SLOWLY our ship began to approach Loh Liang pier. I shudder, I have been waiting for a long time to set foot in this Komo residence.
The arid hills of Flores with lonely palm trees like the African continent always amaze me. Africa van Indonesia, I’m coming.
“What’s in this box, sir?” I asked Mas Agus, pointing to a box behind the ship.
“Chicken,” he answered simply. “What? Chicken? Live chicken?” I asked in surprise, laughing.
“Yes, this is for lunch tomorrow, we don’t have a refrigerator, so bring live chickens,” Mas Agus, the crew of the ship, explained the purpose of the presence of these birds on board. I immediately became hungry imagining this chicken had turned into chicken curry tomorrow haha.
It looks like the Komodo dragon is building a big pier. Reportedly, the pier will be used for cruise ships. I can imagine that in five or ten years, Komodo National Park will become Indonesia’s top tourist destination! By logging in as one New Seven Wonders of Natureit is certainly not impossible.
Walking at Komo’s house
“Do you want to take a short, medium, or long track?” the ranger asked our group. But the name of Caucasians, will not want to lose. The time has shown noon, and we went along the island of Komodo, of course with long track.
“We finished approximately two hours,” said the ranger again.
This ranger is a naturalist guide, mostly from Komodo Village. The Komodo tribe, as they call themselves. They believe Komodo is one of their ancestors.
They carry a long stick with a Y-shaped tip. It is said that if a Komodo dragon starts to act dangerously, just hold the end of the stick close to its head. Then he will feel very annoyed and stay away from us.
Komodo Island is really hot. Plants are dominated by palm trees and jatropha. The palm tree is very large. There are types king lontar palmthese trees add nuance jurrasic on our way.
“This is really like where the jurrasic park tour started, before they eat us all,” Aaron joked when we started our trekking in Komodo island.
After almost 40 minutes of walking in the hot sun, we haven’t found any dragons yet. Only a lot of deer roaming here. Maybe this is deer island, not komodo island, I thought.
“July is the breeding season for Komodo dragons, so it’s a bit difficult to find them. They hide in their nests. But if we’re lucky, we can find them fighting for the female,” explained the ranger.
We also reached the highest hill on the island of Komodo, Sulphrea hill. And suddenly the ranger shouted, “Komodo, komodo!” Everyone suddenly got tensed. Seen a medium-sized Komodo dragon relaxing under a tree. Very graceful, looks very strong legs with big fingers, ready to grip anything.
And, a moment later the Komodo dragon has turned into a famous artist. Everyone takes pictures from different angles. But he remained silent, like a stone. But, make no mistake, Komodo dragons can run up to 18 km/hour chasing their prey. He does like to pretend to be calm to trick his prey. Komodo is a great actor.
“At least we found a Komodo Dragon here, even a lazy one,” Mike said laughing.
We continued our journey down the hill. And none of the dragons again that I found. Except, when passing a house, which he said was the kitchen. We found four Komodo dragons relaxing. Not relaxing actually, they smell the food so they are provoked to stop here.
“This is really like where the jurrasic park tour started, before they eat us all,”
Komodo dragons smell very sharp, can reach five kilometers! So if, for example, you, a woman who is menstruating, it is better to postpone it for a walk here. Unless you want to be swarmed by these bloodthirsty dragons!
The Wilder Rinca Island
“Welcome to Loh Buaya, Rinca Island gate for more wilder adventures,” a ranger greeted us. And uniquely, our ranger is still a high school student. Yes, he is a street vendor (field work practice). Valen, our ranger is also from Komodo Village, and is currently still studying at a tourism major in Labuan Bajo.
Indeed, since arriving at Rinca pier, the impression of wildlife is more pronounced. I was greeted by wild monkeys who were standing on the railing of the pier, holding their child, really inviting laughter in the expression of this monkey child.
Rinca is more arid, more hills open here. There are lots of palm trees. And he said, the Komodo dragons here are much bigger. Because the food sources of Komodo dragons such as deer and wild bulls are also more widely scattered here.
“Is that a tourist’s graveyard? Eaten by the Dragon,” Aaron said half-jokingly, pointing to the nameplates that lined up neatly on the ground. When I approached it, it turned out to be a seed for mangroves, the name listed was the name of the grower.
And, again, the group chose a long track. Indeed, my friends are very excited. When they were on the boat, they still wore swimming trunks and bikinis. Landing on Komodo Island, it immediately turned into like going up to Rinjani.
Not long ago, we found a Komodo dragon walking in the middle of the forest. At least he is not lazy like the one on the island of Komodo. His gait was very graceful, very careful, and very confident, as if he were a king. But soon he disappeared into the bushes.
“We want a big one! Not a smaller one like in Komodo Island,” said one French Caucasian. The ranger can only scratch his head haha.
Shortly after walking back, we found another Komodo dragon. But still a baby, very small for the size of a Komodo dragon. It looks more like a lizard than a Komodo dragon.
“The Komodo dragon is a cannibal animal, sometimes it eats even its own children. That one was probably only about 2 years old, so it wasn’t dangerous yet. If it’s been over three years, he can only attack, “explained Valen
Aahhh, but it’s really hot in here! What else will my charred skin turn into? I’m so lazy to imagine it haha.
After being satisfied with burning itself in Rinca, the ship continued its journey back. We will spend the night in the waters of Kalong Island. Here I met Pak Sudirman, a souvenir seller from Komodo village, he and his son took a canoe to Kalong Island. When I expressed my desire to visit Komodo Village, he was very happy. “Just call me later if you want to play there, you can stay at your house,” he said happily.
When the sun goes down, thousands of bats will fly from one place to another. Wow, really a very fantastic sight. Accompanied by a tinge of orange in the west, I am very grateful that I can still enjoy all of this.
That night we talked a lot. Exchanging emails so they can still keep in touch. They are great people, a real traveler. I want to travel the world after hearing a lot of their stories.
“The invitation to the Netherlands is always open for you,” said Maarten with a smile. I smiled too.
Tips when trekking on Komodo Island
- Keep walking with the ranger and don’t get separated from the group. Rangers are experienced to protect visitors from Komodo dragon attacks that could occur.
- Do not make sudden movements. It will only lure the dragons.
- When chased by a dragon, run in a zigzag. Although the Komodo dragon can run up to 18 km / hour. He couldn’t follow such a twisty running pattern. Immediately find the nearest stilt house to protect yourself. Don’t climb into the tree because there are usually young Komodo dragons there! He was afraid of being eaten by the older dragons so he hid in a tree.
- Tell the ranger if there is a woman in the group who is menstruating to further increase awareness. Komodo can smell blood up to several kilometers. It’s even safer not to do trekking first. Also do not use perfume that is too strong.
- Don’t forget to wear sunblock, hats, and clothes that absorb sweat. It’s so hot there bro!
- Don’t forget to snorkel/div here. Komodo National Park is Indonesia’s best underwater spot.
- Visit the komodo village to mingle with the community (the komodo tribe). Don’t forget to buy some souvenirs from them to help the local economy.
Happy sustainable travel!
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