Archive for Indonesia
Komodo Dragons, Indonesia
Having encountered tiny geckos, medium sized yellow and purple lizards and six foot long monitor lizards in Africa we were keen to meet the mighty Komodo Dragon, the largest lizard in the world. This flesh eating lizard lived until very recently on Java, Bali, Lombok and the Komodo islands. Now there is a small population living in a reserve on Komodo Island.
The biggest Komodo dragon recorded was over 3 metres (12 ft long) and weighed 150 Kg but the one we saw was only about six foot long. They can move very fast and have powerful claws which they use to rip oven wild pigs or goats.
Often however they wound their prey and they follow the stricken animal, smelling it with their blue forked tongue.
As the animal weakens they attack, if it has not already succumbed to loss of blood or infected wounds.
Pictures from Lombok Indonesia.
Click on pictures to expand them
Beautiful unspoiled sandy beaches around the west and north coast of Lombok
Tall swaying palms fringing the deserted beaches of Lombok
Coastal village in west Lombok. Friendly rural family.
Local market in small Lombok town. Horse drawn transport is still practical and popular.
Lovely white sand beaches of the Gili Islands. Fishing boats moored on Gili Trawangan.
The helpful family that took us on their fishing boat from Gili Air to Lombok
There are many volcano down the length of Java and on Bali and Lombok. Some have wonderful coloured crater lakes and some still vent gas and steam. There are a few that are active and with new lava flows.
The western coast road on Lombok followed the convoluted coastline of coves, inlets, bays and hills. At the top of each hill magnificent vistas of deserted, white sand beaches unfolded in each direction. The white crests of waves advanced in ranks across the blue ocean on to the palm lined beaches stretching into the distance. In more protected coves, lines of wooden fishing boats with outriggers were pulled up on to the sand. Here we chatted to Lombok fishermen about high waves, strong winds and treacherous currents. Two fishermen had been lost only the week before.
Lombok, east of Bali, was a delightfully laid back island, largely undeveloped outside of the Capital, Mataram. Certainly there were small hotels, guesthouses and shacks but we could walk down to fishermen’s beaches and share a glass of tea with them before strolling on.
The two main attractions were the Gunung Rinjani volcano which could be climbed in three days to see the colourful crater lakes and the tropical Gili Islands. Visitors flock to the white sand beaches and crystal clear blue waters of the Gili Islands which are surrounded by living coral. We took a public boat out to the islands and enjoyed the peaceful calm of Gili Trawangan where cars and motorbikes are banned. The only transport is pony and trap, cycling or walking.
An island hoping boat took us to Gili Meno and then Gili Air. Returning to Lombok from Gili Air we hitched a ride in a family fishing boat, owned by Jon. As the sun slowly set the evening breeze strengthened into a wind, whipping up a choppy sea of white crested waves separated by deep troughs. We watched Jon’s son Dos bale out water as the boat struggled to climb up a mountain of white steaked green water, the summit high above our heads. As we broached the top the outrigger dug deep into the foam lashing a shower of spray over us and into the boat. Dos baled steadily chatting about British football teams, quite unconcerned with the weather.
It was wonderful to relax on Lombok. As with the rest of Indonesia the people were friendly and welcoming. Less sophisticated than Java and with less polish than Bali Lombok had a natural charm that was refreshing.