The last island of our Gili Islands adventure, Gili Air, Indonesia, did not disappoint. The three islands are very similar in look and feel, but they also have many differences. Gili Air is a nice combination of the two other islands. It is more populated and has more activities than Gili Meno, but it is not quite as touristic as Gili T. As Goldilocks once said, “this one is just right”.
We again begun our day with a sweaty walk to the boat dock on Gili Meno and then to the north end of Gili Air. Without realizing it, I had booked accommodation on both islands at the furthest point from the pier. Perhaps my subconscious mind thinks I haven’t been getting enough exercise. Gili Air had an advantage in that there was at least a “road” that went straight across the island, rather than having to go around. We plodded along slowly, our bags weighing us down and our flip flops getting covered in dusty grime.
Eventually we arrived at our little place called Pelangi Cottages. Our bungalow was large and luxurious. The bathroom alone was bigger than every apartment we have ever rented. I felt like I had landed on the moon. Living out of backpacks, we didn’t have enough stuff to make it feel homely. I spaced out my belongings, sunscreen on one shelf and bug spray on the next, just to make use of all the surface area. As we hadn’t paid for an air conditioned room, we weren’t given the remote to work the air conditioner. It looked down and taunted us. We sweltered through the nights, determined we were “winning” by not paying the extra charge.
The lap around Gili Air took only an hour and we did it twice during our stay. Ben rented a stand up paddle board and explored the reef. It was very windy and there was a strong current, so not many people were brave (crazy?) enough to partake in the sport. I saw three girls attempt to paddle out, only to be washed back on the beach and give up. With my chicken arms and still feeling the effects of the cold I opted to lie in the sun instead. Each evening, without fail, we were captivated by a stunning sunset, as we sipped beer and lay in hammocks.
After a week on the Gili Islands, I didn’t want to leave. With only a few days left in Indonesia, this was the perfect end to our South East Asia travels. It was as if we had been searching for these islands at every beach we showed up on, and we had finally found it. Although, if I ever eat Nasi Goreng (fried rice) or Mee Goreng (noodles) again it will be far too soon.
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