Bikes, Powercuts and Happy People on Gili T

After the amazing climb up Mount Batur, our driver bought us some banana fritters to try. Sounds good, right? WRONG. I love fried banana at home, but this was something else. They were soggy and stodgy and what looked like grated white chocolate on top was not grated white chocolate. It was cheese. CHEESE ON DEEP FRIED BANANA. Why Bali, why? The food here so far has been amazing, but that right there, was just plain wrong.

17/04

Said goodbye to my little Eilidh this morning. Only known her a few days but it seems like years. People have asked, “Oh so you’re travelling together?”
“Nope. Just known each other 47 hours.”

Today I venture alone to an island just off Lombok: Gili Trawangan. There are 3 Gili Islands – Gili T (most popular), Gili Meno (smallest and most remote: perfect honeymoon destination) and Gili Air (not so busy as Gili T, not as untouched as Gili M). Even though Gili T is the largest – it’s still a very small island! It currently has a population of about 800 and is about 8km around the whole island.

I got a bus, then a boat and then asked directions to my hostel and got ever so sweaty. You sweat constantly here, you have to get used to it. All in all the journey went very smoothly and am proud of my navigation skills.

Gili T has no roads – the only way to get around is by foot / bicycle / horse and cart. There is one strip that is fairly busy with lots of bars, but apart from that, it’s ever so quiet and peaceful. I have instantly fallen in love with island life for that reason: peace. No engines, no hustle and bustle. Just seeing the odd smily pedestrian and saying hello.

I thought when booking my room on booking.com that I had my own double room. Almost, but not quite. I have my own double air bed. It’s squashed in a little hut so there is no floor space and the roof is so low, that even little me has to crouch. The shared outdoor toilets are quite dirty and the hose-like shower isn’t the best, but c’est la vie. It is backpacking after all.

18/04

Barely slept last night. Bed was awful. Also woken up at 5am to a the Islamic call to prayer on a loudspeaker (lasts about 10 minutes). It sounded like he was singing right on my shoulder. It must have woken up the whole island.

***

Headache / hydration / humidity made me feel ever so rough in the afternoon and it’s always when I feel rough that I miss home. I sat alone on the beach, staring at the calm turquoise waters, and listening to my music, getting a bit too into my thoughts. I miss my family – but I’m in such a beautiful place in the world. I miss my friends – but I’m so proud of everything I’ve achieved by myself. I have got myself here and seen so many incredible things. Reflecting on some of those amazing moments, before I know it, my glossy eyes brighten and I smile as I see a group of Indonesian children, no older than six or seven, playing and splashing in the water by an anchored boat.

***

Yay, Ronnie and Jade have arrived!

19/04

Woken up at 5am again. Can’t be angry though, that’s how they live here. I saw a stunning sunrise at 6 this morning and thought, you know what, today is going to be a good day.

It was.

We rented bikes (Ronnie, Jade, Arne). We swam, drank coconuts and sun bathed. It was funny when I thought Ronnie was Jade (Ronnie is white and Jade is black). I had got up too quickly so I was a little dizzy.

“Wow Ron, you’ve really caught the sun today! Your tan looks great!”

Nope, it’s just a black girl.

Laughter and good times continued over lunch on the beach. I had a delicious local dish (Olah Olah – a veggie dish in a rich, tasty coconut sauce). The service on a chilled island is SO slow because nobody is in a rush. We were all so hungry and it felt like my stomach was eating itself as we waited in anticipation for our food to arrive.

Island life continues with several power cuts on a daily basis. Had my shower in the pitch black.

Island life strikes again as we meet up with Daisy and her sister to watch the sunset. The forever changing colours were breathtaking.

Thanks for such a wonderful time Gili T. Next stop, Gili Air! (I thought with my lack of husband I’d miss out Gili Meno).

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