Fish and dragons

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I didn’t get enough of the fish yesterday so I head out for another day under the surface. But amazing diving isn’t the only thing around here which is legendary. Above the surface are the creatures which share the name of the main island off Flores – Komodo. The komodo dragons are the biggest lizard anywhere in the world today. The komodo dragons live on Komodo Island, Rinca Island and actually on Flores itself as well. Due to very poor transport on this part of Flores it is actually easier to go and visit the dragons on Rinca Island than on Flores itself. This makes it possible to combine a visit to the dragons with a trip under the surface.

I first heard about the dragons as a kid and have wanted to go and visit them one day ever since. Even though I have been to Indonesia a few times before Flores and the dragons just didn’t really fit into my itineraries. But today is the day to go and see the dragons.

I get onto the dive boat and sail out to Rinca – here you can just jump off and walk across to the land and pay the entrance fee and find a guide. It seems like everybody else come in a group so I kind of have to go with my own private guide. Before we can start the tour of the island we have to walk across an area leading to the headquarter of the park. Along the small trail are some mangrove trees which are the home to a lot of monkeys. Just as we get to the headquarter there is a deer – which is the main food for the famous dragons so now I know what they eat.

We start our tour around the island with the guide carrying a large stick with a fork at the end which he supposedly can use to keep away the dragons in case they should try and attack. Considering the size of the dragons and the size of my guide I am not sure he would have enough strength to actually hold off the dragons but hopefully I would be able to get a head start in case of emergency.

We walk across the island and it doesn’t take long before we spot a couple of great dragons hanging out at the building which house the kitchen of the camp of the national park. The dragon hangs out here in the hopes of finding some scraps from the kitchen. We have a few photos of the dragons and then start the hike.

Along the hour long trail we manage to spot a nest of a dragon. And a snake. Finally we see a big water buffalo which is also part of the food for the dragons. The only thing we don’t see along the trail today is actual komodo dragons. Just before we get back to the ranger camp we see a few small dragons which are only a few years old and don’t look bigger than a more regular monitor lizard. So the only big dragons I see are the one still hanging out at the kitchen area.

I get out and get back on the dive boat to go out for a couple of dives. The diving today doesn’t really measure up to the first dives. But it is still nice and on fairly shallow water we manage to spot a few baby sharks which are hiding under some large plate corals. It is nice to hang around with the shark for a while trying to get a good look at them while they are hiding from bigger fish in the see during the day waiting to come out and hunt when the night come.

On a later dive there are some nice corals to see and a selection of nice fish and smaller nudibranchs which are nice but not able to really blow my mind for the last dive in Komodo.


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