We have to tell you all about Gili Trawangan AKA Gili T.
Totally gorgeous and spell binding.
The night time arrival was grim though. We arrived at the dock at dusk and boarded a longboat that seemed determined to roll over and capsize. The closest we came to actually rolling over was once the 40+ people were crammed on with at least 50 cases of beer (fair enough) and then luggage was tossed down into the passenger area only to be replaced with propane bottles. The 5ft long ones, and 5 in all. The forest was the worst because as it rolled from side to side it got up a rocking motion that made us a a few other passengers shout our objections at the "crew" loading up.
However all was soon calm and we were on our way, well after the whole boat had told the local sat on top of the gas to "PUT THAT FAG OUT!" "IN THE SEA!!!!!" As I said it's the national pastime.
Anyway after about half an hour we dropped anchor (probably on coral!!...) and then dropped gas in the sea. Luckily we were nearest the back (and gas) and flew off the back and onto the beach quicker than D-Day. Petrina's mission seek out cheap accommodation, mine get the luggage with out getting blown to pieces, just like D-Day then.
Both missions were accomplished, Petrina found us some tip-top digs that could have passed for a Honeymoon Suite. (Well in my budget wink).
The next day we hired cycles and headed out to the coast to go around the island. However this plan was put on ice quicker than No Smoking Day in Indonesia, as we were met face to face by the most ridiculously coloured sea. Turquise, blue, green, jade, ect,ect turning clear on shore and fringed by coral-white sand. We dumped the bikes up against the nearest tree and staggered open-mouthed on to the sand giggling and pointing in wonder. Cynical old me thought seas this colour only existed in airbrushed, Photo-Shopped posters in Thomas Cook's window or wherever Gloria Honeyford was broadcasting from when we were kids.
So we swam until our fingers were like prunes then basked on the beach. But the best was yet to come. Petrina had a brilliant idea and went and rented snorkeling gear. Now most of my experiences of snorkeling were like sticking your head in the washing up bowl after Sunday Lunch, this was like falling in the tropical fish tank at a pets superstore but a million times better. We swam out over the sand up to the coral reef, along it and out to the shelf that plummets into the darkest blue. The fish were unbelievable, every colour shape and size possible. Hopefully the waterproof SLR camera we bought the next day will reflect some of our experiences.
Eventually we circled the whole island on our bikes and had the place sussed out.
We stayed five nights on Gili T in all and even endured a tropical storm with crazy thunder and lightning on the beach. It was quite romantic huddled under out little pagoda sheltering from the incessant downpour. Luckily it only lasted the night as the sun got his hat on the next day.
Much love C & P xx