Gili Trawangen, Lombok

28/07/18

If my mother was here, she’d be saying that us getting to Gili T just “isn’t meant to be”, and I’d be giving her “the look”.

We got up at 4am this morning for our transfer to the airport, for the flight we’d booked last minute to Lombok (due to the sea being too dangerous for boats). We then queued in absolute chaos for an hour before reaching the check in desk, where after a couple of minutes of confusion, the lady informed us that our flight was booked for the 28th of August not July. I wasn’t angry, I had but one thought; thank fuck it was Elliot that booked it wrong this time not me (excuse the language, it’s the most accurate expression of my thought).

We did a panicked tour of the airline desks to see if any had availability for today, but it just wasn’t possible, so we sat down with Earl Grey tea and a croissant (necessities in this type of situation) to discuss our options. Really our choice was between the public danger-ferry which we’d previously said we would never get due to the complete lack of health and safety measures for Indonesian waterways; and going to Gili T two days late and still fly. We chose the latter.

Elliot kept asking me why I wasn’t angry, because I actually genuinely wasn’t. There was no point, it could happen to anyone just like it’d happened to me when I booked the boat for the wrong month in Thailand (I stressed this, as he was very angry then). It’s an expensive mistake, but that’s all it is; we’re both fine and safe. There have been very few bumps in the road for us out here, so we have to just accept it and practice damage limitation.

29/07/18

This morning we had an earthquake! You might have even seen it on the news; the epicentre was on Lombok, where the Gili Islands are, but we felt it pretty strongly here in Bali. I think at least 10 people have died and there were quite a few landslides in Lombok, so it was pretty bad. We fly there tomorrow so I’m not sure if our plans will have to change again, but I guess we’ll just see if we’re able to get across to the Gili’s when we’re there.

The actual earthquake was really quite frightening; I was about to get under the table. What good that would have done when our room is up on the third floor I’m not sure, but at least I had the right instincts!

We had a lovely afternoon at the beach yesterday, and we went again this morning but the tide was very high and it was extremely hot so we left to cool down after a couple of hours. Given the circumstances, we’ve had a good extra couple of days here in Kuta, I’m just hoping our journey across Lombok tomorrow is straight-forward.

30/07/18

We actually made it. We got a flight this morning from Bali to Lombok via Surabaya (completely the opposite direction but beggers can’t be choosers), which was pretty straight forward apart from the connecting time being very short and everyone in the airport being extremely slow. We then got a Grab car to the other side of the island, which was a bit dodgy because the driver was in the wrong car and then asked us to cancel our booking on the app so he didn’t get charged the fees, but our perception of risk seemed to have lowered under the stress of today and we just went with it. We finally got to the pier, flustered because we knew the public boats had finished for the day, and ended up paying an extraordinarily inflated price for a speed boat (which we had to sit on the roof of). We realised afterwards that this was an absolute rip off, but the rep caught us off guard and threw us into a panic, unnecessarily. We’re still annoyed at ourselves now for getting conned into paying so much.

Anyway, we finally made it to Gili Trawangen this afternoon and it’s absolutely beautiful; well worth the wait, although I’m sad to have our time cut short here. We walked around the majority of the island in a couple of hours as it’s not very big; there are no cars, just bicycles and horses. We ate dinner at a restaurant who are donating all of their profits from today and tomorrow to those who have been displaced by the earthquake and landslides in Lombok, so I feel like we’ve helped a little. Then we watched the sun set on the West side of the island, walked around more, and then ate crepes sitting on bean bags on the beach.

31/07/18

Today we discovered that the weird “bird” noise we’ve been hearing throughout the entirety of Southeast Asia actually doesn’t come from a bird, but from a Tokay Ghecko looking for a mate!

Arriving late to Gili T meant we only had one full day here, but we definitely made the most of it. We got up and went for an early(ish) morning snorkel around the North of the Island. There wasn’t much to see because it was super choppy but it was nice to have a swim. We chilled on the beach for the rest of the morning and then went for a HUGE burger for lunch. Mine was a peanut butter, bacon and cheese beef burger, and I ate the whole thing and felt very sick. We walked through the island to the West side to chill and watch the sunset from Sunset Bar which was absolutely beautiful, and then we wandered through the foody area. It doesn’t sound like much, but it was just such a lovely day.

Although we come home in just a couple of weeks, I’m having such a wonderful time in Indonesia. I feel liberated; we’ve had this glorious break from life giving us time to completely reset, and believe it or not I’ve never felt more ready to get my adult life properly started. I’ve been reading lots of inspiring books, and I’m definitely excited to have a steady income and routine back. I’m feeling content and ready for life.

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