Like all awesome places Sharleen found, getting there provided some adventure.
|An hour ride in an 80 person two propeller plane.|
|A 90 minute water taxi ride|
She found a small island on the edge of Komodo National Park where we could live like pirates (Click Here) .
We arrived and it did indeed look like a deserted island hideaway. Jokingly, the manager said that some people hike around the island. I took him up on this. (I would later find out that he frequently makes that joke and the last two people to take him up on the offer had trouble. One gave up half way around and paid a local fisherman a premium for a ride back. The other started at 5AM and didn’t get back until noon).
The suggestion was follow the coastline. I did, until I couldn’t and had to climb up some rocks. I saw all sorts of wildlife and fantastic views. I saw some goats as well as a Timor Deer, which is listed by IUCN Red List as vulnerable. I saw reef herons, honey catchers, and even the threatened Malaysian Plover and Stone Billed Curlew. It got HOT. At only eight degrees below the equator, it got equator HOT. Six kilometers in equator heat was rugged.
|Timor Deer||Beach Stone Curlew||Malaysian Plover|
Along the beaches were coral, wood, and lots of trash. Plastic bottles, chip bags, boboa drink containers, lotion bottles, flip flops, fishing nets, rope, and lots of other plastic tidbits. It was daunting. I picked up a few pieces, but within 2-3 meters, I felt like there was nothing I could do. The magnitude of the problem seemed totally overwhelming. While waiting to come over here, in the harbor we saw two people chuck their plastic into the water where other rubbish was already floating about. Kylie couldn’t believe they threw vegetables in the water too.
Mangrove forests were trying to make a comeback along the shoreline. There was one section where the forest was clear cut. Hermeena, told me later it was probably done by fisherpeople for firewood.
During the sunset, Sangeang Api treated us to a volcanic release.
At night, the girls were treated to their first starry night. There was very little light pollution, hence they were able to see the Milky Way from the Southern Hemisphere.
On one of our days here we snorkeled. The fish diversity was amazing even if the coral was barely hanging on. We saw clown fish, bat fish, moorish idols, butterfly fish, and all sorts of wrasse and parrot fish. We also got stung by some jellyfish. Nothing fatal yet.