Not so long ago we traveled through Indonesia and had the privilege of spending a day on Komodo Island with real life Komodo Dragons. You basically take your life in your hands to step onto Komodo Island because the dragons are wandering around free and occasionally people “disappear.” *gulp*
You have to stay in groups of 12 (from memory) and must stay behind the local ‘guide’ who carries a stick as protection for the whole group. Yep, a stick! *gulp* You absolutely must stay on the skinny pathways or you’ll be eaten. Great! We have double protection: a man with a stick and a dirt track. BOL!
Rule number 3 – the most important one: NO FOOD ALLOWED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES and for safety reasons, women with their period are banned from stepping foot on the island.
Komodo dragons have an amazing sense of smell and will scent food and blood for miles, then turn up and expect to take it. They are also expert swimmers. They can run fast and have extremely powerful jaws. One more thing: the dragons on the island are all loose and do what ever they want to do.
Ready for a walking tour through heavy dense scrub and bush, where dragoons like to hangout to make ambushes on their next meal? Its ok, the man has a stick. :=o(
We set off very nervously, with our eyes darting in all directions, partly because if a dragon rushed at us we didn’t have a clue what we would do. The scariness continues: we see deer who appear very jumpy and clearly nervous. They were sort of grazing, but looked more terrified than anything else. *red flag moment*
The man tells us the deer are the dragon’s menu. WHAT? The dragons bite the deer on the leg when the deer go to drink water at the watering hole. This is what Komodo dragons are famous for. When dragons bite an animal they release a slow but deadly poison which travels into their victim’s body. A week later the dragon will kill and eat the deer. :=o(
By now we were deep into dragon country and not able to say we hate this and go back. We had to stay with the pack to stay alive. All of a sudden the man makes arm gestures and voila – there’s a group of Komodo dragons. We were under strict instructions NOT to make any sudden movements and not to look them in the eye. OK.
Mum had slowly knelt down to take some photos when one of the dragons looked directly into her face. As she slowly started to get up the dragon instantly got to his feet ready to run at her. She said she felt ill because she saw his body tense, read to sprint forward. The man yelled and waved his stick and mum wanted to run away while she still had legs. But we all survived.
The next group had a dragon tailing them, which was really scary. At the half way point the guide (with the stick), said he was nervous and demanded to know if anyone who had food. An American woman very sheepishly put her hand up and said she was carrying a HAM SANDWICH in case she got hungry. She nearly had everyone killed.
Another group had an ‘incident’ when a dragon followed a woman into the public bathrooms! Good Lord. It turns out she had her period and it was only when people heard screams coming from the restrooms that she confessed, after she was rescued from a certain death.
Komodo Island offer snorkeling tours. WHAT??? There is no way I would do that because dragons are expert swimmers and can out-swim humans. People were actually doing this though. As we saw a huge dragon slink into the ocean, we shuddered. It was like watching Jaws, but with legs. *shudder*
Thank you for reading,