Possibly the crown jewel of the trip, Komodo Island is the stuff dreams are made of. As kids, we think about such places and here we are at Komodo National Park. God is very kind! They haven't spoiled it with touristy claptrap, not that one cannot buy a dragon figurine at a harbor tarped table. We commence our trek with Henrdrik our bootleg guide...I say bootleg only because he isn't a boat sponsored guide...and we sweat up to a viewpoint over the island called Sulfurea...not for volcanic sulphur but for the sulphur crested cockatoos that come by in the morning. Great view and since the ship isn't too big(nice size at 1400 max and we aren't full) we are able to come to such a place. We search for them high(tree dwelling in their youth) and low. We do find some deer who are quite pleased to be photographed. They know they aren't in shooting danger, but surely, the lizard threat is real. No matter, tourists are no concern and they are not camera shy.
The search continues...we see the dragon nest which contains dozens of eggs...the females eggs hatch at 8 months and...and then the mothers eat them!! What kind of monsters are these!!!?
We don't spy any of the island's namesake until we come to the convenient watering hole, I suspect a lizard 7-11 for a brain freeze. Well, they aren't moving much, perhaps they have already partaken of the mud slurpee. There are six of these behemoths and I half expect them to breathe fire, but the most they come out with is their venomous and bacteria laden saliva which dutifully appears in photogenic droolcicles. Some are having a lie in, but some are perked up and sniffing the air with their licky forked blue tongues.
Never fear, we all have our trusty rangers with us armed with...sticks....and they haven't lost a tourist since oh, the 70s, so we are in pretty good shape. At some point, one of them summons up his bulk to get a move on. He starts high tailing it down the trail, tourists springing willy nilly to clear a path. Well, that is good fun. Worth the price of admission, I would say!
After this, we take the rustic wooden boat over to pink beach for a snorkel. As if the day can be improved. We see my fishy friends, the moorish idols, the enormous blue parrot fish, the clown trigger fish, butterfly fish and the highest concentration of clown fish I believe I have seen... But old age doesn't help much in that department. Great fun.
We complete this banner day with a trip to the one and only village. 30 houses on stilts to avoid Komodo interlopers. The residents are kind enough to rear goats which live under their porches between the stilts. These must make for nice dragon treats which is downright neighborly of these folks.