Trip Start Feb 18, 2010
93Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Gili Trawangan, or Gili T, is a pretty cool place. It's a fair mix of locals and travelers and although the running water is brackish, we are surrounded by turquoise waters and white sand beaches. There are also no dogs here, only hundreds of stray cats with no tails. And no police so you can find magic mushrooms for sale everywhere, just dont get caught!
Neither will you find any motorized vehicles anywhere on the island. Walking is the best way to get around, or if you prefer you can rent a bicycle, or better yet, take one of the many horse drawn carts going up and down the roads. The island is small and you can walk on the beach around the whole thing in 90 minutes. You can also cut across the middle, walking through fields with grazing cows and goats, in 20. Since we are staying on the east side, we often walk to the west side to watch the sunset.
I go scuba diving the first day there and see 2 white-tipped reef sharks and a huge moray eel. No turtles though :( and overall a really disappointing dive because much of the coral is totally dead or damaged because of past dynamite fishing and present unseasonably warm waters (thanks global warming). Coral is the foundation of all reef life and without it, there isn't much to see.
The snorkeling off the beach is decent enough though and it's here that Jon and I see our very first (and second and third) sea turtle!! She is huge, probably 3 feet with a beautiful shell and a small beak she uses while searching for food under the rocks. We swim with her for almost 2
hours, so excited, especially when she swims to the surface for a big gulp of air before diving back down. Turtles are amazing. There is also a hatchery and nursery for baby turtles set up on the beach to give them a better chance of survival once they are released.
For lunch we eat delicious local Indonesian food for $1-$2 (One time we paid $2 for less than what a local got for $1. When we asked him why he laughed and said, "Because you're a foreigner!" Fair enough.)
At night we frequented restaurants with unlimited salad bars with the purchase of a $6 entree, which we of course slyly shared while we stuffed ourselves. I would say it's because Jon is a good Jew, but I know my mom wont like that ;-) (Don't say Jew!)
After dinner we would plop ourselves down at "Beautiful Life", a bar with mats on the floor facing a large projection screen, where we watched movies like "The Hangover", "Sherlock Holmes", and best of all, Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" which we hadn't seen yet since it came out right after we left the states. (Even though it was in English, they had the English subtitles turned on. It must have been a bootleg because when young Alice said, "I've been having these terrible bad dreams" it translated it to "Night". So awesome! Everyone was laughing and I think the staff realized how bad it was so thankfully they turned the subtitles off.)
Enjoy all the beautiful pictures!