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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Gili Islands... day 1 and 2 in Gili Air

We have internet again! :)  Well, we've had it all along, but not quite strong enough to upload blog photos... So, about 4 days ago, we bid farewell to Lombok Island and jumped in the personal car of our homestay  owners and drove 2 1/2 hours to the harbor at a cost of 350,000 rupiah (about $35.00), which was surprisingly only $10.00 more than if we had been shmooshed between 15 backpackers in a van than took almost twice as long to get there!  As you can see, we're doing things a tad bit differently this last time around SE Asia!  We saved a lot of money in Korea and are ready to spend some of it! :)  So, once we got to Gili Air, after taking an 80 cent boat ride over from the harbor in Lombok (AWESOME!), we walked our happy selves about a 1/2 mile to Kaluku Cottages, where we decided to call home!  We would have paid the $2.00 for a horse driven carriage if we knew it was that far, but such is life.  Kaluku originally quoted us $40.00 a night when they showed us the room, but we got them down to $30.  Thanks for the negotiating skills, dad!

I fell in love with the outdoor bathroom and shower! :) 

.... The pool wasn't a bad extra though! :)  We've actually NEVER stayed at a place with a pool while traveling SE Asia!  I'm feeling a bit spoiled this trip!  But, after playing bank this morning, I realized we're only spending $50 a day, on average.  That includes accommodation  transportation, food, drinks, rentals and any sort of day trips we've done!  Can't beat prices like that!

... and the free breakfast, while laying on the hammock next to the beach wasn't bad either!

The beaches in Gili Air are filled with coral and beautiful shells!  I'm one lucky girl to have married a guy who doesn't mind searching for shells with me!

There aren't many ways to get around this tiny island.  You've got a horse drawn carriage, which runs you about $4.00...

... your own two feet or a rented bike! We went with the rented bike option and paid $2.50 for a full day!

Having the bikes gave us a good chance to explore the beaches and local town (in the middle of the island).  I actually felt like a kid learning to ride a bike all over again for the first 30 minutes or so.  

It'd been over 4 years since I'd even ridden a bike, and attempting to do it through thick sand pathways (not shown above) is not really a great way to start! We were falling all over the place!  But it was all worth the journey to see palm tree lined cow fields and adorable local island kids playing in the street!

We got over to Chill Our Restaurant just in time to watch the sun set and the sky to fill with purple and pink! A Margherita pizza was in order for dinner tonight to go with our, well, margarita drinks for happy hour! 

The kitty's come out as soon as the food is placed on the table around here. (There are no dogs on the island. Apparently Muhammad stated that the company of dogs voids a portion of Muslim's good deeds and since this is a Muslim Island, there are only kittys, which is fine with me!)

See why we love this place so much?!

We stayed here for quite a while and then rode our happy little selves, 10 minutes in the dark, back to our bungalow at Kaluku and watched a little Nat Geo on TV while the storm passed overhead.  The last two days around here have been a mix of boring (I can get easily bored... working on that), refreshing, indulgent, exciting, scary and adventurous.  So happy we decided to come back to this little gem of Indonesia!