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Published: November 23rd 2019
Avoid - Avoid - Avoid
Slobbery venomous saliva that causes victims to bleed to death before being crushed and swallowed by these cannibalistic Komodo Dragons
If there was a reason to take this cruise, it was the unique wild life of Komodo Island.
The Dawn was quite late leaving Bali due to the late return of one of the tours. The Captain apologised and expected to maybe peg back half of that time but having us a little late at Komodo Island. As it it happened, the southern leg was good sailing and the total time was made up. That was until the ship turned and approached the channel into Komodo Island. There was a huge outbound current as evidenced on my cell phone photo with many upwellings showing the contrary conditions. We lost about half an hour due to this current.
Before travelling, I had looked at landscape photos of Komodo Island to gauge if I would be fit enough to do the 2 hour walk. Aerial photos really did show the rugged nature of the island and the adjoining islands that make up this area of Indonesia. Some of the promotional pics show green and lush. We were visiting at the end of the dry season, and as our pictures show, brown and dusty.
There was an announcement made by the
Local guides directing large dragon away from the tourist area.
Indonesian Government that the island would be closed in 2020 to tourists. Our guide was disgusted but also said that the ban would not go ahead. A previous attempt to take all residents off the Island was quickly abandoned when the dragons tried to follow the locals in their boats to an adjoining island. The dragons can swim, but unless the water is really warm, suffer hypothermia and struggle. Besides, while the locals were also fishermen, a big slice of their income was from tourism.. About 179,000 tourist came in 2018. The latest plan is to charge around $1,000 Aus to go onto the Island. I haven't heard if that has been abandoned.
The Komodo Dragons are carnivors, and very clever hunters. Their primary diet is deer, pigs and baby dragons. They also eat people. Due to the guides work, it is now many years since anyone died on Komodo Island. One of the last deaths was a resounding warning to all shutterbugs! A photographer ventured out on his own to get that perfect shot (this was before selfies) and was ambushed and eaten. Only his hat and camera were found.
So why don't the Komodo Dragons not
I might look cumbersome, but did you know I have 3 eyes?
eat the local population? We all know that Australian Saltwater Crocodiles just love that opportunity! It seems that they recognise the scent of the locals and seem to respect them. We heard, but didn't see, that apparently they will follow and not touch the local children.
The tour was comfortable walking for most. There was a halfway point where those who didn't want the scenic tour could stop and wait for their group to return before the last leg through the markets and back to the ship by tender. Our older friends from Toowoomba did the complete walk. Mum couldn't recall much as expected, but her hubby had bought her a carved dragon which she proudly showed us.
Will you get a chance to go to Komodo Island? I have no idea, but I certainly hope so.
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