We arrived on Gili Trawangan just over a week ago now. The Gili’s are 3 islands off Lombok, and we’re starting on the bigger island, also known as the party island. I came here a couple years ago and even in that short time it seems to have really grown, there must be nearly twice as many restaurants and bars. Although it’s a big party place and still popular with holidaying Australians, it’s much nicer than being in Kuta as it has an ‘island’ vibe. We arrived on the island after a pretty rough boat trip from Bali and settled into our room at Coral voice.
I assume this is the sort of place people picture when I tell them I’m backpacking Bali. Beautiful beaches, wooden shacks bars serving cold beer, local food stalls, hammocks to watch the sunset on, acoustic reggae bands and a village mosque with its constant songs of prayer that fill the island. Catch it in the right moment and it really does feel like paradise. And then there’s the occasional moment when you’re walking down the main strip and there’s a drunk Aussie in a feather headdress, and every local you pass is trying to sell you magic mushrooms. That’s when you realise how this island is purely designed for tourists.
As you can probably imagine we have spent our days relaxing on the beach, reading books, listening to music and working on our tans. Evenings have been spent enjoying food at the local market or a beachside barbecue restaurant followed by some Bintang’s or cocktails in the many island bars. I know there’s lots of family reading, so I will spare you any drunken details!
One day we were feeling a little adventurous and hired bikes so we could cycle round the whole island and see what we were missing. Apparently it takes an hour and a half to cycle the island, however it was very hot so we took our time to enjoy a few stops en route. It was a lovely bit of exercise and chance to see the quieter areas of the island, inland where the locals live, and the baby turtles at the turtle sanctuary. Cycling in 35 degree heat when there is little breeze was very sweaty work. Later we joined the masses in watching the sunset by the famous Gili T swing and taking many photos. So cliche but had to be done!
Next stop, Gili Air for a much needed detox!