12th – 19th June 2016
Our boat from Padangbai to Gili T took around 2 hours and was a fairly smooth crossing! Before we arrived we stopped at Lombok and Gili Air to drop a few people off and then before we knew it it was our turn to pull into paradise…
Pulling into Gili T we were all so excited, we knew it was supposed to be beautiful but this was on another level, we couldn’t wait to ditch our bags and hit the beach! As there is no transport allowed on the island, only horse and cart, we had a hot sweaty walk to our hotel ‘Bale Sampon’ but it was soon forgotten about when minutes after checking in we were lying on the beach just steps away from the hotel. That evening we went for a few drinks before finding a lovely little restaurant right on the beach.
If I’m honest the rest of our week is a bit of a blur as we really did unwind, relax and sunbath to the max but I will try my best to remember it all as we also did a lot of fun exciting things!
Monday, our first full day in Gili was spent on the beach sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling (we saw a turtle!). Me and Daniel also went for a walk and found a dive shop and booked ourselves onto a dive for the next day and also Mum as an early birthday present! That evening we found the most amazing restaurant ever called Egoiste, the food was amazing! It’s a little more expensive than some places but if you find yourself in Gili T you HAVE to try it. Alan and Janet decided to try a fish platter for 2 and oh my god it was massive, it could easily have been shared between 4 or 5! We all tried a little bit and it was amazing but there was just so much!
Tuesday was the day of our dive – we took mum up to the dive shop so that she could practice in the pool for the morning and learn the basics! The rest of us spent the morning on the beach and when mum came back around 12 we had a quick lunch before the three of us headed back to the dive shop to go out on the boat. Our dive at Manta point was really cool and we saw loads of fish as well as two turtles!! We all had a really good time especially mum who loved it and was really good!! We were impressed!
Wednesday morning me, Mum and Janet decided to get up early to see the sunrise and it did not disappoint (we ended up doing it three days in a row)! It was so beautiful and in the distance you could see Mt Rinjani on Lombok. We spent yet another morning on the beach – such a hard life I know, before setting off for our boat trip at 1! We booked an afternoons glass bottom boat trip round Gili T, Gili Meno and Gili Air with three stops for snorkelling and another stop on Gili Air for lunch. The first snorkelling spot was at Bounty Wreck and although we didn’t actually see the wreck the fish and corals were amazing, probably the best snorkelling site I’ve ever been too! The next was supposed to be Turtle Heaven but because of the waves we couldn’t get close enough. There wasn’t really much to see where we stopped but it was still fun to be in the water. After this we were supposed to stop at Fish Gardens but instead we stopped for lunch on Gili Air. After lunch we stopped at House Reef just off of Gili T where there are some artificial corals. At one point Alan started shouting to us that he had seen a stingray – everyone came swimming over and then he called out ‘oh wait don’t worry it’s a plastic bag’ none of us could stop laughing it was so funny.
The next morning me, Mum and Alison were up early for yet another beautiful sunrise before going to the beach for the morning. At 1 we had all planned to go for a bike ride around the island, however, after many adjustments to the bikes it was more like 2 before we finally set off! Shortly after setting off we stopped at a restaurant for lunch and sat out in a hut on stilts over the sea which was pretty cool. The rest of the afternoon was spent cycling around this island stopping along the way to take photos. We also stopped at the sister hotel to where we were staying for a drink. It was such a lovely afternoon and we all had a lot of fun (well I did anyway!) When we got back to the hotel me, Mum, Alison and Janet decided to have a ride down some of the roads behind our hotel and we definitely saw a difference – it was much less touristy as its obviously where all the locals live but it was also a lot more rundown and poor (in my opinion). That evening we went for food before going for a few drinks in a bar nearby, it was a lovely evening.
Friday morning we were up early again for another sunrise! Unbeknown to Mum me and Alan had planned a little supprise for her Friday evening. We had booked a table at our sister hotel on the other side of the island and they were going to be decorating it with flowers and candles. We spent a lovely day on the beach before going back to the hotel and getting ready. At 5 we all got in the horse and carts (horrible experience 😂) which I hated as the horses were so small and I just felt we were way too heavy for them (turns out it was fine and they are also really well looked after) and made our way round to Gili Teak. Even when we arrived and were shown to our table Mum still didn’t clock on she thought they had got the wrong people! Eventually she realised and was really suprised and happy! We got to watch the sunset before sitting down at our table on the beach for dinner which was amazing. After dinner we headed back round to our side of the island and found a bar to go in for a few drinks. Alan being Alan was joking around with one of the waiters and told him it was Mums birthday and that she wanted a hug from all of them. Before we knew it the guy singing in the bar had started singing happy birthday and then all the waiters came out singing and with a cake and shot for Mum! It was such a lovely evening and we all had such a good time.
Saturday morning was Mum’s actual birthday so we all went down for breakfast and gave her her cards and presents. The day we arrived I had spotted on the menu that they make birthday cakes so straight away ordered one which they then brought out after breakfast and we all sang happy birthday. We spent the rest of the day on the beach enjoying the sun, doing a bit of snorkelling and a whole load of nothing else! For our last meal on Gili T we decided to go back to Egoiste as we had had such a nice meal there earlier in the week.
We arrived back at Sanur harbour around 2ish after the worst boat journey of my life and jumped into a taxi over to Seminyak, which I will tell you about in my next post!
I’ve also just realised that at the beginning of my post I said that everything was a bit of a blur and that I couldn’t remember much – well that’s the biggest lie I’ve ever told as this is my longest post to date! The only things that I can’t remember are names of the restaurants we ate in and bars we drank in but who cares about that! One more thing to add is that we were in Gili T during Ramadan which on the whole was no problem (well Mum and Alison might disagree as they were woken up nearly every morning by the call to prayer!) but it did mean the night life was very quiet and a lot of bars shut very early so if you are looking to be going out a lot you should find out the dates of Ramadan beforehand. However, we did go to bars each evening and have a lovely time but it wasn’t wild!
We had such an incredible time both in Bali and Gili T, they truly are both such special places and the time spent there will always remain some of the best memories that I have since leaving home back in March. I’m so glad that I got to share the experience with everyone especially Mum as it was a holiday of a lifetime.