01.05.2013 - 01.05.2013
When reading about Lombok one of the other places we were keen to see was the South West Coastline which has 12 islands off of it, most of which are uninhibited. It is meant to be stunning and a relatively underdeveloped gem. So when we saw we could do a snorkelling day trip to Gili Nanggu, one of these islands, and see this coastline from a boat we jumped at the chance. Although not before Ro negotiated a good price
We were picked up early and started the 2 hour journey from Kuta to Lembar harbour on the West coast.
As we passed through the bustling local market Dan and Ro were both soon asleep, with me in the middle.
Our driver mentioned that if we had time after the snorkelling trip we could stop at a local Sasak village. He is Sasak and told us that we would learn that somethings are done very differently in their culture. For example if you want to marry a girl you don't ask her, you steal her! The man has to sneak into the village and steal the girl and they normally do this when the man is around 20 years old. He found it quite funny that Dan had asked me and not stolen me and that we are in late 20s and not actually married yet.
We were soon at Lambar harbour where our driver made the odd decision of going down the lane for traffic coming the other direction so we all held our breath as we tried to squeeze past lorries and trucks that were trying to leave. It seems we were just picking up a guy before going back out of the harbour to the village around the back. It turns out he owned the boat we were using and after getting a few supplies we walked to the back of his house out to the water.
Going this way was a real eye opener into the conditions that some people are living in. It was hard to see children crouched in the rubbish by the waters edge, some sitting right next to piles of burning rubbish breathing in all the fumes.
I'm a bit cautious on small boats ever since being on one that sank in Borneo so after double checking there were definitely life jackets in the hold I was happy to set off. As we went through the harbour our boat seemed even smaller compared to the huge ferries we shared the water with, many of which were making the journey back and forth to Bali.
We were soon out of the busy water and making our way to the islands.
The views from the boat were great and we had plenty of time to take it all in before we pulled up on the white sands of Gili Nanggu.
This tiny island was beautiful and only has one resort on it which at the time was being used by a school holiday camp for children whose families now live in Bali. Fortunately we arrived a bit early so there were only 2 other people snorkling, so there was hardly anyone else on the beach.
With snorkels at the ready we got into the water and were almost instantly surrounded by fish. Here the snorkel tours hand out bottles filled with bread so you can attract the fish and it seemed they had learned this well. Although this makes it fun for us to have so many fish around it ultimately is bad for the fish as they start to depend on the bread rather than seek their own normal food.
There were lots of fish to see and as we went further out passed the sand there was even more variety once we reached the coral. As snorkelling goes it was pretty good but I never been a massive fan for some reason, which is odd given how much I love diving, maybe its being on the surface of the water I don't like? Or water getting in the snorkel?
Leaving Dan and Ro to explore, I had my own fun trying to photograph crabs on the beach. They are fast!! Eventually I succeeded.
We decided to go for a walk around the island to see what else we could find but could only get half way round due to rocks blocking our way.
Check out this caterpillar...although don't touch it as its poisonous!
We would be having lunch at another small island called Gili Sudak and it was the right time to leave as a boat with 10 snorklers had just arrived. When the boat came back to pick us up we were shown that boatman had also been finding fish too to take back for his dinner!
The short journey to the next island was beautiful and along the way the pearl farms were pointed out to us and we were told it takes 4 years to produce a pearl.
This is where we had lunch...
With stunning views
We were starving and decided to share several local fish and veg dishes between us and when asked how many fish we wanted, we replied 3. And much to our amusement we were told that there were only 2 left on the island. Another couple joined us on the island a few minutes later and they also ordered fish and miraculously 2 more had materialised, maybe they had someone fishing out the back.
It was delicious though!
We discovered Ro's talent for volleyball...
and the boat owners son, who had skipped school to come on the boat, seemed to take a shine to Dan taking him out on kayaks, showing him fishing and also offered to go surfing with him.
He was also a music lover and almost constantly had his headphones on and we were treated to him singing along to Gangnam Style on the way back. He particularly liked to shout out the 'sexy ladies' part.
We chilled out after lunch and were taken back to the first island incase we wanted to snorkel some more. The weather had started to turn though making the water more choppy and we could see rain clouds over the mainland. It was time to head back and hopefully not get caught in bad weather.
We spotted a beached ship on the way back, turns out its engine had failed 4 months and so all they could do was beach it.
It had been another great day although maybe a bit too much excitement when you have jet lag too