One of my favourite Wandering Memories of all time, is our honeymoon trip to Malaysia, Indonesia and Borneo. It was so different to the usual honeymoon plans of the Maldives, Hawaii or French Polynesia – this was the first adventure of our married lives.
One of the many highlights of this trip was a private tour to Komodo and Rinca Islands. These islands are truly off the beaten track, lying 500 km east of the mecca of Bali. In order to visit it is a 3 day boat trip, or as we did a flight to neighbouring Flores and an all day adventure on a boat.
We were picked up at 5am and taken to a local boat under the cover of darkness. This boat wasn’t a speed boat but a variance of a traditional Sulawesi, slow and steady. It took 4-5 hours to get to the remote world of Komodo Island.
This ground wasn’t made for human inhabitation, it was made especially for the primal ancient animals called dragons. This was true wilderness, this was primal, the world as it once was, we were in their domain now.
We were guided around the islands by local guides and given no promise of seeing its ancient inhabitants. They may see us, but that didn’t mean we would see them. These creatures could lay waste to a human with one bacterial bite, and with no antidote on the islands themselves survival percentage was minimal. These creatures were primal and wild, this was not a zoo, this was a true adventure.
Minutes into our first walk there one was, lazing in the dirt right in front of us. It was incredible, 6ft long, camouflaged in mud and dirt. The largest lizard in the world, in its natural habitat, undisturbed by human interaction – what a privilege.
Walking through the wild, the heat on our backs, surrounded by jungle and the unknown was exhilarating – a mix of fear and excitement.
Between Komodo Island and neighbouring Rinca Islands we saw over fifteen lizards , some in the trees, some lazing by burrows and even some shading themselves by the human invasion homes. Without our guide we could have easily strayed too close to these camouflaged killing machines. Most of the dragons we encountered were docile and hadn’t the inclination to challenge a human. However one was pushed too far by a guide and raised itself into an aggravated position and hissed. You have never experienced fear like that! Luckily the guide backed off and the dragon was subdued.
An unbelievable Wandering Memory experience – Priceless and probably the most memorable experience of my life.