land of the Komodo Dragons !

Trip Start Feb 22, 2013
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19
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Trip End Mar 21, 2013


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Flag of Indonesia  , West Nusa Tenggara,
Monday, March 11, 2013

Wow, what an amazing day ! It started early as we had turned the clocks back one and half hours last night so were awake nice and early as we were greeted by an amazing coastline of the Islands of Indonesia. Komodo island is part of the Komodo National Park and one of 17,000 that make up the Republic of Indonesia. We had been warned that the Komodo Dragons, the worlds largest lizards can reach a length of 3 metres and weigh over 70 kilograms, their saliva is poisonous and if you are bitten could be fatal ! Despite this we decided to go ashore, which you are only allowed to do with an organised group, together with a guide and rangers who are there to protect you just in case the dragons are startled. We were told not to wear red as this often attracts attention & the dragon might just think you were tasty meat to eat.
We boarded the tender boats to go ashore, everyone excited and a little anxious what the day would bring, especially as only 2 weeks earlier 2 rangers had been bitten by a dragon, thankfully they are recovering in hospital but you can imagine the rumours going around the ship, like Chinese whispers.
Once the tender had landed we were introduced to our guide Teki and a ranger who was brandishing a rather long/large wooden stick with 2 wooden prongs, I guess to ward off any unfriendly dragon, the dragons are deceptively fast but we were assured both our guide and ranger could outrun them, but not much chance for us tourists, you couldn't even head for the nearest tree as the baby Komodo dragons live in the trees until about 2 years old for their own protection as the adult dragons, including their own mothers would eat them.
After a safety briefing from the head ranger we headed off into the bush, making sure we kept up with Teki. After about 25 minutes wilting as we walked in 35 degrees we came across a sign which said "Silence Please" we all immediately followed the instruction from Teki as 2 quite large Komodos were spotted by the waterhole. All you could hear was the clicking of camera shutters whilst about 5 rangers were on guard watching the komodo's every move. They were very still basking in the dappled shade and didn't seem too bothered by us but everyone kept nice and quiet just in case.
We continued our walk stopping periodically to listen all about the breeding habits and other information about these amazing giant lizards, first documented by western scientists in 1910.
By now everyone was beginning to feel the heat and unfortunately one elderly gentleman in our group passed out, seems he was diabetic and had not taken additional glucose with him on the trip, silly man! The rangers and Fred Olsen escorts went into action immediately and they stretched him back to the rangers station - we found out later that the ships doctor was on the island and so all was well but we did find it rather strange that the stretcher was made of red coloured canvas!
We continued our trek for a total of an hour, no more sightings if dragons until we got closer to the rangers station - this dragon had come down from the undergrowth as he had smelt the rangers cooking their lunch, they soon shooed him away.
Back on the tenders and then to the comfort of our air conditioned cabin. A very hot and tiring few hours but certainly one we would no have missed. Definitely a highlight of otrip.
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Comments

Heather on

How fab see the Komodo dragons, I would lvoe tos ee them, maybe one day....Re the old chap, was a bit silly if your'e Diabetic you would take some extra insulin etc with you, never mind it all ended well..... Had to laugh at the red strecther, the mind went into overdrive on that one, lol

Glad Dave & you are having such a fun trip.......

Loving the blogs. thank you x

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