Hitting the beach in Gili Air, Indonesia
When travelling for 1 year it's inevitable that plans never quite go to plan, we should of know that trouble always comes in 3s and after losing our bags in Kathmandu we should of known something else was going to happen. When we were in Legoland, Mount Rinjani on Lombok had started to spew ash into the air closing both Bali and Lombok airport (Lombok was our next stop). By the time we had left Annie's in Singapore to drive to Kuala Lumpur Bali Airport had reopened but Lombok was still closed, latest information was it would reopen tomorrow (Monday) when we were scheduled to fly out. After check-in to the airport hotel on Sunday night we got news that our flight had been cancelled as the airport had been closed for another 24 hrs (little did we know that the airport would actual not reopen for a further 4 days. We could get another flight that day with Air Asia and no availability to Lombok for 2 days, we could have got one to Bali in 1 day but would then miss 2 nights of our 5 night prepaid stay at Gili Air, I had to make a decision on the fly and bought new tickets on Malindo air to fly the same day into Bali.
We had hoped that once we reached Bali the humidity would drop but it remained as we landed at 9.30pm, we had a 1 hour 30 min drive to the hotel, we booked a hotel by the port so that we could easily get to Gili air in the morning. After a brief sleep we departed for Gili air and arrived just 1 night after we were meant to get there. We took the fast boat out to Gili Air, we were crammed into a smallish boat in the sweltering heat, I felt like asking for the safety record but thought I would only be more worried with the answer, after 20 mins my worries subsided and I settle in for the 2 hour crossing
Gili air is part of a 3 island group, Gili T, Gili Meno and Gili air, Gili T is described as the party island, Gili Air as more relaxed and great for family and Gili Meno as too remote, so when we arrived at Gili air it was unexpected to see the number of hotels and restaurants that greeted us from the port but this didn't stop us from enjoying Gili Air, our hotel was only a couple of hundred meters from the port so we decided to walk, there are no cars on the island and only horse drawn carts that have a standard fee of £5 per trip so it didn't seem worth it. After around 20 meters a working horse cart pulled over and offered to take us for £2.50, it was very hot and kids exhausted so we agreed, we piled into the cart all our bags and the 5 of us, poor horse at least the trip was short.
We had a bungalow on the beach and spent the days lying on the beach order food and drinks to our location whilst watching the kids swim/snorkel in the sea, the hotel put movies on the beach at night and felt we didn't need to leave, me and Luca strolled up to the top of the island one day passing bars advertising mushroom shakes and full moon parties (which by the way we passed on if anyone was wondering) and had to quickly walk passed 2 locals with a c*** fighting, as much as I tried to shield Luca, he wouldn't stop with the question, "why was that chicken biting the other chicken". The relaxing break was welcomed and we were really looking forward to spending the week there when after 2 nights the 3rd event was to happening, again due to the volcano. We had woke up on the 3rd day had booked a private glass bottom boat to take us snorkelling and swimming for the day when we got an email from the company we had booked on to sail through the Indonesian islands to Komodo to see the dragons, the volcanic activity had severely hampered there operations and they needed us to get ready in 30 mins to leave for our sail boat, panic ensued and we stuff clothes and stuff into the closest bag no knowing where anything was we brought our suitcase down to the beach where a speedboat waited for us to take us over to Lombok. We could have stayed on the Gili but watching the komodos was one of my highlights before leaving and we didn't want to miss the opportunity, and since we were leaving 2 days earlier we would have 2 days at the end where hopefully we could return to the Gilis and pass more time doing nothing, to us it had the right balance of amenities for the kids and a relaxing beach life.
Off to the Komondo sailing trip…….