Beginning with Komodo Island, Indonesia, I had terrible internet problems. I spent hours trying to upload photos and post the blog, only to have it all fail. These creatures are so amazing, I was not willing to do that post without photos. So here it is, Komodo a bit late. This was the first day I took my walking stick. I had been told that it really helps to lean on the stick if you can’t sit. Also, I thought it could be used as a weapon if a Komodo dragon came after me. They told us the island was dangerous and the guides used pitiful forked sticks, smaller than my walking stick to protect the tourists. Apparently, in the past one guide spent months in the hospital from a bite.
Komodo dragons are the most prehistoric of creatures living today. They look it. They are a type of monitor lizard. There are about three thousand living on several Indonesian islands, most on the island that bears their name. They are awesome predators, capable of running twenty to thirty miles per hour. They have venomous bites that cause their prey to bleed to death. Deer have been introduced to the island to feed them.
Lest you think I am too brave, since the last photo shows me rather close to four of them, rumor has it that visitors are taken to a Komodo dragon senior citizens area that is relatively safe. Of course, the island has thousands of others that are free to wander in to the area. We saw nine, some of which never moved, making me wonder if they were given anesthesia in some way, but one was said to be a juvenile and he moved into some tall grass behind where we were standing. He would not be in a senior center! The night before we went to Komodo, Asep, the head of the dining room who is from Indonesia, told us to stay on the path. We did.