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!]
I lived.  


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