Published: January 20th 2012August 17th 2011
My ferry for Gili Tranwangan (or Gili T) was at 10am so my transfer collected me from Echoland at 6:30am. I arrived at Gili T at 11am and stepped off the boat onto what can only be described as a paradise Island covered in travellers.
The pure white coral sand beach was lined with boats collecting and delivering a variety of produce and travellers from all over the world. At the back of the beach was a concrete path lined with trees on one side and a plethora of restaurants, hotels, dive shops and bars. The strangest thing about this busy area was the lack of mechanical noise i.e. cars and motorbikes. The only forms of transport on this island were push bikes and horses....... I liked it already!
After collecting my bag and meeting up with Simon 2, the guy who I had shared 2 weeks with on the group trip, we headed to find accomodation.
Having had a mixture of accomodation on the previous few weeks, we decided on a place called Gili Divers. It was run by a couple who were from Sweden and......... Portsmouth. I got myself a nice ensuite double room which, at
this point, was the most luxurious place I had stayed all trip.
The remainder of the day was spent in 'Bali Café' a beachfront cafe with low tables surrounded by beanbags.
The relaxed atmosphere and great view of the beach was all that was required. For once I didn't need to be rushing around doing anything...... I was happy sitting still! Weird eh?
That night Simon and I joined some locals for dinner and discussed Gili T and asked the people their views on the tourism while various sales people attempted to sell us local jewelry and massages.
After dinner, we went to the Irish bar on the island as wednesday nights was the big party night in this bar.
After Simon 2 left about midnight as he had cut his foot on a broken glass, I stayed and continued to party until there was no more party! Not sure exactly when that happened.......I think the local mojitos helped.....mmm!
The next day, once I had surfaced from my slumber, was spent on the beach reading, snorkling and chilling in 'Bali Cafe'. Gili was excellent for snorkling and allowed me to practise my skin diving skills i.e. swimming down with
a snorkle and holding my breath which doesn't sounds too difficult but is when the things you want to see are 10m down!
That evening Simon and I decided to go to the Yoga class on the island. I hadn't done enough exercise to warrant the amount of food and drink I was likely to consume that night plus Simon had done it before and informed me that it was good fun! 1 hour later, with a new understanding of my flexibility and core strength (or the lack of) I came away feeling surprisingly good!
That evening we met some new single serving friends and hung out with them for the evening.
Dinner was had at a street market with various (usually fish based) Indonesian stalls where fresh grilled snapper and rice was my choice of the day....And and, for less than £4, I was not disappointed in the least! That followed by a freshly made pancake (which was more like cake) with banana, chocolate and evapourated milk ended my meal time with a flourish! I would recommend a visit to Gili T just for the pancakes! mmmmm. after dinner we sat in one of the bars and
talked away the evening (something, as you all know, I'm not very good at ;-D) and planned a day snorkling on Gili Air the next day with the two members of the group who weren't leaving Gili T. That's kind of how it goes with travelling..... and that's why I refer to single serving friends. Some are your friends for the night, some become friends for a few days and some become friends for life.
The following morning, I dragged myself out of bed, knocked Simon's room and we grabbed a quick breakfast before the journey to Gili Air.
Gili Air was a smaller island with similar features to Gili T however it was nowhere near as busy which gave a more remote feel to it.
On Gili Air we had just enough time to snorkle and see 2 turtles, have lunch and offend the locals accidently by walking past a mosque in bikinis (for the record, Simon and I weren't wearing bikinis; the girls were) and take a walk around the entire island before our return ferry departed - Gili Air would have been nicer if we had stayed for a night I think as we rushed the
day due to time constraints.
The next couple of days were spent relaxing on the beach, in Bali Cafe and snorkling with Yoga before dinner in the evening. It doesn't make for an interesting blog insert but it certainly slowed me down from my busy ways and allowed me to finish the book I had been reading.
The final night was spent with some Indonesian friends we met; Sri works in Gili Dive and her friends, Resty and Ryu, were visiting from Lombok. It was really interesting talking with these guys. i always find the similarities and differences between cultures extremely intersting. On another interesting point for my trip Resty owns a hotel in Lombok which I will later stay at on my trip to Lombok.
That was my final night in Gili T, however, I knew I would return a month later to go on the liveaboard diving trip to Komodo island I had booked from Gili Dive while I was there....... I couldn't wait!