Friday, April 4, 2014

Indonesia: Komodo National Park

* disclaimer, these pictures in no way encompass the beauty that these islands have to offer. This was easily the prettiest place I have ever been to in my entire life. And this is a total photo dump, just could not pick our favorites. 
Dock to Rinca Island

That is the boat we stayed on for the three days.

So Blake pretty much planed our whole trip to Bali all by himself. I had way too much school going on to help. We knew we wanted to try to go to the Komodo National Park, but it was much to expensive to book our travel plans through a travel company. So he decided to go with the most sketchy process ever to get us to the island of Flores. We started by buying our plane tickets from a guy in the McDonald's parking lot, it made me a little sick handing over 3 million rupiah in exchange for a piece of paper with our "flight itinerary", and the hopes of getting the tickets at the airport the next day. 

Everything went fine at the air port, we boarded our plane with no other plans then to try and hire a boat when we arrived. After talking to other passengers, it looked like we were the only ones with no one to pick us up in Flores. Again it was a little unsettling. Especially once we landed, the runway had a dog walking across it and no tourist information. Once in the terminal or a little box room, the exit was guarded and locked with a chain in order to keep the mob of desperate taxi drivers from entering. After we built up the courage to leave we had to push our way through the crowd of men trying to win our business. It was a mess. But we found a guy that would drive us to the dock. Our only plan/hope was to get to the dock and find a boat to take us out to the Komodo islands. 

Once at the dock, we found a boat and made a deal for half the price we would have been paying had we booked with an agency (Blake and I think we could have even gotten it cheaper if we tried). So we spent 3 days and 2 night aboard a long wooden boat. Just me, Blake, the boat captain and his first mate. 

Even though we got a good deal we still didn't know what to expect as far as food, sleeping, bathroom, and all that goes. It turned out great, we never go sick and they prepared quite the spread for every meal. True authentic Indonesian food. Being so worn out from each days activities sleeping wasn't too much of a problem. I will never forget looking out at night onto the glassy water and seeing the reflection of the stars. It was amazing, some things you just can't capture with a camera. 

We spent the hottest parts of the day in the water snorkeling. Over the three days we snorkeled in four different locations. Pink beach (named after the beautiful color of the sand) was my all time favorite, the marine life was diverse and laying on the beach was lovely. It truly was the best snokeling we have ever done! On the boat we went to bed at sunset and woke up with the sun. Our mornings and late afternoons were spent searching for komodo dragons. We thought it might be difficult, but just walking on the trail to the ranger station we saw two right on the path sunning themselves. They truly are intimidating lizards. They will walk straight for you. I did not feel like they wanted to eat me, but they sure weren't scared of me. We saw a dragon by a watering hole, as we took pictures one after another appeared. As they kept coming I was nervous one would come up from behind and bite my calf. The only thing the rangers had as defence was a large forked stick. We were lucky to see five all together by the time we left the water.

After visiting the two main islands of Komodo National Park, Rinca and Komodo we saw a total of 15 dragons. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow!! You two are so amazing, to just go for it, with no set plans. And you found Nemo!! lol.