Komodo Island and Flores Fun!

Trip Start Jul 29, 2008
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24
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Trip End Ongoing


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Sunday, January 25, 2009

The next morning, I am awoken by someone turning the engine on over my head.  I did set my alarm clock but I guess, they thought I needed to wake up earlier.  Breakfast was delightful, fried bananas and bread!   They showed me the shower device, which is take buckets of "fresh" water and use it in the abnormally small bathroom and wash off with it.  I opt for no shower.  We are snorkeling later in the day.  So, I shouldn't get to smelly. 

We arrive to island a little early.  The boat charter has no driver and there are no guides in sight.  After 15 minutes of waiting the guides do their calls and people come out from the trees.  Komodo island is much nicer looking than Rinca.  Is it much larger and has the same amount of dragons.  I know that the odds of seeing the dragons out in the wild are much less here than Rinca.  The hike in wonderful and beautiful.  I see cockatoos in the wild, which is really cool in my book.  I just enjoy the 5 km hike.  The paths are much nicer and its just enjoying.

Back at the guest houses, I finally see dragons.  This is where the growling video comes from.  I was pretty sure that I was about to be attacked.  It turns out that like people, some dragons like their space.   The island actually has a gift shop and nice guest houses.  I do get roped into buying wooden Komodo dragons.  Yay for souvenirs!

The next stop is snorkeling!  This is the first time that I have snorkeled or actually swam in the ocean.  The surfing lessons don't count as swimming.  I am so excited for this and I was not disappointed.  I just wish I had a camera.  I saw some of the most colorful fish of all shapes and sizes.  The coral was amazing.  I even saw a sea snake.  I thought it was an eel.  Until, I described it to the guide, he convinced me that is was a sea snake.   After two hours of snorkeling,  the boat leaves to go back to Flores.  On the four hour trip back, I see dolphins and sea turtles.  Life feels pretty good in my world. 

We arrive in Flores a little earlier than expected.  The guide offers to take us to the cave.  But, we both agree that it would be nice to relax.  I am staying in a hotel that is owned by two dutch women.  They went to the tropical paradise of Flores nine years ago and didn't want to leave.  Now, they are both married to Indonesian men.   There isn't much to do in Flores.  So, I go down the way and get some refreshments and take in the sights.  I find out about the party later that night and play with Indonesian kids.  They caught me taking pictures of myself and thought it was hilarious.  Oh well!

Dinner was excellent at my hotel.  I freshen up a bit and go down to the party.  The party is for tourist guides.  They have just gotten back from a convention in Bali.  Ten of them talk about the conference and I wish I sat by the door, so I could escape.  No such luck!    Once they stopped talking.  I was invited to have a second dinner and I knew it would be rude to say no.   I ate again.  Then the party started.  The important thing about Flores is that 60% of the people are catholic.  This is the first time that I have seen such a large group of Indonesians drink and dance.  It felt like being back in the states.   All the Indonesian men asked all the ladies to dance, there were some dutch grandmothers at the party!  It was really fun to see! (I understand why dance cards were made. Its hard to say no and sometimes your feet need a break.)

The next morning started bright and early with a tour of the mirror cave.  It wasn't too interesting.  I did see one of the biggest spiders that I have ever come upon.  Ekk!  I get back to Surabaya later than expected because of plane troubles.  This worries me until I am safely on Surabayan ground.  I miss you!  Sorry that this report is so late. 
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