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Around the world in 30 days : Flores & Komodo Islands Indonesia
DAY 2 OF YOUR 30 DAY WORLD TOUR
After Brazil, I thought it would be fun to zip to the other side of the world to the Indonesian islands of Flores and Komodo
I had spent a while relaxing in Bali, since I had been backpacking for almost a year and I needed time to chill out. I decided to join a little cruise around some of the least visited Indonesian Islands.
The two most impressive ones for me were the islands of Flores with its multi-coloured lakes and absolutely adorable and smiley people and the Island of Komodo, where going for a walk takes a totally new meaning.
It was a very early start as I set off at 2 am to see the multi-coloured lakes of Kelimutu. I certainly was not disappointed at the magnificent site awaiting me. The most beautiful lake is the turquoise lake, which gets its colour form the sulphur deposits from volcanic activities still taking place in the crater under the water. The remarkable thing about that day was there was not a cloud in the sky and yet all photos I had seen of the lakes always had clouds and even my guidebook advised that I should expect it to be cloudy. Flores is a very volcanic island with several active volcanoes, very mountainous island with an incredible one million inhabitants.
On the way back to Maumere, we stopped in villages with beautiful and happy ladies selling foodstuff in open-air markets. What is it about these places that make the people who live there look so happy all the time? Their smiles and happiness are infectious, yet by our western standards they are the poor people. I felt so uplifted seeing this deep contentment with life. On a sad note we also visited a village destroyed by a fifty metres tidal wave (most probably it was a tsunami in the days when the population was not so well informed about tsunamis)
The next day we arrived at the famous island of Komodo to see the famous dragons. Well it is not accurate to use the word “see” as for me it was something totally out of this world and I felt the dragons came out to check me out! First we had a 2 km walk with a guide at the front with a stick (it did not look very sturdy to me) and another guide at the back with an even smaller stick. While we were being told everything we needed to know about the dragons, we were also being told about tourists who had disappeared when they strayed off the path. I have to admit that I was not feeling very comfortable about the whole set up. Then as we approached an enclosure with metallic fencing we were told to quickly go inside the enclosure and it was only then that I saw some Komodo Dragons coming towards the enclosure. We made it before they did and our guide closed the little gate and there was only a fence that separated us from these scary creatures.
They are quite fascinating as they kill their prey by the venom found in their saliva and they wait until the prey is dead before they start eating. They can kill deer, horse, pigs, boars as well as humans in this way. It was interesting to see the dragons while they were free to roam about. Initially they seemed very interested in the new batch of tourists, but they lost interest in us very quickly. I am sure it would be a totally different experience if you come across a dragon unexpectedly. In fact, we were told of several stories of little kids who were playing in the villages being dragged away by komodo dragons in the past. The walk back to our boat was more relaxed as it was clear that the dragons were not interested in attacking a group of humans.
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