For the past two weeks, Josh and I have been lucky enough to spend our days on a tiny, lovely little island off the coast of Lombok in Indonesia, Gili Air. It is currently rainy season, so when we planned to leave Bali, the fast boats weren’t running due to weather. That left us with two options: fly from Bali to Lombok or take the slow boat. Since we’ve enjoyed slow boats previously on our travels, we opted to go that route. It turned into a twelve hour travel day, and we definitely won’t be taking the slow boat back to Bali, but what was waiting for us when we finally arrived made it all worth it! Here’s the scene. Our lovely slow boat (aka cargo ship carrying baby chickens and other trucks).
Now on to the good stuff! Gili Air is so small that you can walk around it in about an hour. There are no motorized vehicles, only Cidomo’s (horse carts). After traveling around India and Southeast Asia for four months, it’s extremely strange not to see a motorbike anywhere No more dodging cars, tuk tuks, and motorbikes for a while!
Since the first time I went diving eons ago in the British Virgin Islands, I’ve always wanted to get my Open Water Scuba certification. Before coming here, I read that Indonesia had amazing diving and twice as many marine species as the Great Barrier Reef. Since it is so inexpensive (relatively) here to get certified, I decided to go for it! We stayed at the Manta Dive bungalows because they were the top rated dive shop on the island and their bungalows also got great reviews.
Here is a picture of our bungalow that we spent our first week in.
Our lovely outdoor bathroom with a hot salt water shower. Is it weird that I actually like the salt water shower?
So, after a week on Gili Air, we had booked a room on Gili Trawangan, which is a 30 minute ferry ride away. Everyone we met on Gili Air told us not to go, but we felt we should see what it was all about. It’s the most visited of the three Gili’s and has a reputation for being the party island. We stayed in a hotel located on a giant coconut farm, away from all of the hustle and bustle.
Instead of spending the full seven nights we planned there, we were back ‘home’ on Gili Air after four nights. Thankfully, Manta Dive had a room that was available for the rest of our time in Indonesia
We thought you might be wondering how we were spending our days here, so I’ll take you through a typical day on Gili Air. Wake up and have breakfast (included in room price) at the Waterfront Restaurant overlooking the beautiful water. Breakfast included a fresh fruit juice, coffee or tea, and your choice of several different food options.
At some point during the day, take a nice stroll around the island enjoying the scenery.
Lunch is usually at one of three restaurants, but our favorite is definitely Scallywag’s Organic Beach Club. Here is our favorite bartender, Mira! We’ve definitely become regulars here.
Scallywag’s also has nice beach chairs out back that you can use during the day.
How can you fight this water?
After lunch, more beach time, snorkeling, reading, or blogging. There are tons of pretty fish and coral just in front of our hotel. I wish I had an underwater camera!! You’ll just have to take my word for it Late afternoons are either happy hour at one of several beach bars or a 90 minute sunset yoga class.
During our first week in Gili Air, we did some of this. Scuba diving in the pool before heading out into the open water!
I kept going…
…and then I got my SSI Open Water Diver card!! Josh also enjoyed diving, but decided he didn’t really want to spend three full days doing the certification…
So, until Josh drags me off of Gili Air kicking and screaming in about 10 days…I’m going to sit back, relax, and enjoy these views every day! (and hopefully get my Advanced Open Water Certification)