Komodo: The Last Dragon

The view from the hill in Labuan Bajo.
The view from the hill in Labuan Bajo.

After waiting for few months, finally the awaited moment comes: going to Komodo Island, which is regarded as one of the seven wonders. There are nine of us: Feliks, Putu, Dita, Aji, Willy, Arini, Randitya, Isan and me. We (except Arini who had arrived earlier in Bali since morning) caught the flight from Jakarta to Denpasar with Garuda to later connect to another flight to Labuan Bajo with Merpati.

As usual, there was a little drama prior to boarding the flight. Willy was, as usual, almost late though he had been on Damri since 5 pm. However, just in time he managed to arrive during the waiting room is open — 10 minutes before boarding. How lucky!

We landed in Bali at 12.35 am and were planning to get through the night by sleeping at the airport. But we were in luck! Putu’s family provided us a short lodging in their hotel: Nom House, which is just a walking distance from Ngurah Rai Airport. (At first Putu and Feliks kept that as a secret to surprise the rest of us, but in the middle of the airport, she blabbered. xD).

In the morning we were served with ‘Nasi Jenggo’ for breakfast. It consisted of rice, noodle, crispy tempeh and abon. After having breakfast we walked to the airport, waited for a while and hopped on the small aircraft. It is the smallest aircraft I have ever ridden so far that can only load 56 people and has no lavatory. Komodo Island from above looked so pretty. The water colors varied from light blue, dark blue, green and turquoise. The seas looked so clear from above and I could not stop wowing.

After 1.35 hours of flying, we arrived at Labuan Bajo Airport. We came just few months before Sail Komodo was held, so we still arrived at the old airport. The new airport was still under construction at that time and located right next to the old airport.

Speed boat transfer to the boat house where we spent two nights.
Speed boat transfer to the boat house where we spent two nights.

 

The sailors and the guide.
The sailors and the guide.

We were picked up by our guide with a van. We paid the balance of Rp1,750,000 each to the guides and got on a speed boat which brought us to the ‘boat house’ where we will spend 3 days and 2 nights of living  on board.

The gate to enter Loh Buaya where komodo build their nests
The gate to enter Loh Buaya where komodo build their nests
Our complete form!
Our complete form!

Our first destination on the boat house was Loh Buaya at Rinca Island which is part of Komodo Natural Reservation Park. It did not take us long to meet the komodo family. After a short walk, we were “welcomed” by two female komodo who seemed to be arguing something. We were astounded to see them almost wrestled one another. The wrestling stopped right when the male komodo came to them and apparently tried to separate them. Cute yet scary. 😀 The ranger said that it was the start of mating season when the komodo tend to hide inside the jungle and do their ritual. However we were lucky that they were still wandering around!

Don't you even dare!
Don’t you even dare!
You don't want to end up like this, do you?
You don’t want to end up like this, do you?
Fighting females!
Fighting females!

After that, we went trekking for about 1.5 hours to test our luck to see another komodo. We saw the nests of the komodo yet we did not see them. We managed to see baby komodo climbing on the tree, though. Apart from that, we had amazing view from the top of savanna hill. It took my breath away! We spent some time there to enjoy the view.

The memory of this place inside my head is much more beautiful. *crappycameraproblem*
The memory of this place inside my head is much more beautiful than this.
The girls -- minus Arini.
The girls — minus Arini.
The sky was dark but it did not rain.
The sky was dark but it did not rain.

Later on, we went back to the boat and sailed off the sea to Kalong Island which is inhabited by thousands and maybe millions of bats. The guide told us that he would show us a phenomenon during the sunsets: watching bats fly!

First sunset in Komodo
First sunset in Komodo

At first, there were only 2-3 bats flying together but just few seconds after the other thousands followed! Never had we seen something like that before.

See the tiny little black dots in the sky? They are bats trying to survive (by flying to search for foods).
See the tiny little black dots in the sky? They are bats trying to survive (by flying to search for foods).

It is definitely something worth to see. However we do hope that there will not be too many people there so the nature can always be well-preserved. (eff).

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