Hike to Japanese Caves and Sunset Bar

Trip Start Oct 09, 2007
Trip End Aug 01, 2008

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Since we were leaving soon, Hari P. from Rudy's bar wanted to take us someplace special: a hike to the Japanese caves and then down the hill to Sunset Bar to watch the sunset together. We thought this to be really special, because we had heard stories of the Japanese caves, and knew that no one really went up there, especially tourists.

We heard previously that these islands were occuppied by the Japanese during World War II. They had dug out bunkers in the hills and equipped them with canons. We learned this when asking a question one day about the cat population. Strange thing about the cats: their tails are really short and some have a tight curl; they look to be about 1/4 the length they naturally should be. When we ask about this phenominon (wondering if they do this intentionally to the cats or not), we got the same story from many of the locals (except for only one variation).

The story goes like this:
"Way back in the day.... the Japanese took over the island.... They LOVED cat tail soup ... they snipped all the tips of the tails .... and that is why today we have cats with short tails .... and why all Japanese take photos with there hands like "this" (and then they would put both hands up and make the peace sign and snip there fingers like scissors!" omg. :D - So, since about 6 people told this story, we think they all came together one night and the head council told them what to say... hahahahaha.
The other variation of the story involves 3 cats on a log, paddeling their way to the island, when a shark bit off their tails. So...... yeah. You pick the story u like :D

So, back to these Japanese Caves! :D

It was really a nice hike with parts of the way having a very steep staircase. We started, by going through the village and up the steep staircase on the side of the hill. From the top of the hill, you could see Gili Meno (and the lake that was in the middle of it) and also Gili Air. What a great view! - Even looking down on the east coast of Gili T and the village was well worth this hike. Goats were grazing all around us.

When we reached the caves, it was pretty cool too. Something happenend, natural or not, that made the cave collapse into itself about 30 feet deep. We sat there, listening to Hari talk about old stories he heard of these caves. He also was very curious about how the cave collapsed. Mathew inspected the soil and rocks, and realized that the cave wall was very soft. We concluded that the big tree above the cave had collapsed the cave with its huge root system.

We then went over the hill to see what the other side of the cave looked like. There was another bunker! This time, the bunker had a mounting still in place that once held the canons. We were geeks and took pictures of ourselves standing on this mounting, hands shooting away. ;D

We then continued our hike over the other side of the mountain. On the top of this mountain, right before the descent, we found an extravagant, Islamic tomb. This tomb happened to be directly above the Sunset Bar, facing Bali. This is when Hari started telling us the story of this tomb and the Sunset Bar:

So, this guy really wanted to make a dance club/bar directly facing sunset. The head council and locals warned this guy not to make a night club there, because the hill above was sacred (because of this tomb). Hari didnt know exactly who was buried in this tomb or what the significance was, but the locals didnt approve of it. This guy went along with his plans anyways and built this magnigicant deck all around below. (It is quite beautiful). Upon its grand-opening night, the guy was found dead of a drug overdose. Since then, the Sunset Bar isnt really open for business, but they DO play house music during the hours of sunset and sell Bintang beer.... Interesting, we say.

So, we proceeded to go down the side of the hill and we ended up at the Sunset Bar, just in time for a GORGEOUS sunset. Perfect, actually. The outline of Bali in the distance was so clear, it just made the sunset so beautiful. The music was great and Hari, loving to dance so much, just couldnt sit still. He was dancing all over, dancing on the tables, getting everyone around him to dance.

He really makes everything just so much more fun. We are really gonna miss Hari.

After the sunset, we go back to Rudy's Bar, because Hari had to work that night. We were so bumbed out that this was our last night. During the night, we also ran into Nilu and her husband. It turned out that her husband ran the "Beach House", which was a beautiful place that we ate our most romantic dinners. There was a top deck which always seemed to be "closed off" and it was one view we wanted to see. Well, Nilu and her husband were very quick to suggest we go up and see it immediatly! :D So, we got walked down a little ways, and to the top of the "Beach House".

What a great view it was. He also informed us that there is a HUGE Villa in the back with a private pool and that next time we come, we should bring all our friends and stay there. Well... we already want to bring all our family and friends!!! I think every one would find something they love about this place: If you want that private beach, you got it. If you want a fun night out, you got it.

We went back to Rudy's bar and received many hugs and email addresses (to keep in touch).

Gili Trawangan, we will miss you so so so very much............
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