January 13, 2017
What a cool day 🙂 Woke up at Gili Trawangan knowing that we had spent our only night we were going to on that island, and packed our backpacks, had breakfast and checked out of Ricel home stay. For Guy, this island had changed so much since he was there last and didn’t have the same vibe we were looking for. If you are looking for a party in a beautiful place, that is a place to go for sure! We were told that on New Years eve, the island we so full they didn’t let anyone else on after 4pm and people slept everywhere and anywhere, as all accommodations were full in advance.
We headed down to Big bubble dive shop where we had a dive scheduled and a deep dive certification for Guy planned. On the way out to the dive sight we saw 3 or 4 manta rays playing on the surface. It was quite exciting as the locals said they don’t often see something like that! Super fortunate to have that experience. I don’t have any photos of this as my phone wasn’t with us on the boat. We did the dive at Shark Point off Gili T. and saw 1 reef shark, 2 sea turtles, a school of jack fish, and what I think was a large grouper of some kind, as well as other sea life of course. It turned out to be not only a deep dive during which Guy had his narcosis susceptibility and other deep dive skills tested, but also a drift dive, as the current was fairly strong due to full moon.
After returning and filling out our log books we headed off to arrange a boat to take us over to Gili Air, which was conveniently enough leaving in 45 mins at 1pm.
We grabbed a roadside Mie Goreng (delicious authentic fried noodle wok stirfy) for 30,000 rupiah ($3) and jumped on the boat. 10 mins later we were dropped on Gili Air. Within minutes we were at home, and after checking into Cemana Bungalows we walked through the village and knew we were staying here a while. We don’t know how long, but this place has won our hearts for sure. For getting around there is nothing motorized… only walking, renting a bicycle, or a horse and cart.
We love the simpleness of this place. the restaurants and food are endless and amazing, while still keeping the chill, authentic feel. They have a sense of humor too!
We decided to stay at our $24 in-expensive and out-of-the-way, but very clean and spacious bungalow, and spend the extra dollars on trying different food on the island. Each time we try something new we really love it so it feels like food island adventures! LOL!
We had Rendang in the middle of the day which is truly outstanding (I saw an article that Lonely Planet asked 30,000 people on 2011 who had eaten in various countries around the world, what their favorite food was, and Rendang took the top position!). This will be something I start to make at home. We are keeping an eye our for a cooking class here that will teach us some local tricks on these tasty dishes.
Later on we found a Thai place, and of course, Thai food is some of the most flavorful Guy and I enjoy as well, so we shared a delish salad and a massaman curry dish, which was, again, outstanding.(We do a lot of sharing our meals with each other and choosing together so that we can try more things! 😉 ) We really love the spices these cultures use. This was followed by Banoffee Pie, as the manager here is from England and so there is a little influence there. It was delish! We are starting to admit that our time here is largely governed by our culinary adventures, LOL! Everything else happens around the priority…. FOOD! 🙂
We carried on to walk around and find some live music, and just as a huge rain, thunder and lightning storm hit, we ducked into Zipp Bar and Grill and there was a fantastic band playing favorites from oldies to newer stuff of all genres. The vibe was so relaxed and neat with the storm too. Really felt like such a treat.
We stayed for hours taking in the music and staying dry. When the band was finished, the DJ started up and the full moon party for Gili Air was in full swing. The great thing about it, was that even thought it was a party, it wasn’t too crazy… it was just perfect. We had a great time dancing with tourists and locals and walked along the beach back to our place on the white sand in the moonlight, but not without a midnight swim on the way! 🙂