Bali to Gili in a Bouncy Boat

Trip Start Jan 31, 2011
Trip End Dec 15, 2011

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Flag of Indonesia  , West Nusa Tenggara,
Monday, September 5, 2011

Me and Annalies woke early today for we were going to the Gili Isles…Gili Trawangan specifically, on the fast boat, driven by Ketut's brother. Now wen Ketut said his brother was a boat captain of the fast boat, I was imagining something more akin to a ferry, with his brother donning a white shirt, with golden epaulettes, black trousers , and a captains hat. What I wasn’t quite expecting was to be picked up by his brother wearing a blue vest with an armful of tattoos, shorts and flip flops. The swiss girls got on board the bus too, I asked them why they hadn’t left yesterday, and as the story of their trip goes…they slept through their alarm. I don’t think those girls have seen the hours before midday their entire trip, well, at least not the hours between 5am and midday.

Now that Captain tattoo had picked us up in the mini bus,( clearly he wasn’t preparing the grand ship for leaving the harbour)…so it was perhaps little surprise when we got to the 'harbour’ to find it was a beach, with a small motorboat with 2 large engines. I see….we’re crossing the sea in that then, and it cost us 25 each. I bet 5 was needed for petrol and that was it. Even I could have got in a boat and headed East and found Lombok…well, I could see it from the shore anyway!

A bunch of ladies, as usual, picked up our rucksacks, balanced them on their heads and carried them aboard.  So…the ladies do all the hard manual labour and lifting work, while the man prance about trying to pick up girls and playing in bands.  I think the women of this country need to have a word in the ear of their menfolk.  The world over, women work damn hard whilst men play, and seem to put up with it! I think the world should be run by women, we work hard, multitask and achieve a lot more, look after everything and everyone AND have a job too, and run the household (even though men think they do). Why I ask haven’t women taken over yet? Lol.  So, as impressive as it was to watch these ladies put all 15kg of my rucksack and balance it on her head, ‘boarding’ the boat meant taking your shoes off , waiting for the wave to go out a bit then walking across the stand and getting on via a little step by the huge engine.

First mistake of getting on a motorboat – sitting at the front. Never sit at the front people. No, there isn’t anything to see, unlike being on a bus, so there is no point in being at the front. Just don’t do it. Please. For heavens sake, sit at the back, as near to the engines as possible, else you’ll get your spine re-arranged. Now that I’ve said that…I sat at the front. Wanting a ‘good view’ what view Buckwheat? We’re at sea! To my HUGE discomfort, the fast boat was fast, the waves were wavy and the bump as we launched into the air and then hit the sea again was enough to re-arrange my spine every time.  OW……..Ow, OW…………….OWW!!..............OOOOF (winded)………..OWWWW!..........Please stop!....

I spent an hour gripping the seat in front to stop myself being launched into the air, and also to try and brace myself for every return to earth, er sea, with back breaking force. It was THE most uncomfortable and concentrated hour I’ve had in a long time, and once again, boats were not my favourite mode of transport. Not to mention the spray that hit the window managed to force itself through the window and I still got a soggy bottom L

After an hour of launching and landing, and wishing I’d sat at the back with the engines which never leave the water.  Captain Tattoo brought us along side the Gili Isles and round to the beach of the  island of Gili Trawangan. WOW….the colour of the water and the beach was just….WOW.  The pure white sand on land, leading under the water to make a clear turquoise colour for a few metres, before a deep dark blue all of a sudden (which I discovered was due to the land under the water just dropping away suddenly like a cliff). It was breathtaking. I felt like I’d arrived on an island paradise.

We got off the boat with our own luggage this time, in the same way we had boarded – ie wait for the wave, and step onto the beach, trying not to misbalance because you have a rucksack and unsteady ground beneath your feet.  We walked up the beach onto a little road and found it was small street lined with horses and carts, and facing the beach were restaurants and tens of dive shops. Annalies and I walked down the street (did I get that one grammatically correct at last?? Else I’d have said Me and Annalies walked down the street) looking for somewhere cheap to stay. Clearly roadside/beachside was too expensive so we carried on walking down some backstreets away from the beach and found a bungalow where we could stay for 150,000 a night which we would split. The prices here are all just so high even down the backstreets.

We settled in then went for a walk, Annalies needed some money so we went ATM hunting. The first 3 we found didn’t work with her cards…oh dear, and there was one last machine on the island at the other end of the street. We walked there and tried for the last time…..success, she got her money.

On the way back we chatted with some guys and had lunch with them, before chatting with some Canadians who were also lovely.  When we arrived back later we heard busy chatter and went to see. At the other end of our 3 bungalows there were two more people who had just arrived, Tom and David. Tom is a 37 year old, swiss german who is having a long trip before he goes to live and work in Bangladesh, he had a divorce this year but he and his ex are still good friends. Oh that we could all say that, I wish it were possible without feeling like your heart was getting ripped out through your mouth at the thought of it. David is English, 44, a psychotherapist with a view on life quite different to most people. He wants very little, doesn’t care about earning money, and as a consequence doesn’t really have any, but he’s very easy going, feels that we don’t look after ourselves well enough, and marvels at how the poorest of the poor can still smile and be happy in the likes of India, whereas some of the rich investment bankers, with large houses and multiple Ferraris he’s been counselling are miserable with their lives, and its all because we don’t pay attention to ourselves, that work doesn’t care about you as a person, or your needs so we all end up ill and stressed which is very unnecessary if we had a little more control over our lives and a little more time for ourselves to just wind down and relax.  I’m not sure I agree with all his views on life – like borrowing money to come away (thereby being in debt), as I hate being in debt, but a lot of what he says makes sense.

Anyway, we all got chatting and quickly became an inseparable foursome for the next few days.

I’m afraid I have very little to say over the next few days as we got up, had breakfast and went to the beach to gaze at the gorgeous water and sandy views whilst reading a book, endlessly snorkelling, and just enjoying doing nothing…I’ve added pics for every day and added a highlight of each day…but like I said….not a lot happened.

Best: making even more friends

Worst: the boat ride

Beautiful: the colours of the water around the Gili Isles
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Mummers on

Yes darling it is correct grammar to say "he and I" not as the the rest of the world now says "me and he". Its to do with subject and object in sentence construction. But I don't think grammar is taught anymore in English at schools.
The other thing that drives me doolally is "he was sat" instead of "he was sitting" or "he sat". I shall disinherit you if you write the former.

Bunbun on

Sigh... I heard the Gili isles were nice, but that is just ridiculous.

Paradise indeed. Super jealous.

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