2011 Komodo Island, Rinca and Bali equals Indonesia Fun

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We had a great time in Indonesia…we went to Bali and then the Flores Islands of Rinca and Komodo. First we flew to Bali and stayed at the on Kuta beach for 3 days and then we flew to Labuan Bajo
in the Flores islands for a 3 day boat trip to see the Komodo Dragons on Rinca Island and Komodo Dragon island. After all that excitement we flew back to Bali for a week of much needed rest and relaxation in a heavenly villa.
Bali is as Bali is busy and full of things to see and do..as we had been there several times before we just wandered around and did not go see any temples or the like but it was pretty good fun just to people watch.
Then the fun began…I would like to state now before I go any further this was not a trip I picked or really wanted to go on at all. But I did have a great time so ignore the whining I am about to start into. This was a trip for Kelsey….she is how do I say this nicely…hmmm ok well she is crazy. When we found out we were moving to Paris this summer she about had a fit….not about the fact that next year is her senior year or any other normal teenage stuff…no she had a fit about not being able to see these man eating 9 foot long lizards in the wild. OMG what is wrong with this kid. Ok well as good parents we started to figure out how to go about seeing these lizards. Of course it is not easy….first you fly to Bali…then you fly to Labuan Bajo via a local little plane…then you get on a boat…that you sleep on the deck of and then you spend 2 days on the boat and get off at komodo Island and Rinca which are the only places in the world that these lizards live in the wild…then you hike around for like forever with a guy who has a pointy stick that is going to save you in case you look yummy. There are of course choices of the length of hike you can take…..ummmm guess which ones we took…you got it the long ones….over rocks and to things called dragon’s peak etc…you get the idea…so first place we went after getting on the boat was Rinca Island….rustic is the term I would use….the dock does not meet the boats so we climbed down a home made ladder to a floating pallet(submerged already before you get on the ladder) next to the dock and then step over to the dock….ummmm ok…well Kelsey was first of course and no problems then Jeff no problems so I thought this should be ok….well I began to freak a bit and almost fell off of the ladder onto the pallet but got righted and stepped onto the dock and proceeded to fall in face first as you do….I was caught by Jeff and pulled back I mean at the last second before my face hit the water….so not a great start for me but my family thought it was hysterical….then on to the dragons….they were not as scary as I thought until I was told that a month ago one of the tour guys was in the office and forgot to close the door and a Komodo climbed the stairs and bit him and he had to be helicoptered all the way to Bali for treatment….but he was ok now….ummmm well that is not cool. I also found out that the Komodos on Rinca are adolescents and not full grown….ummm good to know. Anyway Kelsey was in heaven…Jeff was all into it….Tristan wanted to be anywhere else and I was just hoping that I did not fall down and then get eaten. Getting on the boat was all the excitement of getting off the boat but in reverse…basically I fell onto the boat..such is my grace. When we left Rinca we headed for the flying bat Mangrove… 2 things….they are crazy loud and Hollywood movie huge….this is where we slept and listened to them all night long….they sounded like a school yard with hundreds of high pitched voices blended together….now I really liked that and it was very cool… However sleeping on the deck of the boat on a mat was not as comfortable as it sounds….but it was really nice with the water and the air and the bats…really different….next morning off to Komodo Island…and yet another adventure in exiting the boat…this time however we had to climb down into another boat and cross it and then climb out of it and onto the dock….. OMG I was sure I was going to need medical attention this time….but believe it or not it was easier…and once at the ranger area I was so excited…..because they had something that I really wanted……a real toilet with flushing and everything….they do not even have one of those at the airport in Labuan Bajo. After that on to the long hike with a park guide….he was approx…5 foot tall and weighed maybe 80lbs and was maybe 300 years old….he however did have a stick to protect us….hmmmmm…… We are briefed again on dos and don’ts of safety….nobody wanders (or eaten), nobody bothers the lizards (or eaten), nobody touches (or eaten), be quiet (or eaten) etc….seemed to me like we were getting more info this time. So off we go on the long trail. We see a wild pig, deer, birds tons and tons of birds, lots of little lizards etc but no Komodo dragons……then we are told to be silent…and around the corner there they are 3 of them and they are like way way way bigger than the ones on Rinca….and they do not look like they are in good moods…but hey who am I to judge we are the ones bothering them. Jeff took some videos as did Kelsey however Tristan and I were very very quiet. Kelsey could have stayed all day but I think the guide was getting stiff so we moved on for more of our exciting hiking adventure. So about 3 hours later when I was about to die we went back to the ranger area and had some cokes….but before we could do that we had to dodge and reroute to avoid the dragons that were hanging out under the buildings….nice to see that our guy with the stick was still with us….so eventually we left and guess what ….you got it I have to get back on the boat only this time we have to climb across 2 boats and basicly just step across but you have 3 moving boats and space and a guy holding a rope pulling the two boats together and of course all of the boats are different levels so let’s just say I made it and call it good. Off we went to do some snorkelling and then to Labaun Bajo and a hotel/hostel. So we are getting to the marina to dock and I can not see where they are going to put this boat as it is way way crowded but hey it’s not my job to park the boat so I was not worried until the anchor was thrown and people were yelling back and forth in Indo to each other boat to boat and a guy with what looked like a broomstick started shoving the boat next to him away so we can squeeze our boat in…….OMG what the heck are they doing……yes yes you got it all of the guys are shoving and pushing the boats next to the to make room…it was crazy….but it worked with only some scraping and dragging then we were tossed up onto the dock and into a van…and off to our room for the night. Next morning to the airport for a 9:40 flight back to Bali so easy peasy lemon squeezy… We were picked up at 7am to go to airport but were just going to make one little stop…..ummmm ok…….there is a cave you just have to see…what…a cave…..well that seems logical. So we drive up to a hut….I am thinking you know a cave, stroll in see some stalag ups and downs and smile and move on…..no…..no not like that…. dressed for the airport caring my purse and wearing fit flops we walk to a cave with a guide nun the less and flashlights (not a good sign) So we get to the cave that is actually a giant rock with a hole a ways up and then some stairs (stairs now that is a good sign)….so sweating and now with mud and dirt on our legs we are at the entrance of the cave….we go in and guess what it is a cave….not a big cave a tight palm sized spider filled cave that we get to crawl under stuff and duck under things that you cannot see because it is pitch black except for where he points the flashlight to upset the bats and spiders. There is no way I can balance my purse, keep my clothing clean, not trip over rocks, avoid the spiders and balance a flashlight. So when I am crawling trying not to touch my knees to the ground repeatedly hitting my head all I could think was soon very soon this will be over. Then we stopped and he pointed out yet more huge spiders and just as I was deciding I was going to be semi presentable at the airport he says “now we go back” ummmmm what are you kidding me….”only way out is back where we come in”……less graceful back smacked my head good went down on my knees in the mud. So now I was muddy, sweaty, and had a headache…..and 3 days without coffee. So we smiled trudged back to the van and I looked at us…we looked rough. To the airport….a one room set up with lots of people trying to get on the only plane…So finally our turn to check in and we are told to each get on the scale…..do what…..”put bag on for weight…then you get on for weigh”….you must be kidding me… in front of an entire airport of people we all have to be weighed on one of those great big scales with bright red glowing numbers at about 5 foot high. OMG this day is going downhill really really fast. Finally walk out to the plane and get on it and fly to Bali. Jeff promised me I could stay in a villa with a pool for a week and do nothing if I was good and well I will be honest it was worth it…the villas were great and we did nothing but swim and order room service for a week…..now that is vacation.

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