Chasing the Dragon - Komodo, Indonesia

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December 7th 2016
Published: November 23rd 2016
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Ever since I was a little kid I've always been fascinated with the Island of Komodo and the massive dragons that roam the beaches and forests on its shores. It seemed so exotic and far away from my home growing up in Southern California. My brother and I would go off into our hills and catch all manner of reptile while often talking about Komodo and how cool it would be to catch a dragon of our own. So I set sail from Lombok on a sketchy wooden boat with ten other travelers for four days to have the opportunity to step foot on this remote island and see the great beasts for myself.

I was super excited to live on a boat sailing the seas for four days. For a bargain price of $IDR1,400,000 ($140USD) I was able to contract to do just that including all meals - which were surprisingly good - and water for the duration of the journey. Our group was four Dutch, three Germans, two English, a Frenchman, and myself. We all got along strait away and I knew this was going to be a fantastic voyage.

Our routine for the time on the boat consisted of us being up pretty early in the morning for breakfast after which we would do a bit of hiking on an island that we had arrived to after an overnight sail. This area of the world is dotted with thousands of islands all of which have fantastic diving and snorkeling opportunities. After our hike we would sail for a few hours to the next destination and then jump off of the boat for a bit of swimming and snorkeling. The waters here teem with fish and colorful corals. Lunch would be ready after our swim and then it was sailing off again to another beach where we could lounge around before dinner. Another quick dive, some card games with the group then it was off to bed before repeating the next day. Boat living is tough, but someone has to do it.

On our third day we had arrived at Komodo Island and were preparing to do a few hours trekking hunting the dragons. I could not contain my excitement. After a briefing from the park rangers we set off. About an hour into the hike I noticed an old dry riverbed and suggested we try our luck down there as it seemed like a good spot for dragon spotting. My intuitions were spot on as we soon were in the company of three very large dragons. Awesome! I was so happy to see these creatures in their native habitat and it is only here on Komodo and neighboring Rinca Island where one can do this. Trekking around the island looking for reptiles brought back vivid memories of doing this type of activity with my brother as a child. These are priceless moments and feelings that I cannot get enough of, especially when in a special place such as Komodo.

Sadly my time on Komodo Island had come to and end as did my time on the boat. Our port of call was Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores where I have been holed up for the past couple of days. I am waiting for the once monthly Indonesian public transport Pelni ship to come to port so I can hop on it for the 18 hour journey north to the Island of Sulawesi where I will spend the remainder of my time in Indonesia. I will never forget this journey from Lombok to Flores with the pinnacle being the Komodo Island hike and the chasing of the dragon.

Additional photos below
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Me trekking the hills of Komodo on the hunt for Dragons.

Our Indonesian crew hard at work

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