Paradise Found

Trip Start Aug 29, 2010
Trip End Nov 06, 2010

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Where I stayed
Coconut Cottages

Flag of Indonesia  , West Nusa Tenggara,
Thursday, September 9, 2010

Keen for more sunshine, sea and snorkeling, we headed to the three tiny islands off Lombok: the Gilis. We stayed on the one closest to the main land: Gili Air. Its not as busy and social as the fashionable Gili Trawangan or as quiet as tiny Gili Meno - it is in the middle - just right. All the islands have white sand beaches, clear blue water, coconut palms and no motorised traffic! The only transport is by boat or cidamo, a horse drawn cart.

August has been unusually quiet according to talk in the village - apparently because tourists were put off my coming during Ramadan. Many cafes and restaurants were closed over Eid so we became regulars at the perfectly named Scallywags. The quiet atmosphere suited us well and we kicked back to read, swim and walk the island. We walked the circumferance one morning (about 90 minutes if you did it all at once!), swimming at every deserted beach we came across (many). The sea is completely flat but quite shallow and the coral is not as abundant as at Amed - but still, it is beautiful.

The restaurants have little tables on raised platforms sheltered by weaved roofs, all overlooking the sea. We would have had a perfect view of Lombok"s Gunung Rinjani volcano if the clouds ever lifted... Today we went on a snorkel tour of the three islands, joined by a mixture of French, Dutch and German tourists. We swam with 6 turtles, saw a reef shark and a huge ship wreck. Interestingly, our hotel owner told us that 7 years ago, he and a friend brought 1000 baby turtles over to the Gilis to put in the water for divers and snorkelers...I"m not sure if that was a good thing!?

We might just have had enough swimming and sea for a while (never thought we"d say that) so tomorrow we are off to Lombok to explore the island.
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