Day 133 Kuta – Gilli Air
Whilst waiting in our guesthouse reception at 6:00am, we got chatting to another couple
(Dean and Katie) who as it turned out were heading in the same direction to Gilli Air. They both offered some really good advice about the Gilli Islands and after two hour minibus journey, a slow four hour ferry ride, another 2 hour minibus drive and a lot of waiting around, we found ourselves also heading to Gilli Air. The short sea crossing to Gilli Air, was by long tail boat and took no time at all. Katie and Dean very kindly offered to help us find some accommodation and came up trumps with their friends place, which was absolutely amazing and easily the best place we’ve stayed so far.
We made camp and later bought Dean and Katie a drink for their troubles.
The next 8 days were spent lounging in the sun, eating, drinking and snorkeling in the crystal clear waters next to our land ladies bar, appropriately named Chill Out bar. Our accommodation was everything we hoped for and came with free breakfast of tar like coffee (Lombok style!), a fruit juice and then either pancakes, fruit salad or omelet on toast. We’d always order our breakfast and then have a quick dip in the sea, whilst hoping to see a turtle swim by. Gili Air is definitely the quieter of the 3 islands with only a handful of bars and restaurants to choose from. The night life was really relaxing, occasionally meeting up with Katie and Dean for a few beers. Silent Night (A Basa tradition), we had a buffet and a dance with the locals to celebrate. Everybody got pretty drunk, especially the locals who appeared to absolutely love dancing, I think they must have been on something more than Bintang! Emma’s birthday was the day after Katie’s (who’d we met, not Rumbold’s) who had the biggest birthday cake I have ever seen - Emma was gonna have to make do with a cup cake with a candle in the middle. Emma had a really great birthday (even if I do say so myself), despite being reasonably quiet because of our secluded island lifestyle. We had Emma’s birthday dinner at a restaurant called Scally Wags. It was a really romantic evening, with a table on the beach, the nicest food we had had all trip and because the restaurant was so quiet we nearly had what is the best part of the beach in Gili Air all to ourselves. This made it a lot easier for what came next when the kitchen and waiting staff of about 15 or so, gathered around to sing Happy Birthday in English and then Basa (Indonesian). Emma blew out her birthday cake candle and everybody shook her hand, which was different but sweet! We finished off the night by having a few drinks in Chill Out next door. Other nights we saw some live music and continually sampled the local delicacy (or at least I did but sometimes regrettably so!)
After 9 very long days on Gili Air we headed off to Gili Trawangan. After a 30 minute journey to the Island and a 45 minute walk with our bags, we eventually found some accommodation. After a shower and a sleep we headed off to explore the island. We walked along the main strip and found a much nicer place to stay. We spent the afternoon on the beach and then went and watched a movie in the evening and had some dinner. The next day we moved accommodation and hired some bikes to cycle around the Island. This was really good although very difficult in the blazing hot sun, and it’s quite hard cycling through sand. We stopped at a really beautiful bar which had amazing landscape views of the sea. We carried on cycling and headed back to the bar to watch the sunset over a very distant Bali. We ate in a little food stall place where they served yum meals which were very cheap- bonus!
The next day we went to the beach. Half way through the day I noticed bites on Rogers arm, then seeing I had the same thing all the way down my arm, we went back to our apartment to have showers. The bites turned into a rash and spread all across my back and all over Roger’s back as well. After another day of this we decided enough was enough and headed off back to Bali. We didn’t know what the bites were from but didn’t want to hang around to see if it got any worse.