A Travellerspoint blog

Komodo, Indonesia

Going head to head with a dragon

sunny 99 °F

It was a beautiful morning when we sailed into Komodo, Indonesia, one of the more than 17,000 islands that compose this island nation. A gentle mist rose over the mossy green hills, and we were eager to see this place. But we were not to be fooled. WE knew that the fierce Komodo dragons lived here and danger lay ahead. So we dressed in long pants and long sleeves (nothing red because red excites the dragons) and slathered on insect repellant (because this island’s mosquitoes carry ZIKA virus). Our ship’s instructions were clear. We could only go off ship if we were with a Park Ranger, and menstruating women could not disembark because the dragons can smell blood from 6 miles away. People with open sores couldn’t go shoreside either. We checked ourselves very very carefully.

Our first attack came as soon as we got into the ship’s tender. Tenacious and assiduous vendors old and young pushed their wares right inside the boat, but we were strong and avoided a purchase. Then we entered the National Park and heard the rules: no loud talking because it incites the monsters, never step off the path because the dragons can dart out and attack quickly. The guides promised that we were safe because they were armed with brightly painted sticks ; they assured us that they could stave off any assault by pinning these 300+ pound 10 foot long beasts with their sticks and then snapping their necks. You can see a photo of one of those (green) sticks next to Bill’s walking stick below. We were not reassured.

Off we went on the path. It was very very hot (about 100 degrees). It was very very humid. “Stop,” we heard the guide cry. “There’s fresh dragon poop.” (Photo below) The brown center, he explained, was digested meat, the chalky white surrounding it was digested bone. The dinner of choice for a big dragon is a deer, which can be completely absorbed in 24 hours.

On we went through the jungle. It was hot. Humid. Nothing stirred. “Stop,” the guide said, and we saw a baby dragon skitter through the brush. Then a large wild boar. Then a yellow bird. It was hot. Humid. Finally we arrived at a watering hole where many Komodo dragons lay in the shade. They never moved, never blinked an eye. We stopped being scared. Then one dragon got up and started walking and flicked her tongue in and out. We all moved – quickly. Hope put her arm on Bill and he jumped in terror. The guide laughed.

It was hot. You can see how hot by checking out Bill in the before (by the park entrance) and after (with his walking stick) photos.


Posted by HopeEakins 02:15 Archived in Indonesia

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.