The Gili Islands were at the top of the list after being recommended by so many people. My main goal was to get to Gili Air (another Josi recommendation) but the Haas group was going from Bali to Gili Trawangan (Gili T) so we joined them for one night in Gili T.
We all took an early boat over together. The boat was miserably hot so I enjoyed some fresh air up top with Bernie, and we had a lovely ride. After we dropped our stuff at the house and had a fairly satisfying Mexican lunch we lounged on the pretty white beach for the afternoon. Some people ordered drinks and we bobbed in the salty warm water. It was the calm before the night.
Gili T has a party reputation and it was Friday night. Plus there was another Haas group on the island who we were going to unite with. So when 6:30 came around the tank tops were on and we were on our way to town ready for the night to start. With a casual 14 person happy hour.
From drinks to dinner the group ebbed and flowed in numbers. All that mattered to me was that this was my last night with Amanda, so we got in some final catching up conversation over dinner. We all made it to Sama Sama for a great reggae dancealong party and wandered down the street bar hopping as the music preferences changed. The other group, while nice, did not stick together like the group we had come to know and love. Eventually it was back to just us finishing out the night. One bar actually turned off the music, signaling time to go, so Bernie found another bar that was still going for a final hurrah. As we went to leave the rain started so we quickly made our way home before the downpour started. It was a full night of Gili T action, and just like Kuta I felt happy to have seen it and that one night was enough.
The next day we had to say bye to our new Haas friends; they were staying on Gili T and we were going to Gili Air. We decided to transfer islands in the most fun way we heard how: do a day snorkeling trip and when the boat stops at Gili Air for lunch Kara and I just stay on that island instead of getting back on the boat.
The day started out fun enough; we piled into a glass bottom boat, with the ample coral visible from our seats. The first stop was fantastic snorkeling. There was tons of coral stretching for ages and fish all around us. The second spot though was pretty miserable. It was supposedly where the turtles hung out, but when we got in the water we couldn’t see anything. I could barely see more than a foot in front of my face. We had a guide with us who basically took us on a fast swim through the ocean searching for turtles; it was more exercise than relaxing. We all got pretty fed up at the same time and stopped swimming. The boat picked us up.
The weather started to echo the mood on the boat: hungover. It was time to make our way to Gili Air for lunch and the waves started to pick up. Our guide made a joke about a tsunami. No one laughed. When we reached shore we were relieved. Everyone got off and it was just up to me and Kara to grab all our stuff. I threw my big bag on my back and looked up in time to see a huge wave come crashing over the front of the boat and hit me straight on. Everything. Wet. Good thing I’d thought to put my rain shield on my backpack before we left or it really would’ve been soaked. I turned to Kara and told her to run off the boat, another was coming. I followed as soon as I could. How did it all go so bad so fast?
We ate a final lunch with the Haas group and said our goodbyes. It was great to be with a group of friends for a few days. I was happily impressed with Amanda and her friends; not like I should have been, of course they were going to be smart, fun, friendly, genuine people, but I had such a good time getting to know them all over those few days in addition to the joy of hanging out with one of my closest friends.
Hugs all around and hopefully see you at Berkeley’s and that was it. They went back to Gili T to nurse their hangovers and Kara and I set off walking down the one road of Gili Air hoping to find somewhere to sleep that night.