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Gili gave us turtles

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Geplaatst dinsdag 14 juli 2015 in categorie Travel

To quickly set the scene: the Gilis islands are 3 small islands surrounded by white-sand beaches and coconut palms, sitting in a turquoise sea. A mere 2 hour boat ride from Bali (pil against seasickness recommanded though) and right next to Lombok. On all 3 islands motorbikes, cars and dogs are not allowed … 3 things you would otherwise find in abundance when traveling through Bali. ☺ Gili T(rawangan) is the biggest of the three and also the most urbane. Gili Air is the closest to the real laidback/basic bali life and Gili Meno really is just a genuine untouched island getaway.

Having planned our trip in advance we had to decide on which island we were going to stay. Gili T has the best accommodation by far and not knowing what to expect from the basic options on Gili Air, we went for the sure thing (thinking we could still island hop from one island to the other). We stayed at a pretty fancy private villa with pool which in hindsight was totally unnecessary. I’m not saying you should totally slum it, there are perfectly nice, more budget friendly options right on the beach (were you will spend most of your time when on the Gili islands). Gili T has the image of a “Party island”, but we discovered a whole other side of this beautiful island, a side filled with cool shops, hippie style beach bars and hidden hammocks with an ocean view. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re looking to make some bad decisions, you’ve probable also came to the right spot ☺ … Its all about what tickles your fancy.

We are a little ashamed to admit it, but we ended up not even visiting the other 2 islands * . In our defense we only had 2 days to discover Gili and island hopping is only on fixed times, so it can easily take up a whole morning. (*Monkey with his 2 hands in front of his eyes - ☺)

The first thing you have to do is rent a bike, it’s the best way to get around on the island. Because it’s so small, distances are never a real issue. Tip: Make sure you bring along a fully charged iPhone when going for a drink in the evening. After that beautiful sunset (cocktails are optional) it gets pitch dark and the roads are not well lit at all … thank god for the flashlight tool.

Talking about sunsets, I’m sure the photo with the swing in the water has caught your eye ;-) … This was taken on the west side of the island at the “Ombak hotel sunset resort”. As you can see, this is the perfect place for a few unforgettable pictures, which will have all your stayed behind friends and relatives wishing you bad things ☺ Now a little side note: a gem like this usually doesn’t stay hidden for long and especially not on such a small island. Around sunset time it does tend to get pretty busy here, so you will probably have to wait in line for your perfect picture. That being said this is one setting you just can’t pass up and it can be our little secret on how you got that paradise picture.

If there’s one thing the Gilis are famous for it is snorkeling. Being pretty bummed out on missing the “untouched” reefs of Gili Meno and Gili Air, we decided to give solo snorkeling along the coast of Gili T a go. With relatively low expectations, we headed over to the North East side of the island and stopped at the first snorkeling-gear-for-rent stall. We got over the fact that too many other tourists had the same snorkel in their respective mouths and asked for directions on where to snorkel. The local owner of the “shop” told us to walk north on the beach for 500 meters and walk/swim in to the sea, the current would bring us back in front of the place. Then he assured us his equipment was very clean and that his buddy had seen 3 turtles in the water the other day. Lets just say we were pretty skeptic towards both of his statements ☺ We couldn’t have been more wrong! Eventually we walked down the beach 3 times, because it was such a nice experience. In total we saw around 7 turtles, one of them was even kind enough to join us for a swim. We still don’t know if it was pure luck, but we strongly encourage you to find out.

Besides being a snorkeling paradise, Gili T also has a great selection of bars and restaurants, but more on that later - A picture says more than a thousand words, so I’m going to stop at 999 for now ;)