After a salty and bumpy quick 20 minute boat ride from Lombok we pulled up to the docks of Gili T. Gili Trawangan is one of three Gili Islands ( Gili Air and Gili Menos) and is definitely the most lively of the three. It is known for all the parties that the crazy Aussie’s put on and Jesse and I were excited to add a little fun into our romantic trip. On the dock we were greeted by someone from the Eco Villas to take us to our villa. On the small island of Gili there are no motor vehicles (including scooters) allowed so the only way to get around is by bike or horse cart. They loaded our luggage into this jankity tiny horse cart and we squeezed in, hunkering down trying not to hit our head on the ceiling of the cart or fall out, and we were off. We were lead on a very dusty trail to Gili Eco Villas where we were going to spend the next few nights. Gili Eco Villas are these beautifully designed eco lodges where they only used reclaimed beach wood to build the traditional open air villas. After we checked in and got situated we headed straight for the beautiful sandy beach behind our villa where the cutest outdoor restaurant was. We sat down in our raised beach hut by ourselves looking over the ocean and enjoying the salty warm breeze. After a crisp cold Bintang beer, a delicious chicken soup in our bellies, and seeing pet goats on leaches walking around we were ready for the day. We started our journey by foot to the city center, mostly walking on sand the entire time. Let me tell you, walking by foot on hot sand for 30 minutes is not for the faint of heart. After our long walk we arrived dripping in sweat to the city center where we were surrounded by stalls of scuba diving companies, jewelry makers, and small bars. We walked around, dodging horse carts that were trying to get through the crowds of tourists. We booked a scuba diving trip, a sunset cruise party boat, and our ferry to Bali.
Prior to us arriving to Gili T we kept looking at pictures online and finding the most amazing pictures of a swing set in the water and we were beyond determined to find it! We walked from the city center to the very North tip of the sandy island to a place called Sunset Point. We stumbled upon the most amazing small pop up bar/vintage shop called Casa Vintage. A feeling of happiness and calm spread through us as we walked through the sand covered driftwood to reach it. This lovely little bar and outdoor shop is set right on the picturesque beach and it was exactly what we needed. We ordered two cold beers and took our place on a mat on the beach as the sun was starting to set. We laid there enjoying the beauty of the calm low tide ocean while the salty smell of the water had us mesmerized. There’s something about a beautiful sunset that can just fill you with pure happiness and content. As the sun was setting we remembered we had to go search for the famous water swing set. We walked along the water keeping our eye out for the mysterious swing until a few minutes later we saw it in the distance. Standing in the low tide water looking as beautiful as the pictures showed it to be. We hurried over to the swing as the sun was setting and asked two people if they would take our picture and offered to take theirs in exchange and they agreed. Once it was our turn we waded out into the warm water and climbed up on the swings and started swinging. It was peaceful and surreal sitting there swinging with our toes touching the water while watching the sun disappear into the horizon. Shortly after the sun set we reluctantly got off because we didn’t want the nice British girls to have to keep taking our photos. Those pictures of Jesse and I on the swing might be my favorite pictures ever. Absolutely beautiful. As soon as the sun set it started to get dark very quickly from the lack of lighting on the island so we high tailed it back to our villa and called it a night.
We woke up bright and early the next day, lounging on the couches and our recently hung hammocks reading while listening to the waves crash on the beach behind us. In the distance we saw our adorable new friend from the hotel delivering us a beautiful breakfast spread of banana pancakes and coffee. I say anything tastes delicious when you eat it by the sea. We digested a little before making the treacherous sweaty and salty walk over to the city center to meet our scuba instructor. Once checked in we were escorted down to the beach and on to our boat that was loaded up with our scuba gear. After a quick 10 minute boat ride we had arrive at Gili Meno to a place appropriately named “Turtle Cay”. Our instructor was this precious little Indonesian man that barely spoke English who was very excited to take us diving. Once we were suited and geared up it was time to jump in the cool water. As we descended we were greeted by beautiful coral and colorful fish of all sizes. The further we went down the more prevalent the colorful coral and fish were. As we followed our little guide he quickly pointed to something in the distance: a turtle! Then under the coral: a turtle! Then swimming in the distant blue abyss: a turtle! Turtles everywhere. I was in heaven. I floated along the ocean bottom like a mermaid, glancing all around and taking in everything the beautiful Bali Sea offered. We slowly ascended to the surface as our dive came to an end. We climbed back on the boat and was motioned to climb to the top of the boat where we took turns jumping off into the crisp clear water. Once back on land we were starving and opted to stop at this over water hut restaurant called Pondok Windy Bungalows. We climbed in our private over water hut, snuggling up to the resident kitty, and ordered two Bintang beers along with their chicken noodle special and a spicy dish. Both were some of the best meals we had in Asia… we couldn’t believe it! The food was so good and the view was even better.
Later in the evening we walked back to the city center to the docks where we were to board our evening sunset cruise. We got on a dingy and were zipped out into the ocean where we boarded a very chic looking boat. We were greeted with a welcome drink and Jesse and I searched around until we found the perfect spot to sit on the front deck of the boat. The DJ was bumping tunes as we slowly rode off. The temperature was perfect and the air was just the right amount of salty. Everyone on board was lively and friendly due to the drinks and for the next two hours we spent it sipping delicious cocktails, watching all the Eurotrash dance their butts off, and watching the sun disappear behind the volcano on Bali in the distance. It was a beautiful sunset that night. Towards the end of the trip everybody was friends and people took turns jumping off into the water. Jesse and I opted to stay dry on the boat and laugh at everyone. After the darkness had settled in we were back at the dock and Jesse and I had worked up quite the appetite. We
stumbled to the famous Scallywags restaurant in the city center, ordering a huge plate of calamari and some soups which we gobbled up quite hastily. I’m sure it wasn’t pretty to watch. We climbed in a horse cart and set off for our villa to call it a night. Enough fun for one day.
The next morning we were woken up with another order of decandent hot banana pancakes and coffee. Jesse and I soaked up the last few moments of the beautiful Gili Trawangan beach before calling a horse cart and getting on the ferry. Next stop: Bali.