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Bye Bali, Hello Gilli T!

We woke up to a gorgeous morning, and popped down to the beach to wave goodbye to Mount Agung before heading to catch the morning boat to Gili Trewangan.

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We'd heard mixed reports on the boats leaving from Amed to the islands but we decided to throw caution to the wind as it would save us time and money to take the boat from there rather than going back down to the main port on the east coast. Literally half the price, which we always like. With stories of dangerous overcrowding, bags getting soaked and generally an uncomfortable ride we braced ourselves for a bit of a dodgy start...but we needn't have worried and this was another example of how you should take what you read on the Internet with a pinch of salt, but maybe we were just lucky that day. The company we went with was Kudah Hitam Express and we would definitely look them up again if we head back that way.

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A group of women were waiting on the beach to take our bags onto the boats and it was amazing how much weight they could balance their head. This porter service was included in our ticket price and turned out to be a godsend for me as I had somehow managed to badly stump my toe which was gradually swelling up making it painful to walk on.

By taking the speedboat we would be in Gili T in an hour, and these speedboats have had a massive affect on the development on the Gilis making them more easily accessible from Bali, which we would find out more about during our time on the islands.

Arriving at Gili T we quickly made the decision that Dan would go and walk the strip to find us somewhere to stay whilst I sat with the bags. It looked like my toe was probably broken so traipsing up and down wasn't a good idea. If you were looking down on the island you would see the following cross section... beach, beach bars & restaurants, road and then the accommodation, so beachside bungalow really means across the road from the beach bungalow. Our plan was to head right from the harbour where the beach was meant to be a bit better and a bit quieter.

Dan was finding it hard to find somewhere for our budget that was what we wanted so we decided to just book one night at Easy bungalows so we could drop off our bags and continue the search together. This was quite a slow process, one because I was walking really slowly and two because a lot of places were charging more than we wanted to spend. The island was quite busy so I think they could hold out for someone who didn't want to haggle, some places were charging 400,000 to 700,000 a night, others wanted 300,000 for rooms that weren't as good as cheaper ones we had stayed in before (maybe we were a bit spoiled by the amazing room we'd just left). Eventually back closer to the centre of the strip we met the friendly 'Randy Andy' (that's how he introduced himself!) from Sunrise Bungalows and got a nice fan bungalow for 200,000 a night with wifi in the room too. Result!

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We would move there the next day, and finally we could relax and take in where we were...

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And make friends with the locals...

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There are no cars or motorbikes on the Gili Islands which makes a nice change. Everyone either walks, cycles or takes a horse cart to get around.

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It was nice to have a slower pace but we soon realised that a lot of the horses didn't look in too great condition and seemed to be attached to the carts all day and night. Even though my toe was bad I preferred to slowly hobble with my backpack rather than take one of these horse carts. We would see a big difference in the condition of the horses on Gili Air compared to Gili T. Here the horse carts run all day and night but on Air you won't find any from about 10pm, this seems to be directly related with the huge increase in the number of people coming to Gili T which has more of a 'party' reputation with bars and restaurants open all night. We saw several tourists flagging up concerns to the locals about horses foaming at the mouth, no water, sores from the harnesses etc...

Most of our time on Gili T was spent lazing on the beach in the morning and then chilling out at our bungalow when the rains came in the afternoon. This was fine with me as we d started chatting more about what we might like for our wedding and whilst Dan would take advantage of the cooler temperature and run in the rain or go to yoga class, I would be browsing wedding blogs for ideas. Exciting :)

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Its always a bonus to wake up and find a kitten asleep outside your door!

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Unfortunately as my toe was busted it meant that I couldn't put fins on so going on the snorkelling and diving trips was a no go. The currents can be quite strong and even just trying to swim off the beach you would just end up going nowhere or backwards! I also couldn't do yoga either, who knew you needed your little toe so much to balance!

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We weren't massively up for getting on the booze so the all night bars weren't really for us. Being in the last leg of our travels we had to be mindful of our budget. It would have been very different if we were just here for a holiday but it meant that filling our evenings fell a bit flat as you felt you were maybe missing out on something (particularly karaoke bingo night!) but at the same time we didn't want to force a night out for the sake of it, so when we found a bar that played movies including popcorn for just 30,000 per film we couldn't say no.

Its become a bit of an on running joke that Dan will always get served his food before me and I ll have to watch him eat as mine will no doubt take another 40 minutes or have been completely forgotten about! But on Gili T it stopped being funny as about 3 meals in a row mine was mucked up...one was given to someone else, another when it finally arrive was a tuna sandwich with no tuna in it despite them having an hour to put the tuna in it, and another was some chips that were so hard and trying to get over the concept that even though they were hot that didn't mean they were cooked was futile! You have to laugh about it really but after this happening on and off for months I was 'at my wits end' until Dan found me a decent chocolate cookie to make it better :) we did also have some amazing barracuda and tuna kebabs yum yum!

One day we walked round to the other side of the island to watch the sunset. It was an almost deserted beach with a small beach bar, completely different from the other side of the island. It was great to chill out and watch the sun go down with a Bintang and I think there was no more than 20 people sharing it with us!

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One thing to remember though is that when your camera battery is low dont waste it taking loads of photos of a hermit crab so the battery is dead for sunset! Such a cool little dude though!

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Although Gili T is beautiful it wasn't quite what we were looking for from an island experience.

We decided we would move on to Gili Air the next day and see what that had to offer

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Sxxx

Posted by doyledan 06:01 Archived in Indonesia

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