Searching for Dragons (Part 1)

We had been entertaining the idea of going to see Komodo Dragons for some time until we finally arranged a 4 day boat trip from Lombok to Flores while staying on the island of Gili Trawangan.

A quick mention about the Gilis; they are 3 small islands north-west of Lombok. One of them; Gili T, became a popular backpacker destination in the 80’s. Back then, there wasn’t any law enforcement and it was one of the few places where people could experiment with drugs, usually mushrooms. Even though it’s not quite the same now (although we did get many random mushroom offers in the street) it continues to be a very popular destination in Lombok, mostly for diving and the party scene. We spent five days here. The second day we went scuba diving at Shark Point. The dive was about average, but it was good practice before diving in the strong currents of Komodo. After the dive we had some beers at the beach with five Australians and a couple of locals playing the guitar and singing. They knew some “Mana” songs, which surprised me. I really like being in Indonesia and listening to music in Spanish, familiar words in a faraway place are nice. At night we wandered down to a big street food market for dinner. I had a soup but don’t ask me what was in it. The last three days in Gili T we both caught some sort of flu and spent most of the time shivering together in bed. It was a good chance to catch up on our movies :)

Gili Trawangan

Back to the dragons, on Monday at 8 am we were waiting to hop in a dinghy to be transferred to the main island of Lombok. I was excited and curious to meet the 12 people who we would be spending the next four days with in very interesting conditions. Ahh!, I didn’t mention that we chose the low-budget boat. That meant sleeping together on the boat deck and only ocean showers!

The first day, we bussed across the island to catch our boat in Labuan, Lombok. After hopping on board (literally) I quickly went around for a self-guided tour. There wasn’t much to see. The back had a “kitchen” and toilet (I was happy they had a western toilet and not a hole in the floor). In the middle, an enclosed area of maybe 10×8 feet where the six guys of the crew hung out and slept. In the front, an open area and a little sundeck for all of us to hang out, eat, take naps, etc. Last, but not least, there was an upper deck with 14 skinny mats, a hard pillow, and a blanket that covered only half of Adam. As the boat pulled away from shore I thought, “What are we doing?!?!”

The front of the boat

Sleeping deck


To be continued…

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