A Travellerspoint blog

Gili Islands

Gili Trawangan & Gili Air

all seasons in one day 27 °C

Gili Trawangan (Gili T)
After a 7 hour minivan/boat journey from Seminyak we jumped off the boat into the sea with all our bags and headed onto the beach. First impressions were great as the island was how we hoped it would look. The sun was shining, with the dirt track that was behind the beach full with horse and cart waiting to offer you a ride to accommodation options. My favourite thing about the Gili islands was that there is no motorised transport allowed and the power on the islands are off generators meaning no power when a storm starts (which we later found out). The island itself is stunning and even though Gili T is the biggest of the three islands it was still pretty small ( we hired a push bike and took an easy ride around the whole island (taking less than one and half hours with the amazing sea always in view). We didn't really do a lot other than wake up, eat breakfast, chill out with a few drinks, watch a movie, eat at the beachfront BBQ restaurant followed by a few more drinks listening to some live music.
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Gili Air
After 4 days on Gili T we decided to jump on the morning island hopper boat and check out Gili Air. Through out the whole trip I thought about trying scuba diving and facing the pier was 'Ocean 5' dive school. When we arrived the staff were friendly and really helpful so I checked out the cost and booked the Padi open water course. We also booked into the cool bungalow accommodation which faced the dive pool as it made it easy for Gem to meet for dinner and she could also watch us in practice. The first day in the pool with all the scuba gear was very strange and swiming under water for the first time was also very weird especially if you are breathing like a madman. Phil (diving instructer) also had to teach us serveral skills in the pool which at first I really struggled with. We spent all morning in the pool and then Phil said the boat leaves at 2pm for the afternoon sea dive. I felt a little freaked out as I still didn't understand how to use the equipment in a swimming pool at 3m depth never mind being let loose in the sea at 13m. The good news was I survived the dive and really enjoyed it and couldn't wait for the next day to do it again. Over the next 3 days I did a total of 4 open water sea dives and 5 swimming pool sessions and had a wicked time. Diving in the ocean was amazing and we were lucky enough to see turtles, sea snakes, glass fish, surgeon fish, cavesweepers, angel fish and blue spotted rays. I did feel bad for Gem over the 4 days as I spent pretty much 8 hours a day diving and then a couple of hours reading books and watching video's. The weather was not the best during our stay (lots of rain) which didn't really matter too much to me as I spent most of the time below the water, but I think Gem enjoyed some time alone...painting her nails etc!

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If we could sum up our visit to Gili Islands in 5 or so words/statements.

1) Completing my open water!
2) Love islands with no cars or bikes
3) Really friendly people
4) Very Very Chilled out
5) Would love to go back

Random sights/things in Gili Air.

1) My face when I nearly pooed my pants seeing the sea snake

Posted by Gem-Leight 03:16 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Bali

sunny 30 °C

We arrived in Bali in the evening so to avoid walking around at night looking for places to stay we pre booked a cheap hotel for the night. I think it's the worst night of the trip so far and maybe my life...after walking past the rooms that were advertised on the website we were taken up some stairs behind and shown to a room that was nothing like the pictures. The was a sweaty horrible smell, 2 single beds and a bathroom that didn't even have a sink. Leight suggested we take a walk to get a drink somewhere (anything to get out the room) . We walked into Kuta only to discover this was not a place we wanted to stay in so after sleeping in our silk sleeping bags in case of any creatures that almost certainly would have been in our disgusting room we got up and left for Nusa Dua. We headed there as the most random thing happened at Singapore airport when leight was checking in our bags (and we were early so not even a queue) I turned around to see a friend Anna and her husband who had just got married and were on their honeymoon. What makes it random is they should have been in Bali but their bags were lost so they stayed a night in Singapore and they were on our flight sitting on our row of seats (it really is a small world)! They mentioned they were staying in Nusa Dua so we thought we'd check it out.

The drive to Nusa Dua took around 45 minutes and after seeing about 6 different options we found our base for the stay. The home stay had 7 wooden rooms set within a tropical garden with fish ponds, an outside library and sun loungers. We pretty much spent the next 6 days sunbathing and relaxing, really enjoying the surroundings and the unbelievable hot sun in the day. At night we found a good restaurant called 'The Tree' which played live music and offered free pick up and drop off back to the hotel for the lazy people who couldnt be bothered to walk (no walking for us then)! Our next stop was to head back north to Seminyak which is the area up from Kuta/Legian. We had reservatons if we would enjoy it there but leight wanted to try Surfing. We arrived in Seminyak and found a good hotel 300m from the beach (The Grandmas) and more importantly the waves. Leight spent the next 3 days trying to surf in the day and complaining about his sore nipples at night. I must admit he did manage to stand up several times and long enough for me to capture a photo. I had a brief go and also tried bodyboarding but much preferred watching Leight from the sunlounger.

A couple of general points for anyone travelling to Bali
1) The taxi's in Denpasar are one big rip off trying to scam you and no other taxi can enter the airport so getting an airport pick up with your hotel will save a lot of hassle.
2) The locals sit on every corner trying to get you to buy something or trying to rip you off with fixed scratch cards (they even approach you on motorbikes).
3) Don't fall down the manholes (you will know what we mean within 10mins of arriving)

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If we could sum up our visit to Bali in 5 or so words/statements.

1) Worst hotel room ever
2) Leight a future surfing champion?
3) Not so friendly people
4) Loved our first homestay
5) Would not go back (unless staying in one of the 5 star hotels)

Random sights/things in Bali.
1) Our faces when we walked into the hotel the first night

Posted by Gem-Leight 04:43 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

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