The Lounge Lizards of Labuanbajo and Dragons of Komodo National Park – Flores Island, Indonesia – Part two
The day was balmy as we sailed by rugged scenery, deserted white beaches and perfectly coned volcanos. We snorkeled in clear aquamarine waters where reefs and fish abounded and mica white beaches beckoned, enticing us to swim inland and bask awhile on their sandy shores. Rinca Island was the first port of call where we went for a trek (long and hot), saw the bones of the dead BBC buffalo, and a bunch of the dragons who were waiting patiently for the death of another beast they had infected with their deadly saliva. One of our party wandered away from the main group and suddenly all sets of the reptile eyes were on him. We moved on.
Our Peeping Tom
It was the afternoon of the first day on the boat when I noticed that Marietta, after a brief hushed discussion with Gary, her partner, started to take her towel with her every time she visited the toilet. My antenna perked up – some thing was afoot! I cornered her and had a quiet word. She told me that showering earlier she had noticed a hole in the wood at the bottom of the cubicle and a disembodied eye looking through from the other side. The eye belonged to our young crew hand. Seizing the moment, she flew out (covered of course) of the small room, ran around to the back of the boat, grabbed him by the ear, boxed him soundly on the other one and told him that if he did it again she would talk to the big boss. From then on we all carried sarongs into the toilet/shower just in case he, or any other member of the crew was tempted.
That night we moored in a sheltered inlet at bat island and watched as thousands of the animals flew out from their resting place to hunt, turning the dark blue sapphire sky into a dense black swirling mass. Two hours later they returned and the sky once again churned with a flapping canopy of wings. I found sleep was impossible thanks to the resounding snores of our Captain who had decided to join us on deck and was slumbering in a hammock slung from the rafters slap bang in the middle of us. I have him to thank for the discovery that the boat was surrounded by phospherance in the water and for the sight of a number of shooting stars blazing to their death in the glittering star-studded inky sky which kept me entranced for hours.
Day Two – Another day of snorkelling – Manta Ray were spotted, followed by a visit to Komodo Island where we saw more dragons. They wanted to charge more for an excursion into the island which we declined as most of the lizards were lounging around under the wooden huts hanging out for scraps to steal. Yet another night of noise overload and a snore induced delirium where I seriously considered smothering the Captain.
Day three after more snorkelling, a bit of fishing (caught absolutely nothing) we set sail for home, It had been spectacular, fun and we didn’t want to leave.