After bearing as much of Kuta as we could, we booked a bus and boat transfer to Gili Trawangan, part of a group of three islands off the coast of Lombok. Our “travel agent” showed us the boat he had booked us, a great big catamaran with sun deck. Of course this being Asia, that was far from reality. The ride was pretty bumpy..beware if you’re prone to sea-sickness!
On arrival to Gili T, we jumped off into the sea and walked 15 minutes inland to our homestay. Giyat Kodong is a lovely little family-run place with private rooms, either fan or air con and a giant breakfast included. Habib, the young man that worked there, was one of the friendliest people we encountered on our travels and made a fantastic banana pancake!
The island has a real old fashioned feel to it, no cars or motorbikes are allowed, so they use horse-carts and bicycles to get around. Although we weren’t right on the beach, we spent our days cycling across the island, eating great food and discovering a new bar every night to drink a Bintang and watch the sun set.
Gili Trawangan is more of a party island than its neighbours Gili Air and Gili Meno. For some reason, Indonesia’s strict drug law doesn’t seem to bother people here and the availability of weed and magic mushrooms is pretty much advertised everywhere. Rest assured by the time you leave you’ll know every lyric to Bob Marley’s greatest hits as they are played non-stop! We spent 8 days on the island before heading over to Gili Air.
Gili Air instantly had a much more chilled out feel to it, with less of the young party-goers from Gili T. We absolutely loved it here, the snorkelling was amazing. We were lucky enough to see a turtle one day, who wasn’t bothered in the slightest as we swam alongside him.
We split our time between two different parts of the island, half on the quieter side in a bungalow by the beach and half at the Scallywags motel in the busier area. This was pure luxury for us – air con, cold water showers (that weren’t salt water) and even a mini-bar.
The island was small enough to walk around in less than an hour and we spent our days lying on the beach, reading, walking, beach combing and snorkelling.
Lombok was much more chilled-out than Bali and was the perfect relaxing end to our travels, before heading back home after 7 incredible months.
Until the next trip…cheers!