Boat to Rinca
Silence is golden as the engine is cut and the boat drifts up to the jetty. A seen of tranquility aa we appear to be the only tourists here at Rinca, No cars or mopeds, in fact very little sign of life (except for a few guides), not even a dragon to greet the party which has been known to occur in recent times.
A nicely constructed path over a mud flat and through a swampy mangrove, but nothing much to see here either - no crocs, no snakes just hundreds of those crabs with one bright red claw! We're going to the ticket office where the rangers would like to relieve us of even more money, according to the guide. But getting there means passing by a Dragon- yes, there by the tree in the shade, one giant Komodo Dragon closely watching the goings on with interest, possibly a breakfast option coming up! Thankfully the guide is carrying a stick, sturdy enough to give the creature poke on the nose but that's about all. So, keeping a good distance time to take some photos of this ugly monster.
£7.50 less in my wallet - the Komodo National Park entrance fee, a fee for the use of a camera and of course a fee for the guide which is compulsory. No fee to use the loo however! By now a few more Komodo Dragons have emerged from the shadows - a small one wants to climb this tree, flicking that huge forked tongue across the bark as though it was tasting a lollipop - juicy ants I should think. An amazing sight as it clings to the near vertical trunk in the expectation of a tumble very soon. But no, the creature lazily climbs up into the shade and picks a branch to call its own.
We're going on a trek, a medium size hike for about an hour says the guide. The long trek is closed for maintenance and there is a small trek for those not particularly suited to a rumble in the jungle, but the group here agree that the medium trek is fine. Off we all trot led by our guide with his big stick. Into the woodlands, across a stream and along a muddy bank - those with flip flops are kind of struggling. First stop, a bunch of holes, about 6 one of which might be where a female dragon has laid some eggs we are told - no sign of any dragons though. No tropical birds either come to think of it - might have seen a crow and a sparrow earlier but I don't count those as tropical!