You’d think that an adventurous trip leading up to the discovery of the lost world only happens on movies. What if I say that such “get back in time” kind of trip is actually tangible? What if I say that Komodo trip could be your gateway to get lost on the “Old World”?
Now, I’m not talking about metaphor. Is not a pilgrimage trip to ancient ruins to learn the history and imagine the life back in the era. This is a trip where you will delve into in the midst of ancient way of live, very much lively and thriving.
The Living Fossils: Komodo Dragons
I tried to not be exaggerating, but the landscape of Flores itself looks like a direct set of the Lost World movies. Completely isolated from the outer world, only reachable by the sea, with landscape fiesta that’s still perfectly pure from the hands of modern mass development. While the mainland Flores is dominated with rainforests and mist-covered mountains, the islets on Komodo National Park are brimming with undulating savannah hills and jagged, extinct volcanoes that just burst out from the blue ocean. Just when you were amazed by Komodo’s outlandish beauty, you will soon realise that everything was a mere background, though wonderfully unbelievable. Behold, this is only just the beginning of Komodo trip to the lost world.
Inside two of the National Park’s biggest islands, the Komodo and Rinca, roams the biggest dragons on earth. Also being the last species to survive. These giant lizard is a legit walking fossils. They are direct descendants of megalania, a species of giant monitor lizard that used to roam the world on Pleistocene era. The Komodo might not be a dinosaur—as people often think—but they are just as older. And their million years journey continues until the present day.
Komodo Trip outside the Komodo: to the Megalithic Tribes
Until very recently, Flores was very hard to be penetrated. Thanks to the rugged and difficult terrain, Flores’ indigenous tribes could preserve their ancient culture without any modern intervention. Two major mainstream religion—Catholic and Islam—has been indicted by Bugis moslem seafarers and missionaries, but their belief to ancestral spirit are still deeply practiced on par with the “official” religion.
Flores has a number of ancient tribes who still strictly adhere to megalithic beliefs. The Ngada tribes, who reside deep in the valley of mountainous Bajawa region, believes that the ancestor spirit stay on the village square, long after their deaths. The Komodo trip to this region might shock you of how megalithic traditions—that you might only seen on Disneys and movies—are very much alive. Female spirit are represented by the small huts, while the males are represented on ngadhu stone pillars. Whenever a premature life fall, the black blood of buffalo would be spilled to appease the evil spirit that cause the deaths.
The Bena Village, another Flores’ megalithic tribes, sets under the shadow of a volcanic mountain. Villagers dwell in high thatched roof houses that sits in two rows—most are adorned with a number of buffalo skulls, a symbol for wealth and power. The one with most buffalo skulls are easily recognised as the most influential person on the village. In the middle of the village stands a megalithic burial site, where the tribe connects to the supernatural realm and communicate with ancestors.
Isolated in the middle of mist-covered top of mountain is the Wae Rebo village, made striking by their big cone-shaped houses. Many travelers make the secluded village as the end journey of their Komodo trip, a perfect place for last reflection before going back to the hustle and bustle of the world. Was Rebo is the last village to maintain Manggarai’s traditional conical houses, that otherwise will has long been completely extinct.
Are you ready to discover the old, long forgotten world with mind-blowing Komodo trip?