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Published: August 16th 2006
Our first sighting of the island.
We were all up early and went for a stroll along the beach after breakfast. Leaving Hotel Ray with our backpacks we were set upon by the taxi touts, as expected. We haggled and soon got one down to a reasonable price to take us to Bangsal, where we could get a boat to Gili Trawangen.
Soon we were on the small overcrowded boat leaving Bangsal. Sat next to us were the 4 Belgian girls who'd been on the ferry yesterday. We wondered if they'd had the same problems with taxi drivers that we'd had.
Once on Gili Trawangen we were met by Accomodation touts. This was becoming a way of life!We ignored them and settled in the nearest nice looking bar we came across. Stan and Sharon went in seach of acommodation whilst Gary, Scott and I stayed with the bags.
They soon returned having booked 3 bungalows at Eddy Homestay for 70 ruppees a night (about £5 per room). Again these bungalows were basic but a delight, set in tropical gardens.
The rest of Saturday and on Sunday we checked out the beach, the sea was great, although we'd been warned about strong currents it
Gary relaxing at Eddy Homestay
turned out they carried you along the edge of the beach rather than out to sea. This proved fun as you could walk up the beach, get in the water and just float with the current, observing the marine life below you, Effortless! The only problem was if you saw something you wanted to take a closer look at it was impossible to stop, even when swimming with all you strength against the current you were still carried along, only not quite as fast.
There was lots to see, great coral and even better fish. Different coloured trigger fish, Box fish and shoals of yellow and silver fish. After a reasonable 'drift' you came to where the coral formed a deep wall into the deep blue ocean, this area was teeming with hundreds of varieties of fish, I saw a shoal of squid and Gary was lucky enough to swim along side a turtle.
On Monday, Andrea, Katherine and Paul were due to join us. (Sharon's friends from uni). We had tried desperatly to e-mail Dave and Claire (my brother who now lives in Australia) who, by now would be on Bali. There were thunderstorms on Lombok making
All 10 uf us charted a boat.
the connection crash, but somehow the message must have got through. Soon after greeting Andrea and co. in Tra La La bar, there was Dave and Claire walking along! Throwing inhibitians to the wind I yelled to them and we were soon flinging our arms around each other pleased to have met up! It turned out they'd booked the last bungalow at Eddy Homestay. Now our party of 5 had swelled to 10.
The following day we charted a boat and all did a snorkel together which was fun, stopping for lunch on Gili Meno.
Evenings were spent dining out and drinking together. The island was very laid back and the town although small, was lively. There was never any need to make prior arrangements, just a short walk along the front and we all soon joined forces. We'd also repeatedly bumped into the Belgian girls, (Camile was of special intrest to Gary), The french couple who'd shared our boat from Nusa Lembongon and Hugo the spanish guy.
Another good thing about the island was that there was no motorised transport, making it very peaceful. ( unless you count the annoying ice cream bicycle cart that always
Blue box fish hanging about round the coral
seemed to follow us around playing a chronic tune!) The only transport was pony and trap.
On our last night together we all climbed the only hill on the island to watch the sun set over Bali. Dave came up with the idea to take beer, we quickly followed suit and clanked our way up the hill side, back packs full of bottles. The sunset lived up to expectations and numerous photos were taken.
We stumbled our way back down and all ate together in a little 'platform' bar owned by an Australian guy. The food was superb although somewhat slow in being served up. He wasn't used to having to cope with 10 people all at once!
The evening ended up in the Irish bar, dancing and singing, a good time was had by all!
On Friday we set off early on the long tedious journey back to Bali, it took 12 hours and as the boat was waiting to dock at Padangbai, darkness set in and the cockroaches came scuttling out from under the seats. Our feet and bags were quickly taken off the floor!
After a quick shower we were in The Garden Restaurant
Watching the Sun Set over Bali.
Note the obligatory bottles of Bintang beer!
in Sanur meeting up with the Californian side of the wedding guests, eating a civilised meal and watching the Balinese dancers. (About time we got a bit of culture!)
The next day the, by now, huge party of people met up in Ubud for more culture and a roam around the monkey Sanctuary.
Next ---- The hen / Stag night.
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