The Gili Islands

Trip Start Jul 24, 2008
Trip End Dec 2008

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Flag of Indonesia  , West Nusa Tenggara,
Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Gili "T"

From Lisa:

As close to paradise as you could ever imagine...this little island near Bali and Lombock, Indonesia called Gili Trawangan (Gili T, by locals). Only accessible by ferry, there are no cars, no motorized vehicles at all except the boats - beautifully colored outriggers that bob like toys on the crystal clear water. The island transport? Horse drawn carriages and bicycles! The horses have jingling bells attached to their reins that sound like Santa and his sleigh every time they come trotting down the dirt path.
There are actually three Gili Islands (Gili Meno and Gili Air also). We chose this one because it was known as the "party island" (yeah, right!). There were parties here twice weekly at the local beach-front Irish bar or one of the dive shops (top-notch diving here). These were the 10pm until sunrise type of parties, so we didn't make too many of those. :-)   Everything ran at the pace of the tides and that pace suited us just fine. Nightly BBQ's had my mouth watering, every type of fish imaginable, fresh-caught (my favorite was the Coral Trout - YUM!).

This was truly a "get-away" place where I immediately felt at home. Maybe it was the blue water, so bright that it hurt the eyes, or maybe it was the 20+ meter visibility on every dive,  great food, relaxed atmosphere, meeting new friends, or the wonderful sense of humor and kindness of the people...whatever the reason, this place hits very high on my list of all-time favorites!

From Cheryl:
Gili "T was an amazing remote island where you go to dive and relax! It was odd getting there in the early evening, once again stepping into knee deep water and having the captain hand you your backpack!  You wade up to shore and then try to get a sense of direction.  Where is my room for the night?  Many people show up with no planned accommodations, but that is okay.  There is usually something available and it is not unusual to see a few backpackers camping on the beach until they can find some place to stay.

The only motorized vehicles here are the boats.  Those that bring you to the island from Bali or Lombock, and those that taxi you around or take you diving.  Not a bad way to live.  As usual, the people here are amazing.  Always so nice and willing to help you out.  That came in handy as we arrived trying to find our room for the night!  Many folks pointed us in the right direction.  We stayed at Bale Sampan the first few nights.  It was a very nice place on the quiet end of the island.  We then moved to Manta dive - the shop where did all of our diving - for the rest of the stay. It was tough to leave this peaceful and charming little place!

While we were there we met a wonderful woman named Anne from Bali.  We spent several nights getting acquainted over dinners.  After we left Gili T we met up with her again in Bali.  It never ceases to amaze me - the wonderful people that we meet along the way, and that feeling of knowing you will cross paths again sometime!
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Where I stayed
Bale Sampan
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