Sunday, November 28, 2004

TRAVEL - Mountain Gorillas and Komodo Dragons

Couple of articles on the San Francisco Chronicle today.

Here's another account of a visit with the Mountain Gorillas to wet your appetite for making the trip yourself.
My three-hour climb up the steep and slippery slopes of 12,006-foot Visoke was marked by verdant foliage, oozing mud and the hope that my shortness of breath was due to the altitude and not a lack of fitness. Just when I thought my heart couldn't beat any faster, we cautiously descended into the midst of a dozen gorillas. A 375-pound silverback sat 20 feet away and eyed us with suspicion as a youngster and a few females approached.

And also, here's an article about the Komodo Dragons.
Hilly, hot and dry (it has less rainfall than anywhere else in Indonesia), Komodo is 130 square miles surrounded by some of the bluest, clearest, warmest waters in the Indonesian archipelago. The island is about 250 miles east of Bali. Intrepid travelers can island-hop there via the islands of Lombok and Sumbawa. (With time to spare, you can also continue to the island of Flores, where the three different-colored crater lakes of the extinct volcano Keli Mutu are truly one of the world's unknown wonders. Flores has been in the news recently after traces of hobbit-size early humans were discovered on the island.)