On Komodo dragons…

Today we went to Komodo Islands, to visit the smelly dragons of the same fame. To get on this god-damned island is no small feat, we’ve had to divert the ferry for about 60 nautical miles, adding a good three hours onto the ferry crossing.

Apparently, this is the only way everyone could have a chance at looking at the dragons. And so, the powers that be decided that we all should pay half a million (rupiah) per person, so that this diversion can be arranged, so that we can see the stinky fellas.

Now I don’t know about you, but after traveling 5000 kilometers to get here, I reckon spending RM200 to see the smellies seems like a good idea, after all they exist no where else in the world, the most interesting World Heritage Site in Indonesia blab la bla… it is then understandable that some want to see the dragons more than others. A small bunch even refused to pay, choosing instead to remain on the ferry and sleep the extra three hours away.

It is without a doubt that Komodo is beautiful. Stark and unforgiving, its hotter than hell, and drier than a dessicated old shoe. Its dusty, just like the rest of Indonesia, and its full of people trying to hawk things like wooden dragons and carvings, pearls and trinkets to no end. But as we walk into the park headquarters, the touts disappear, and we see signs of real conservation. There are no littering signs (a new one for me, the rest of Indonesia think nothing of chucking garbage on their national treasures), and people are actually NOT smoking.

We are then brought to a sort of ‘feeding’ area, some of the more senior dragons have been getting scraps for so long, they no longer know how to ‘hunt’. The park rangers use these fellas as old standbys… they’re always hanging around. When we gathered round, the dragons start getting restless and begin walking around. Just three moments ago they could barely pick up their limbs.

Now, before we left for the island, we were told that women in menses are not allowed on the island, simply because it agitates the smellies. They can smell bad blood from 5 km away, and a woman bleeding just wouldn’t do, would it?

One of the dumb handlers, and one of the PETRONAS bimbos were in menses. And the best part is, they came along for the ride. Yes, you want to see the dragons, but do you need to put the whole group in danger?

You see, the dragons did smell the bad blood. And they did get excited. In fact, they chased all of us. Quite literally. It’s a bad experience when an 8-foot monitor lizard, smells and all, runs full tilt towards you. All you’ve got for protection are the park rangers, wielding small sticks. Oik?? Small sticks??

Exactly my point.
jetty.jpg    hill.jpg    currents.jpg
chase.jpg   
lohliang.jpg    komodobeach.jpg

Missing you boatloads, and the people that have more cow sense – Jasmine.

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