Paradise found!

Trip Start Jul 10, 2006
Trip End May 31, 2007

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Flag of Indonesia  ,
Sunday, August 20, 2006

After a detour through Northern Bali to a) visit Ketut & his family (we met him on the plane from Hong Kong) and b) dive the Liberty wreck and the incredible Menjangan Island wall reef, we made a long trip to the Gili Islands, off the North West of Lombok "Island". After some pretty horrendous planning, 4 minibus trips, 2 ferries and a forced night in the Port Town of Padang Bai (not in that order), it took 31 hours to get to 2 square kilometers of paradise.

Picture it: Tropical Island. Palm trees. 27 degrees (Celsius, yes) crystal, turqqqquoise water. Thatched restaurant platforms with big cushions, 4 metres from the sea. 2km Coral reef wall to snorkel within swimming/floating distance of beach. Sunsets that make postcards redundant. Jealous? And for about 2.50 a night, you should be.

The Gili's have long been famous for fab sea life - even after 34 Celsius sea water 9 years ago (courtesy of El Nino) destroyed lots of the coral shallower than 18 metres. No lack of Turtles here - lots of nyummy turtle snacks around the dead coral.

Did loads of diving and FINALLY both got our Advanced Diving Qual - it's taken Nicky 3 years to finish it, and Rob 5 years - most people take 2 days - we're a little slow, but looking forward to nitrogen narcosis.

We were only going to spend 2 nights there, but the damn coin that we flipped every night at the Jungle Bar (Tao Kombo) kept saying "stay", until we lost the coin. Damn.

One quick night in Ubud, Bali's cultural capital, on the way back to the airport just wasn't enough - will definitely come back to Ubud for a better go at it - what we saw was awesome, and cheap. (To buy, not to post!)
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