Thursday, August 21, 2008

August 18, 2008 - Komodo National Park, Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia

We've spent the past few days exploring one of the most startlingly different places we've ever been. After a few days, I'm left with an impression of hills that look like hammered gold bracelets, dotted with trees straight out of Where the Wild Things Are, water as clear as gin and thriving reefs covered with colorful coral and populated by big fish. We've spent our days stalking Komodo Dragons on sparkling white beaches and drift snorkeling in the raging currents swirling around these islands. We're so enamored with the spot that we spent an evening debating the feasibility of starting an charter yacht business here (the latest round in our favorite game - what are we going to do when we grow up).

We quickly concluded that labor was so cheap in Indonesia that bareboat charters don't make financial sense. A fully crewed charter boat would cost so little more than the DIY option, that bareboating isn't worth the hassle. In addition, there are no beach bars or restaurants to break up the monotony of cooking on board and the anchoring is challenging. We'd have to drop a bunch of moorings and open a restaurant somewhere to make the Komodos an attractive destination for the bareboat charter yacht trade. But for us, this place has been one of the highlights of our trip.

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