Alpert-Shroyer 2010 Bonus World Cruise travel blog

The rocky, craggy coastline of the Komodo/Flores Islands, seen as we leave...

Strange, "savage-like" palms & rough looking terrain make Komodo Island looks like...

more "barren" landscape of the Komodo Island

Sign says it all. Very controlled guided "walk among the Dragons" on...

Park ranger & 2 or more helpers with their yolked sticks to...

Our celebrity star just "hangin'" at the waterin' hole in the heat...

Some of the "buds" gatherin' 'round & layin' low, while all those...

more "bathing beauties" hoping a tourist stumbles & makes a tasty meal...

When the Dragon wants to move toward the crowd of onlookers (groups...

Orchids grow all over Komodo Island in the trees as seen here

Directions to 2 different "Dragon Viewing" areas-we were in the Gunung Ara...

In the land time forgot, our chariot looks quite outstanding in the...

Skulls & Shells: Dragon & Pig skulls, huge Abalone shells & other...

the "exploring" trail ended with the vendors stalls on the way back...

Striking sunset as we leave the forgotten land of Dragons

powerful followup on the striking sunsets we experience this one almost looks...

Guest speaker(s) Wink Martindale (game show host of 'Name that Tune') &...

Beautiful flowers bought in Bali make our rooms, foyers & dining areas...

Leon Tuey, accomplished stock forecaster & investor giving advice about stocks, markets...

Ellie's in her element: warm weather, blue waters, cool drink and plenty...


Time (& civilization) surely forgot this isolated group of Islands, East of Timor & the Flores Islands, north of the Northern Territory "Top End of Australia," & the one of southernmost Islands of the Indonesian Islands (a vast territory of water, land & islands between Australia & the Asian continent). So unpopulated is this area, the "Komodo islanders prefer to live mostly on other islands & come over (only a few miles by motorized long boats) to Komodo Island only when cruise ships come in, since there is no industry other than tourism & the Komodo dragons are the most sought after things to see.

Humidity & heat are the most significant features of this area, the fruits mostly are not edible for humans (but one plant produces a grape-like fruit that is used as lamp oil), the fish in the ocean are poisonous, the snakes will bite & are venomous & the dragons may not kill you or their prey but may brake your leg, or knock you (or prey) down with its massive tail & if bitten or scratched by its claws or teeth, you (or its prey) will surely die due to it poisonous saliva once bitten. The dragons like rotting meat the best. If they kill a deer or pig, they will let it rot in the heat & sun until it is "just right & tasty" to their liking (usually there is a fight between animals for pieces & then they let their piece get to "table grade" for them). These giant monitor lizards (Dragons) grow up to 10-12 ft & weigh up to 250 lbs! The ones we saw were about 6-8 ft in length & about 150-200 lbs; they looked pretty "healthy," have a flickering, long, forked tongue, long claws & leathery, thick skin.

The guides said "there are about 1300 dragons on the island & about 1000 people that live somewhere on this & outlying islands. I'd say the dragons are doing a good job of population control, so far. Even though there is low population, there is a debris problem in the waters & on land of human "trash." It does not look like it is a massive problem but they must not recycle & they do not centralize (or control) their garbage and are undeveloped in this area. Outside of the minor problem of human garbage neglect, the islands are stunningly beautiful, have white sandy beaches, striking rock & mountain formations and beautiful waters surrounding this remote paradise. It is apparent that being so far from everything & no evident natural resources (other than oil in some Indonesian areas), is a major problem in populating this wonderful, mysterious land that time is forgetting (& maybe should be).

The stop at Komodo Island was short but there was plenty of interest in the tours of Dragons & a "walk about" with nature. The tours started about 11:30 and lasted until 14:30 (2:30 pm), so the last adventurers could get the 1 & 1/2 hr tour, stop to buy some trinkets from the line of vendors & get back on the ship to sail away at 16:00 (4 pm). All of us sweated quarts of fluids & were very hot by the time we got back to our ship. Many of the "physically challenged" did not participate in the excursion & wisely stayed on board, out of the heat. Ellie & Debbie did exactly that, so they could enjoy "better" ports of call that are coming up the next few days (Bali, Lembar(Lombok) Semarang, & Singapore) that they may participate & enjoy.

Photos will be posted soon, so let your mind & its vast imagination run wild with thoughts of ancient Dragons & mystical, luring Islands lost in time & interest of man. Until then:

"Our World, Our Way, No Regrets!"

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