Exploring the Komodo Archipelago
I’m struggling to put into words the beauty, majesty and wildness of Komodo National Park. It’s a place with the power to leave you speechless, an archipelago of Jurassic islands, white sand beaches and prehistoric reptiles.
It was 5am when we climbed onto the small wooden boat that was to take us out that morning. There was a lazy mist floating just above the water and the boats huddled together like townhouses in an industrial city. The guides skilfully manoeuvred our boat through this wooden maze, the water lapping at the hull and the noise of the motor cutting through the morning silence like a knife.
Soon we were slicing through the sea, the islands off the coast of Flores rising like molehills out of the water. They were brown and barren, slowly turning a rich golden as the sun rose behind us. We were a group of 8, all of us drifting between sleep and bleary eyed awe on the four hour boat crossing. We finally landed on the island of Padar, seemingly inhabited by a lone individual who had carved out a garden, yard and cooking area around a makeshift hut.
It was only early morning, about 9am, but the sun was ferociously hot. Padar Island is famed for it’s viewpoint, so we climbed the steep, partially paved path to the top. From here the white sand bays of Padar lay in front of us, carved into the land like a scalloped hem on a dress. A few hardy bushes were the only signs of life, and the earth was as dry as bone. It felt as though these islands have been here a very long time. And with the thought of prehistoric sharks in these tranquil waters, we made our way to the main attraction, Komodo Island.