All is well. We have quelled the fire of the mighty dragons in the incandescent caldera of Komodo where the rim of the huge volcanic crater that spawned it is visible as a ring of rocks in velvety folds of green and orange. The trees and vegetation provide cover for the dragons and their prey of deer and wild boar. It was very warm there (probably the result of all that fiery breath!). Supposedly they consume whole deer or boar and use handy trees to help force the animals down their throats by bashing them against the tree with such force they sometimes knock the trees over.
There is no known antidote to their lethal red gooey saliva. The tens of sharp curved fangs are buried in the flesh of their mouth waiting to lacerate and inflict fatal wounds. We didn’t get eaten once!
We now have a photo of us touching one of the huge beasts. He was facing the other way!
We arrived in the morning with cloud and sultry heat. The kids came out in canoes with outriggers and frolicked around the ship, diving into the water for pennies. Seemed a bit too much like begging to me. These people have an outwardly rather idyllic, simple life, fishing in a beautiful natural setting, warm and peaceful (apart from being eaten by dragons) and then us Westerners arrive with all manner of rubbish and they are seduced. Which life is best I wonder?
We walked round the jungle trail to the water-hole where a number of huge lizards lurked. All the guides had to fend off the massive reptiles, with their venomous saliva and huge sharp teeth, were forked sticks. Not many people have survived a komodo dragon bite. We wanted machine guns at least! But they must have been full of previous tourists and were bloated and full, content to flick a tongue in our direction, stalk about menacingly and dribble red saliva.
Our guide (mandatory) showed us round the village. There were semi-comatose dragons stretched out all around. He poked one with his stick. It raised its head but seemed disinterested. It was hard to imagine that they were fast, ferocious hunters, but they were. The deer and wild boar had no chance, but people seemed to happily co-exist.
The bay was delightful with the blue water, yellow sand, palm trees and rippled orange hillsides covered with trees and undergrowth. The sort of picture postcard scene we see so much.
The sun was setting as we sailed away wrapping it back up in its orange tints. I wanted to spend longer walking in those hills. Maybe another time?