26.10.2014 - 30.10.2014 32 °C
There are three small Islands in Indonesia known as the Gili Islands. They're located just off the western coast of Lombok and we have been staying at Gili Trawangan, the largest of the three. Gili T. has a reputation for all-night parties so we booked our accommodation on the quieter side to ensure a good night’s rest. We must be getting old. The first thing we noticed when we arrived was that there is no motorised transport here. The public transport is a horse and cart. And it’s a balancing act just getting into the thing. We've been walking or cycling most of the time.
Dusty roads, straw huts, chickens and cows, noisy roosters and coconut plantations cover much of the island.
This is the city centre.
We’ve had plenty of uninvited visitors to our room including a scorpion which was hilarious, in hindsight. There’s also a newly built mosque on the island. I’ve heard so much Islamic chanting these past few days I almost know a few of the prayers off by heart. Our stay at the Gili Islands has felt like a time warp back to the 19th century in some respects, but a welcome one (if we didn’t have air con it would be a different story). Night time here is pretty incredible as the sky is packed with hundreds of stars. It’s stunning, but unfortunately it also reminds you how badly we’re polluting the planet.
On Monday we took part in an Indonesian cooking class. Well, I did the cooking and Alberto the tasting. He’s a lucky man. Indonesian cuisine is generally not very distinctive. The distinction lies in the cooking method and the spices used.
Yellow Chicken Curry
Mie Goring - a very tasty gourmet pot noodle
Kelopon - Indonesian for sticky coconut rice balls
The following day we took a boat around the three islands. We were able to snorkel at each one and we had lunch on Gili Air. There's plenty of fish and reef in shallow depths so if you’re not keen on diving or want to save money, the islands offer an excellent alternative option.
Alberto looking hot with his snorkel mask
And an action photo of yours truly
Last night we ventured down to sunset point, famous for, yes you guessed it, its sunsets. And very nice it was too.
These islands are a tropical paradise but they're undergoing a lot of construction work and may end up like Bali given enough time. If you're out this neck of the woods try to pay a visit sooner rather than later. We'd love to spend more time here but the clock is ticking and we've less than two weeks left in Asia. Today we break a new 'mode of transport record' as we take a horse and cart, a boat, a van, a plane, and a car to our next destination. We’re flying west to Surabaya, the eastern capital of Java.
Happy Halloween to all our friends and family back home, we hope you have a great one!