Chasing Dragons

Ever wonder about the thought process behind my travel planning? I can’t really say it’s particularly rigorous. A lot of it has to do with talking to people and thinking, “Oh, that sounds cool”. Or reading about a place and thinking “Oh, that looks cool”. With me, you really can’t underestimate the cool factor. Here’s an example. About a week ago, I was coming back from a dive, driving up from Padang Bai to Candidasa and we were stuck in traffic behind this van. On the back of the van was a picture of a Komodo Dragon. I saw this picture and, well, here’s a sample of the internal dialog that followed:

“Oooh, a dragon. How cool! Hey, the Komodo Islands aren’t that far away…”
“No. No, no, no. I see where this is going. Look, you’ve already sorted this out. You are spending a week in Ubud, then flying to Thailand. That’s the plan. Stick to the plan.”
“Plans can change”
“Change costs money. And the visa runs out in a week. You can’t overstay your visa. They’ll throw you in a hole like those “Brokedown Palace” girls.
“The visa can be extended.”
“Well, that’s true.”
“And did I mention the dragons?”
“Dragons are awesome. OK, I guess it can’t hurt to look into it…”

And that’s how it starts. Some random van art comes along and a week later, I’m sitting in an Italian restaurant in Labuan Bajo, sucking down my second mango smoothie (it’s really hot here), looking at the harbor and writing a blog post before I disappear for a few days. Oh yeah, I’ll be incommunicado for awhile. I’ll stay in a B&B for the night, then leave in the morning on a liveaboard boat for a 3 day/2 night dive tour of Komodo National Park (the itinerary is laid out here, if you are interested). I talked to the dive master about my leg and we are going to try wrapping it in plastic and tape to keep the site dry. I’ll come back into port at Labuan Bajo on the 27th and check into another B&B for two nights, long enough to let the nitrogen in my system bleed off so that I can fly back to Denpasar, Bali on the 29th. There, I spend the night in a guesthouse close to the airport so that I can catch a flight to Phuket, Thailand early on the 30th. That’s the new plan. Well, at least until I see something cooler on the back of a van. I wonder what’s cooler than dragons? Maybe naked women…riding dragons!

Labuan Harbor. Granted, it’s not the best view, but there is a harbor there, honest.

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