Published: May 5th 2007May 5th 2007
Indonesia... The land of beaches, sunsets, snorkelling and pineapple pancakes!
The Gili Islands are three tiny jewels off the West coast of Lombok, which is the next Island over from Bali in Indonesia.
After a 6 hour ferry ride, with blaring Indo-pop and sub-zero aircon, a rather hairy minibus ride through Lombok, and another small boat ride, we made it to Gili Air. Ended up staying at the “party bungalows” of the island, which consisted of just us two foreigners and a whole bunch of chilled out locals! Awesome sunsets set to a reggae beat and a Bintang (the local brew).
Next off to Gili Meno in search of turtles. We were rewarded on our very first snorkel with two, extremely large and old turtles! We both couldn’t stop grinning. Tom laughed so much his mask filled up with sea water. Quiet island, again had the place pretty much to ourselves. Days filled with snorkeling, eating and sleeping. Just up our alley. And bargain room and brekkie at 2.50 pounds!
Then it was Gili Trawangan, or Gili T as the locals would say. Just the most amazing interaction with the turtles here. Some were quite inquisitive,
while others got a little aggressive. Leonardo tried to snack on Tom’s fingers when he got a little friendly.
Jacob, the manager of the bungalow operation, cooked us a local Indonesian feast. Huge grilled snappers, and a load of various, sometimes obscure, local delicacies were enjoyed. Really cool experience to share the food with the locals and hear their take on things.
All in all we spotted 52 turtles on the three islands (although a couple were no doubt duplicates!) We have long since given up naming them all after exhausting all the ninja turtle characters!
Back on the Lombok, we spent one quick night at Sengiggi. A place where no tourists roam, and the local economy is dying. Had a crazy cheap, but delicious meal for under 50p! It was on a pavement, under a tent, with the cooking happening literally off the back of a lorry! Black sand beaches from volcanic rock - not really our cup of tea. After the past few months we are turning into discerning beach bums! So a hasty return to Bali was required…..
There are more photos below