Friends from home!

Trip Start Nov 20, 2013
Trip End Nov 24, 2014

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Flag of Indonesia  , West Nusa Tenggara,
Thursday, March 13, 2014

While we've met some wonderful people along the way and spent time with friends of family and friends during our travels, we hadn't seen anyone we knew travelling from Toronto until Monday. On Sunday morning we flew back to Bali from Maumere, Flores and spent the day walking around Kuta and just relaxing in Bali. It was our 3rd time back in the area since arriving in Indonesia and we definitely feel comfortable there. We actually went to an Italian restaurant for dinner and while the meal was expensive for Indonesia standards (about $20 CDN total including drinks), the food was terrific.

The next day we began our travels to Gili Air. About a 2 hour boat ride away from Bali, there are 3 Gili Islands. The islands are simply stunning. With blue waters, no cars, beachfront huts and restaurants, the Gili Islands are a place to relax and unwind. We came here to meet up with our friends Kevin and Alana, who came to Bali for a vacation. Before we left, Kevin told me he was planning a trip to Indonesia and we've been in touch recently to try to make our itineraries connect. It was really important for us to be able to see and hang out with Kevin and Alana, so when Kev mentioned they'd be heading to Gili Air shortly after arriving in Bali, we made sure we'd arrange to meet up with them.
The trip to Gili Air was a bit more adventurous than we would have liked. We took a "fast boat" from Bali which got us to Gili Air in about an hour and a half. When we arrived, the boat began unloading the luggage on board before continuing to the other Gili Islands. One of our bags was unloaded and the other wasn't. There was lots of commotion and people on board wanting the boat to leave to the next island, but I needed to go back on the deck of the boat to try to point out the bag to the employees. They couldn't seem to find it and then started going through the luggage pile for one of the other Gili destinations. They tore the pile apart, but we couldn't find it. Someone from the boat said the boat had to leave and hopefully they'd find our bag when they made their next stop. We walked to our hotel with only half our luggage - I was calm - Garyn, not as much. As it turns out, the crisis was averted and about an hour after arriving, we tracked down someone on the island who was helping us and he told us they had somehow found the bag and it was making its way back to Gili Air. We met the boat and the bag on the harbour and just like that, we could enjoy our time with our friends and our luggage! 

The place we stayed at was beautiful. The gardens are well kept, the bathroom huge, and it has a very relaxing feel to it. Our time on Gili Air with Kevin and Alana was just awesome. It felt like a vacation from our travels for us and better yet, it was spent with great company. As I mentioned, they're our first friends or family we've seen since we left. We spent time walking along the beach, seeing a beautiful sunset, doing yoga together, stand-up paddle boarding, going for great meals together and more. On Tuesday the 4 of us chartered a boat together and went snorkelling a few times and had an incredible lunch together under a hut on a beautiful white sand beach in one of the other Gili Islands. We saw some incredible fish while snorkelling - the highlight was a massive turtle that swam right next to us. There was also a really big fish (can't remember what kind) that wanted a piece of Kevin after our guide dove to get close to it, but Kevin ended up avoiding the bite! All in all, the few days for us were great. Great weather (mostly), great food, great fun, and most importantly great company.

We were sad to say goodbye to Kev and Alana after our last dinner together, as they were leaving early the next morning. They were heading to Lombok while we were going back to Bali (again) where we'll spend the night and then leave Indonesia tomorrow to fly to Singapore.

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Dad on

Great way to close out Indonesia. Safe flight Garyn and Jason. I'm looking forward to reading about and seeing your next adventure in Singapore!

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