And now we begin the travel brochure portion of the blog. Those of you are in dire need of a vacation but cannot take time away, please avert your eyes. You are warned that extremely beautiful and relaxing pictures will follow this message.
Our trip across Bali to Lombok and then onto the tiny Gili Islands was long (6 hours of car, plane, car again, boat travel). Josh was pretty irked by these travel arrangements. I made them in the comfort of our living room and I didn’t take into account the (in)flexibility of airline travel in this part of the world. It’s really easy to get cheap flights but changing them is a bit of a pain. In addition we didn’t have to fly at all (except for my aversion to boats) and would have saved $$ and time. But oh well.
As I type this I am sitting in a cabana on a white coral beach looking out across cerulean blue waters just covering the reefs teeming with fish. This is our third day here.
Hot. We are all grateful for our AC bungalow at the end of the afternoon on the beach. It’s got to be in the high 90’s here on the sand. We are drinking lots of bottled water and fresh juices. Josh just ordered a Watermelon, Emma is getting a Mixed Juice (papaya, banana, pineapple) and I am getting a Lime.
Our first day here, we rented snorkels and walked up to the top end of the bean-shaped island. We are staying at Gili Air—the closest Gili to the mainland—according to the guidebooks it’s the moderate one. There are no raves (like the “hip” Gigi T) but some choice of restaurants (and Wi-Fi!! Unlike the undeveloped Gili Meno).
We are here for the snorkeling and the beauty of the reefs didn’t disappoint. Starting at the top and basically floating with the currents down along the eastern edge of the reef, we swam with turtles, shimmering fish and healthy corals. No sight of seahorses (sorry Raylene!), as there isn’t much sea grass around. The water temperatures vacillate depending on the depth of the reef. Close to shore, it’s so warm as to be unpleasant, and then cools as we got out to the edge of the corals. Max was my buddy for the snorkel and we both liked to hunt for the cool water.
I like to see the sunlight shafting down through the water. It’s almost like a church underwater with the colored light reminding me of stained glass; the peaceful breaths I take holding Max’s hand, floating in a glimmering world. But because we don’t have an underwater camera, those sights are stored in my heart.
Anyway, I can show you shots of this sleepy little paradise Gili Air. There are no cars or motorbikes here. Transport is by foot, bike or little horse carts. “Rush-hour” consists of 2 horse carts in a row traveling past us on the sandy “road” by the beach. There are a number of restaurants and bungalow lodgings, sprawled along this quiet shore.
Our little bungalow here only has salt water showers and salt water swimming pool. This makes it easy to remember not to drink the tap water when we brush teeth!
This part of the trip is so different from the many cultural activities and learning adventures of Bali. Here our big decisions are, pool or ocean? Dinner at “Scallywags Organic Beach Bar” or the slightly more exotic Chill Out Café? Which fresh fish grilled over coconut shell charcoal to eat? Walk around the island going north or south?
So now I am off to swim again in the sunset and cool blue water. Tomorrow we leave for our last night in Bali then “home” to Singapore for a few nights.