Komodo Dragons! Tuesday June 24
We leave our lovely bungalow at 6:15 A.M and after coffee and banana pancakes, walk with our luggage to Tabra's. The pick up van is waiting to drive us to the airport in Denpasar. The check in process is slow and tedious, but with time to kill, Art manages to call Alisha. It is Monday night in
Our 10:15 flight to Labaun Bajo leaves on-time and an hour and a half later we land on
Eventually we arrive at
We continue our hike through the scrubby forest, our guide pointing out birds in the canopy, wild pigs and deer. When we near a watering hole he motions us to proceed quietly and we see a wild water buffalo knee deep in the mucky black mud. The buffalo watches us curiously but doesn't flee and I am able to take many photos. We hike out of the forest, up to the crest of a mountain, blanketed in golden savanna grass with an amazing 360 degree view of hillsides, valleys and the ocean beyond. A narrow trail winds down the opposite hillside and our guide spots a large dragon moving along the path. The other small groups of tourists is descending the trail and we watch as they spot the dragon and have their moment of close encounter. I wish that we could race down our hillside and up the other to watch this dragon, but it is too far and we watch from afar as the dragon disappears into the brush. We hike back down to the forest floor, walking along a dry wash and watching for dragons, but they are off finding mates and I try to be satisfied with our earlier encounter with the adult dragon. Tomorrow, we will have another chance to see dragons on
Back onboard our wooden boat we motor another two hours to
Dinner is served, a repeat of lunch but with cold fried pieces of gristly chicken in place of the fish. John wonders what part of the chicken he is gnawing on? I am grateful that the dim light minimizes the soiled plastic table cloth and again hope that our stomachs will withstand the fare. It can't be much later than 8:00 P.M. but the eventful day has tired us and the deck hands bring 5 plastic sleeping mats to the front of our small boat. Art and I get two thickness of mats each and John sleeps on the single mat. They spread printed sheets over the mats and give us each the equivalent of a beach towels for a blanket. The night is warm so we will not be cold, and after braving the primitive bathroom at the rear of the boat, I curl up in my clothes and go to sleep. The crew and our guide sleep together on a raised platform within the small steering cabin. Ordinarily, I get up several times each night to use the bathroom and am anxious that I will need to use this bathroom in the middle of the night, but I sleep straight through the night and I sleep well.