Published: January 19th 2009January 15th 2009
So after a week on Gili Trawangan we headed for the more sedate Gili Air on the 4pm island hopper boat. For those not in the knowing, the island hopper is a little boat that shuttles tourists & locals between the 3 islands daily. It is roughly a 30 minute trip including a drop off/collect at the middle island, Gili Meno. But WOW! What a short trip! The seas did not seem too bad, but out there we were being tossed about & water splashing on board quite a bit! By far our worst ferry experience - ever! Thankfully we made it safely to Gili Air ;-) (Now would be a good time to mention that, for anyone traveling in Indonesia, try & pack a life jacket/vest as these are almost non existent on the usual public ferries!!)
The boat does not drop you on the pier but rather next to it, so you have to wade your way through a little water holding your luggage high enough so it does not get wet ;-) Arriving on the island just as the locals soccer game was about to kick off & with my bright pink & blue Barcelona soccer ball
dangling on my backpack, they enthusiastically shouted "Barcelona, Barcelona" to grab our attention. Looking in their direction, they invited us to join in their daily 4pm game of footie. With the only mode of transport still either bike or horse & cart, we took the latter option & kitted with our Lonely Planet guide, we ended up at Sandy Cottages (pronounced Sundee by the locals). This b&b is on the beach front, neat, clean, comfortable & the staff are really friendly! Good value for money & we were happy with our choice!
It is low season in Indonesia so the island was not packed with tourists. We did not mind - 6 days pure relaxation ;-) Yeah baby! Our life on Gili Air was eat, chill on beach/ beach huts, read a lot, walk around the island, interact with the locals or other tourists & of course smoke hubbly (either on our porch, at the bar in the evening or on the beach huts ;-)). This lifestyle made us really relaxed & really lazy ;-) The only exercise I got in was running around the island daily a few times, anything between 45 - 60 minutes, depending on how
I felt on the day! I thoroughly enjoyed these runs because the locals all around the island are so encouraging always asking how many laps today (via "sign" language because my ipod is pumping) & very often little kids sporadically join in trying to keep up or running ahead ;-) On Gili Air I also played my 1st game of footie in nearly 4 years ;-) What a feeling ;-)!!
The island itself is really pretty & probably much prettier in the dry season when the sun beats down on the turquoise water. Being low season, most of the bars close around 10pm but if there is a big enough "crowd" they open till we all leave. Here we exchange stories while the locals keep us entertained playing guitar. The locals on the island are very welcoming & extremely friendly.
Impressions of Gili Air:
- in low season it is an excellent place to completely relax & turn off
- koppie Lombok is cheaper here & still as great ;-)
- damn loud thunder storms in rainy season (really really loud)
- the occasional "no water" so kinda inconvenient when in the middle
More chilling on porch....
waiting for training kit to dry so can go exercise - maybe ;-)
of your shower the water turns off on the island ( for maybe 2 minutes or maybe 30 minutes, who knows ;-))
- cant think of any really (it was a good relaxing 6 days)
There are more photos below