I’ve spent a good portion of my grown-up life chasing mythical creatures: mermaids, unicorns, leprechauns, “the one”, and now a new sort of quest has evoked me – the dragon hunt.
Because my flying academy came to a very abrupt end when I was caught jumping off a two story wall (age 8), I still can’t fly. This makes getting around a whole lot harder than it ought to be. But life at sea is a close second.
It took a good few days of sailing to get into the dragony waters. And in an attempt to psych myself up for the chase, whilst on a 4am night watch, my ipod fell to the depths of the ocean half way through ‘The final countdown”. I really hope the mermen below have good taste in music.
|Our beautiful anchorage in Rindja island|
Rindja (or Rinca or Rincha) island was as mysterious as we’d hoped; a desolate island mass teeming with deer, wild horses and macaque. We took on a friendly guide A) because we had to and B) Because a man with a big stick to fight off dragons is better than no man with a big stick to fight off dragons.
The quest continued.
One. Two. Six. A cluster lay sprawled out in the shade. Almost lifeless – like statutes. The magical dragons were as big as I’d imagined – their piercing stares shot shudders down my spine.
Fortunately, they didn’t move much. They stood up only to defecate, and then they’d lie back down after a few lashes of their long forked tongues. Komodo dragons do not shoot fire. This was a disappointment.
We ventured deeper into the island.
Solitary dragons lay hidden in bushes [and the young in trees] guarding their nests and digesting their bellies. They eat but once a month, but when they do eat [monkeys/ buffalo/ horses/ humans] they eat everything – fur and bones included. It probably explains their hairy poo.
|Licking hairy dragon poo - apparently it will take up to a month to see if this action has done any permanent damage to my being|
Komodos may appear to be the laziest creatures on earth (after the people in the world's tax and traffic offices), but they run at 18 km/ hour and often just administer a single bite to their prey. They then follow the victim for up to two weeks until death by infection consumes. What a horrible way to go.
[At least it' a pretty place to die]
For two days we explored the island, marveling at the violent landscape and marvelous wildlife. For two days we kept our heartbeats up - hoping not to fall victim (or lunch). For two days I tried to find the courage to lick a dragon. And then finally…
|[Photoshop is a powerful tool!]|