Indonesia is a natural phenomenon. It is home to the largest diversity of species under the water. On land it has several unique species as well. One of them is the komodo dragon who only lives on a couple small islands in Indonesia know as the Komodo Islands.
Unfortunately they are a long way off from Bali and can be expensive to get to. We managed to find a more budget friendly option than flying by way of a Komodo “Cruise”. I use this term loosely as this boat trip is nothing like what we would consider a cruise in North America. We spent four days on a small, loud boat captained by a man named “Yo-Yo” who had recently been in a comma after eating some bad mushrooms. I don’t know if he was still high or he had some severe brain damage from the incident; either way he offered a lot of entertainment for the group but no sense of safety when we hit rough waters.
Besides the crew there were a total of nineteen passengers on our small boat; all young travelers on backpacking trips. We all slept together on the top deck of the boat and ate together on the floor of the bottom deck. It felt a lot like being on a class trip in school.
The route took us to many remote islands along the north coast of Sumbawa which we could never reach as a tourist without going on one of these cruises. Each day we stopped for activities like water fall climbing, snorkeling, or hiking. We also got to enjoy some amazing things from the comfort of our boat deck such as flying foxes setting off into the sunset, dolphins jumping along side us as we sailed, and plankton lighting up the water around us every night.
When we reached the Komodo Islands we were led around each on by a guide carrying a stick to protect us against the dragons. We found a few in the wild protecting their nests (seem ironic that a mother protects her nest from predators but will eat her own young once they hatch if she gets a chance) or relaxing by watering holes. The largest group of dragons were found sitting under the camp kitchen though. They are very opportunistic hunters and sit under the kitchen building hoping for a taste of the food they smell inside.
Our Komodo Cruise was definitely a great addition to our time in Indonesia. No only did we get to see something that can’t be found anywhere else in the world but we also met some great people and where brought to a more remote area of Indonesia. From this base we hired a driver with some friends to explore the island of Flores.