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Published: October 31st 2013
Gili Meno Skies
The view from Gili Meno was quite something, both day as night
This entry has been a long time coming, but as we are now back in Norway, beginning to write it means we will soon be publishing our last blog for this trip of ours, and that will definitely mark the beginning of a new reality. But for now, let us dream back to Indonesia.
Having successfully sold our car for asking price (who gets that lucky????) and feeling slightly flush again, we decided to round off our trip with a stay in Indonesia. We had originally hoped to get to New Zealand, but our available funds would have meant having to travel as roughly and cheaply as we had been doing in Australia, and, to be honest, we were a bit tired. Also, we wanted to be able to DO things in New Zealand, and relax and explore, and our bodies and our bank accounts were crying out for a return to Southeast Asia's affordable luxury, and Indonesia's alluring beaches were an easy sale. Also, Øyvind had gotten a job offer in Oslo from the beginning of June, so we decided to make it a bit more "vacation-like" than we might otherwise have, so as to be at least slightly rested when
we returned. Our return flight to Oslo was booked, so we knew how long we had (until May 16th), and we decided to spend around 10 days on Gili Meno (we had heard such great things about its beaches, its people, its relaxed atmosphere...) and see what we felt like doing with the rest.
Having gotten used to allowing "buffer periods" when planning any kind of boat/bus/train/donkey ride, we stayed for two nights in Seminyak (well, more like the no-man's land between Kuta and Seminyak, really) expecting we would need a day to plan our boat trip to Meno. But Bali is not like anywhere else we'd been in Southeast Asia. For starters, so many people speak impeccable English. Indeed, Kuta is more like downtown Singapore than anything else, except for the high rises. No, it is more like some huge Asian shopping center full of Australian surfer brands and local shops and luxury hotels and restaurants got turned inside out and now lines the streets of what could be anywhere where tourism has become the only source of income. We had to keep reminding ourselves we were in Asia. Luckily, the kind men trying to sell us Viagra, hash and
Sadie in the sun 1
this is something we tried to do as much as possible, just lounging
cocaine along the street provided a good reminder... Had we known how easy it would be to arrange our transfer to the island (one email, and done!) we could have avoided the circus. Live and learn.
Our first stop on Gili Meno was Mahamaya Resort, the nicest, most luxurious place on the island, which was out of character for us (though only expensive by Indonesian standards really, in Darwin we would have been hard pressed to find a room for that price), decadent and simple at the same time, and just what we needed. It had airconditioning, wonderful, kind, candy-sweet staff, delicious breakfasts, white sun loungers, free use of snorkelling gear and kayaks, a fresh-water swimming pool and an outdoor shower in the bathroom.
Every morning we would delight in the delicious breakfast, the balinese coffee, the fresh juice, and then we would grab our place in the sun, our feet mere inches from the crystal-clear water. We snorkelled, and swam with countless fish and turtles close by, their elegant strokes and calm manner making it hard to leave their side. We took walks around the island (to walk along the shore of the entire island was a mere 45-minute affair), and
We enjoyed the sun and the food at Mahamaya several days
braved the heat for some sunset runs. The sunsets were glorious, and every evening we would venture out to find a place to eat, though once we had tasted the urab-urab at The Sunset Gecko, Øyvind found himself being dragged there by his wife for every meal. The fresh garlic and coconut and vegetables were a delight.
We indulged in a massage, and were surprised to find a slight young lady, Lucy, from England at our doorstep instead of an Indonesian woman. But we both agreed, it would be worth returning to the island just to get her to fix us up again, her magic fingers made even my shoulder pain disappear for two whole weeks!
Our days at Mahamaya were just what we needed. To relax, to recuperate, to eat and sleep well and to indulge our bodies and relax our minds. It was like a second honeymoon, really. One day the even turned down our covers in he evening and made a heart-shaped flower arrangement on our bed. We couldn't have asked for anything more...
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