I woke up early on our second day and walked to the beach just after the sun had risen…only to immediately run back to the room and grab my camera.
Somehow the view had managed to get even better overnight.
It wasn’t long before mum came to find me and ordered her morning brew. She takes her own teabags and mug with her whenever she travels but was slightly tripped up by the fact that they couldn’t understand her need for milk and kept bringing her sachets of condensed milk. Not quite the right thing for a cup of earl grey!
|Our breakfast waiter with Mum’s special cup|
We ate our breakfast and watched the local boats heading out to get fish for our dinners.
When I went to order our morning coconuts I found a very cute sight – some tiny toes poking out of a makeshift hammock! In the Hindu religion of the area babies are not allowed to be put down on anything other than their beds until they reach 105 days old.
After chatting to the baby’s Mum (a lady we affectionately called ‘boss lady’ as she appeared to be the matriarchal force behind the establishment. A nickname she adored I might add!) it was back to or usual spot to read our books and drink some coconut water…
…and pose with the coconuts too, naturally.
There are no cars on any of the Gili islands and so everyone gets around on a horse and cart. Every time one trotted past we couldn’t help but giggle and wave, especially the ones literally crammed full of people.
|I think the record was 6 people and a palm tree on one cart|
Obviously we got hungry at lunch time and ordered almost the entire menu. Mum certainly enjoyed hers.
|Isn’t she gorgeous?|
As did Dot (although with a little bit more class…)
We decided to order a couple of unusual sides not knowing what they were. Our ‘urap-urap’ dish was gorgeous and we fought over the last forkful. The ‘pelecing kangkung’ however was so hot I’m surprised it didn’t cause a fire. Turns out that pure chilli paste isn’t dulled by the addition of green beans. Funny that…
Of course we had to keep hydrated in the sun and support the local economy, so the number of Bingtangs on the table grew steadily until we decided it was time for our daily afternoon nap.
When we work up from our doze it seemed only right to head back to our favourite sunset drinking establishment for cocktails, encountering this interesting bike on the way.
If you can tell, there is a barbecue on the front of it. Yes, complete with red hot coals. Safety!
Being the regulars that we are we bagged an excelent table/seat…thing? I don’t know. It had hardly any holes in the bottom though! Score.
Having watched the clouds gather all day we were ready to be disappointed, thinking that surely nothing could top the previous days sunset offerings.
We were wrong.
I was officially in love with this tiny island and in very real danger of never leaving.
With my closest friends, a sunset like this and decent $3 cocktails I was pretty much in heaven.
I mean, the clouds somehow improved the sunset.
Of course, gluttons that we are, the thought of more fresh fish soon had us moving once the sun had set. Feeling adventurous we let boss lady talk us in to trying the Sweetlips, something Mum and I felt weird about because it’s a treat to spot them while diving!
We watched the fish preparation with curiosity…as did a cat and some kittens.
This was clearly not her first time preparing fish!
It didn’t take long until our dinner was ready to be cooked.
And we weren’t the only ones queueing up for a nice fresh fish supper.
When our poor little sweetlips arrived it’s famous pout had pretty much burnt off leaving quite a horrifying mouth. Tasted gooood though.
Because we were boss lady’s favorites (of course) she got the girls to make us a special coconut and cucumber salad. I’ve tried to recreate it back home but nothing tastes as good as the original. It’s only red onion, grated coconut, cucumber and chili, perfect with fresh fish.
We were so exhausted from all the relaxing we’d been doing that we crashed out pretty early (I know, what happens in Bali right?)
Keen to make the most of our morning before getting the fast boat back to Bali we got up early and settled in to watch the sun rise over Mt Rinjani on neighbouring Lombok. You can do treks up to the top, something that’s on my list of to do’s.
As it was close to the full moon there were some pretty big waves breaking on the reef.
We were more than happy to watch people paddling out while we waited for our extra big brekkie to arrive.
Calculating that we wouldn’t be back in Sanur until 3ish that afternoon we filled our tummies with banana pancakes, jaffles and omelettes.
Obviously then, like a snake, I required somewhere to sit and digest for a while. The hammock on our little veranda was perfect.
We were feeling very sad indeed about leaving our slice of paradise.
|View from our veranda|
|The foot washer outside our hut|
|I’d take this over a posh hotel any day|
|Our ENORMOUS bathroom|
We decided that, although our stay had been lovely we hadn’t really seen much of the island. And it’s only 1km across!
Rather than take the peasant route of walking (imagine!) we got our own horse and cart to take us around for half an hour. The horse is called Belinda and we were informed that she works from 7am-1pm before her driver has a siesta and puts a different horse on for the late shift.
I amused the driver with my Jeremy Clarkson impression: “Ooo, one horse power. What a beauty!”
Of course we found this horse rather strange looking… I wonder if they take it in turns every day or if that poor chap has the worst job ever?
Sadly our tour was soon over and we said our emotional goodbyes to Belinda.
I’d discovered a driftwood swing on the beach on the previous day and couldn’t leave without taking some incredibly posey pictures.
But then it was time for us to bid a sad farewell to our home for the last few days and prose that we’d come back to visit Boss lady very soon.
While we were waiting for the boat to arrive our old friend Ahji Bahji turned up with the little baby who I’d seen sleeping in the sling. She was flung at me to hold and I decided that she was quite the darling.
|Bike basket full of fish|
All the boats here are bright and colourful. I wish I had a photographers eye rather than just being able to blind snap at things because they make a gorgeous sight.
The boat home took us via Gili T which looked as beautiful as Gili Air.
What’s not to love about crystal blue water, white sand and rainbow boats?
At some point I’d like to stay for a while on these islands. They’re a little bit magic and I don’t know a single person who’s been there and not fallen in love with the place.
Although being able to take a proper shower when we got back to Sanur was rather nice!
This is my second post about Gili Air. For the first click here.