Monday, September 15, 2008

Komodo National Park

We caught a flight this morning from Denpasar, Bali to Labuan Bajo (LBJ) on Flores Island. This is kind of the entry point to Komodo National Park. It's cool to step off the plane into a very small airport covered with giant posters of Komodo dragons. They're close by, somewhere!

Truth be told, the primary motivation for me to come on this trip was not so much the diving (though I'm told it can be spectacular) as the opportunity to see the dragons. I'm not sure what the attraction is, exactly. I know they are the largest living member of the lizard family, I've seen them in at least one zoo (Sydney's Taronga Zoo), and truly, they're not all that inspiring. But I hope that seeing them in their native habitat will be better.

Flying from Bali among all the small islands was quite spectacular. Lots of islands, with amazing variety in size, shape, and vegetation. Very scenic. Indonesia has always struck me as phenomenally diverse and widely distributed. As usual, my history is weak, so I'm quite unclear on how Indonesia came together, but it strikes me that it would be nearly impossible to govern something so large and diverse.

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