This is the grand finale for my visit to Labuan Bajo. The best place to see Komodo dragons is on Rinca Island and not Komodo. Unfortunately, some crappy flip-flops caused a sore between my toes which got infected so I missed a day of diving. I also didn’t want to go on an all-day affair to multiple locations with lots of trekking in order to see the Komodo dragons.
So I managed to book a private boat for only seventy dollars, but the day began in a rather bizarre fashion. It was low tide and climbing down onto the narrow bow was a tricky affair. I misjudged the distance, and I went ass over elbow into the murky water. Given the heat, it was actually kind of refreshing but I lost my new prescription sunglasses, and I fear I killed my cellphone in the process. I did manage to hang onto my hat.
After dusting off my ego, I rinsed my shirt, shoes, and pants and hung them out to dry as we got underway. I took leave of the incident by napping on a mattress on the way to Rinca Island. The next thing I knew we were approaching the bay.
Here you see that narrow bow which facilitated my unceremonious entrance into the water first thing this morning. I’m pretty sure my phone’s a goner but in my silver-lining spirit, I will let go of my basic iPhone 6 in lieu of an iPhone 8s which has a far superior camera. This is important to me given that I have started taking more photos with my phone which I always have on my person. I’ll just make sure it’s in a dry bag when I board boats in the future.
MY CLOTHING DRIES DURING THE TWO-HOUR TRIP
I BASK IN THE BEAUTY BEFORE I KIP OUT
The first-mate prepares for docking at Rinca Island. I rub the sleep out of my eyes, put on my now dry clothes and shoes, and get ready to disembark.
FIAN, MY RANGER GUIDE GREETS ME, AND WE HEAD TOWARD THE RANGER STATION TO BEGIN THE TOUR
FIAN HAS BEEN A PARK RANGER FOR FIFTEEN YEARS
WE DIDN’T MAKE IT 100 METERS BEFORE WE RAN INTO OUR FIRST KOMODO DRAGON
KOMODO NATIONAL PARK
AWESOME DRAGON SCULPTURE
WORLD HERITAGE SITE – KOMODO NATIONAL PARK
THIS FELLOW IS ABOUT 3 METERS LONG
I am not as close to him as I look in this photo since the dragons can get quite aggressive. Their bites can be serious given the pernicious bacteria in their mouths.
DRAGON HEAD – Truly an inspiration for the mythical creatures.
IN LOUNGING MODE
READY FOR ACTION – This nine footer actually bolted toward us but later struck a good pose.
FIVE DRAGONS VISIBLE – They like hanging out near the kitchen.
KOMODO NESTING GROUND
I kept the trekking to a minimum because of my infected toe.
DADDY’S HANG OUT
JUNIOR DASHES ABOUT – Baby Komodo dragons spend most of their time in the trees to avoid being eaten by the other lizards who are known to cannibalize them. The dead are also eaten.
THIS LITTLE FELLOW IS UNDERSTANDABLY A LITTLE NERVOUS
BOAT RIDE HOME – I couldn’t ignore the view on the trip back to Labuan Bajo.
IN JULY AND AUGUST THIS PANORAMA WOULD BE COMPLETELY BROWN
THIS LUSH GREEN LANDSCAPE MAKES BEING HERE IN THE OFFSEASON ALL THE MORE WORTHWHILE
The diving visibility is not as good in March as during the July/August high season, but it is so nice to avoid the crowds above and below the water. The locals need your business more in the offseason so you receive very good treatment.
THIS ISLAND HAS A SMALL VILLAGE
THE BATTERIES IN MY CAMERA WERE RUNNING LOW, BUT THANKFULLY I MANAGED A FEW LAST PHOTOS
THE LAST SHOT – My camera promptly died after this one – Lost cell phone and glasses aside, it was a good day.