Gili Trawangan - almost perfection!

Trip Start Sep 18, 2006
Trip End Jun 12, 2007

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

I wasn't the only one who'd had the idea of getting out of Bali for Nypie. The 6am bus and subsequent ferry to the neighbouring island of Lombok, which is mostly Muslim, had many fellow travellers on it. And it didn't take me long to make more friends than I had previously in Kuta. Most of us, like me, were going to the Gili islands off the North coast of Lombok. The ferry to Lombok, all 4 hours of it (and its only 25km according to the trusty Lonely Planet) was uncomfortable, no decent seating and open topped with no respite from the sun. I got more of a tan in those hours than at any point of my trip so far...that and the floating dead dog, the highlights of the ride. Once in Lombok, it was an hours picturesque drive (although a bit scary in some parts) through rice paddies and green hills, whilst hundreds of monkeys lined the road. Then a 45 minute boat journey and we'd finally reached our destination of Gili Trawangan...and I fell for it immediately.

Swedes, Elin, Martha and Linnea told myself, Fabian (German) and Arnaut (French) to follow them to recommended accomodation; i'm so glad we did! Edy's Homestay was fantastic, including a hearty breakfast for under 2 pounds a night! I shared with Fabian, my new friend and we had adjoining balconies with the 3 Swedes and Arnaut, so already we had a decent group formed. Our first activity, an evening swim in the clear waters, and amazingly we saw a turtle. And after going for a meal with the gang, my 1st impressions were very good!

Instead of being couped up in Bali, the 19th smashed my 1st impressions as I had an amazing day. I hired a snorkel and bike and cycled around the whole island, picking the best locations to rest and snorkel. Some of the beaches compared to Thailand's. Not content with that exercise for the day we all went down to the beach for a few games of volleyball, where we were joined by a couple of Swedish lads and some locals - who couldn't stop laughing, it was hilarious. With talk of a big party we though it would be rude not to partake in the festivities. As it turns out, our pre-party on the balcony was more fun. Whislt the party was an experience, full of locals on some form of drug (which isn't surprising for an island without police presence and Indonesia's strict death penalty laws!!) - in fact thier dancing was truly mesmeric!

I followed that action packed day with the laziest of my trip and I loved it! Me and Elin spent a few hours on the beach before we found a restaurant which had private beach side DVD viewing huts, so thats where we remained for the rest of the afternoon! There was something special about watching movies whilst being able to see the beach and other islands in the backdrop.

Anyway, that forms the pattern of my stay on Gili Trawangan. One day of exersion; frisbee (all that practice with Marts in the summer somehow didn't pay off!), walks up the highest hill on the island for sunset views, and even myself and Fabian played beach football against about 30 locals. No wonder they are so fit, we were almost dead after an hour, i threw in the towel as soon as I'd got my name on the scoresheet....All followed by a chilled day.

It was a shame to be leaving in the end, but Quantas couldn't move my flight back, so we threw a small leaving party on mine and Fabian's last night, eating at a relatively expensive restaurant and enjoying good cocktails. Definately one of my favourite locations - very beautiful beaches, not perfect like Ko Chang, but my experience almost made it perfection!
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