After a 500-mile passage mostly done under engine, we reached Kupang on the island of Timor, our port of entry into Indonesia.
“Port” is not the more appropriate word though: we anchored in front of the town, along a straight shoreline which is giving little shelter and the chop is quite annoying.
After having performed all formalities, which were more expensive and convoluted than actually lengthy, the next challenge was to find an ATM to get a few million Rupias: yes, the Rupia has a very low value, and its gets some time to get accustomed to the fact that 10000 Rupias are just less than one Euro and when they ask for 100000 Rupis for a pearl necklace that’s actually less than 10 Euros…
The town is lively and interesting, and the people very friendly although language is a problem, english is seldom spoken and often very poor; a bit annoying the insisting vendors of all sorts of trinkets, but the saddest thing is the rubbish everywhere, even though people is properly dressed and shops are reasonably clean.
After having left Kupang without many regrets, we reached the Komodo Nationa Park, anchoring for the first night on the south coast of Rinca island: there are the famous Komodo “dragons” walking along the beach!! It’s rather impressive, it looks like we are in Jurassic Park.
The following day we circled the island to reach the Ranger station from where we took a long and torrid walk around the island’s interior: stunning scenery, dragons aplenty but also monkeys, water buffalos, deer, wold horses, the lot.
The largest dragons are easily 3 meters long and despite their apparent lazyness they are capable of sudden sprints and are frankly quite dangerous animals, although the last time they killed a tourist has been more than 20 years ago… (anyway, our guides were watchfull, without making themselves too obvious, ready to kick any too-curious dragon on his nose with their long sticks…).
We go back on board totally exhausted, but it was worth it!!
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