Danny and Helen's Journey Home 2006 travel blog

The harbour at Rinca "calm before the monsoon storm"

Sleepy, sleepy sleepy SNAP!!!

Dragon runs away from Helen and Dannys stinky feet

Dragon dinner in the form of buffalo boil in the bag

Helen and the guides "behiiiiind you"

The pre-historic landscape of Rinca


Rinca is one of the only three places on the planet it is possible to see Komodo Dragons in the wild. These things are 10 feet long and weigh in at over 16 stone.

Upon arrival at Rinca Danny and Helen got off the boat and were warned - "do not go too close", "they move very fast", "Dragons very dangerous this time of month", "Be careful"!... Be careful!!!? All of a sudden the idea of trecking through the pre-historic island of Rinca seemed a very bad idea indeed... "Has anyone ever been hurt?" asked Helen as Danny cringed knowing he did not want to hear the answer... "Yes, man from Swiss, he took photo too close and all we found was glasses and camera"... Oh God!!!!!

So off they set through the forest in search of these deadly, speedy gonzales, hungry, pre-menstral Dragons which had seemed like such a great experience at the time of planning, from the comfort of the hotel room in Bali. Sure enough across some mud flats there were a couple of Dragons. Huge, dangerous, fast but looking just a bit dopey at the time. The guide led Danny and Helen up towards the Dragon and oh boy are their tails fast, they do a sweep with their huge tails that would have karate kid himself jumping for cover. Thankfully, they mainly eat Water Buffalo, which were seen lolling around in the water holes, and wild boar. "Dragons very dangerous when water buffalo around" informed the guide... "Oh really, (having become a bit over confident) why is that?" ... "Because Dragons smell blood from over two miles away and all come across the island to kill buffalo and eat it" ... "Erm, alright then we will be fine so long as we avoid cutting ourselves?" ... "Yes, no problem if no blood!". It was exactly at this stage Danny put his hand on a tree branch to steady himself and it went straight through his skin causing blood to gently ouze out of the cut!!! "Erm , how far away do they have to be to smell blood?" ... "Come from all over this island and the next one, very good smell through tongue" and sure enough Dragons do have very good smell through their tongues, although thankfully by this time Danny & Helen were most of the way back to the boat, throwing off the anchor and yelling to go to sea...

But the plan was different and involved spending the night sleeping on the open part of the boat, tied to the small wooden jetty in the bay. As soon as it got dark, noises in the nearby woods became more pronounced and sounded more and more like Dragons boarding the boat, which of course they did not. The biggest problem was the monsoon which erupted like krakatau directly above the boat. And they thought it would be romantic sleeping in the open! At 5am the boat started up to head for the next island of Komodo and despite having spent the night floating around the deck in their new designer (but definately not waterproof) sleeping bag liners, they had suffered not a single bite or swipe from a Dragon...



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