Sunday, May 8, 2011

Day 36 - Relax!

Today has been amazing. Really just because I'm so taken with my current location.  Swimming just off shore, surrounded by tropical islands, and misty unexplored mountains as the backdrop.

I spent the day hopping between the ocean and the swimming pool, and just generally lazing around in the sun. It was amazing, I've definitely missed having the ability to swim in the ocean.  I haven't swam in the ocean since we left the Perhentian islands, and that was far too long ago.  We did briefly visit the beach in Kuta, but the currents were too dangerous for swimming, and the extremely persistent hawkers made the visit altogether unpleasant.  Gili T is vastly different in comparison.  There were no hawkers to be seen (other than a lone man selling ice-creams, but an annoying hawker he was not), and the ocean had just gentle ripples from passing boats.  The water really is perfect here.  I think the salt levels must be high, because I found it far too easy to just lose myself floating on my back and looking up at the sky.  The sand here is white too, another thing that Kuta lacked, and I don't mean Kuta's sand is slightly yellow, it is black, and too often littered with rubbish.

Gili T is not like I expected.  I guess I expected it would be exactly like the Perhentian islands, which were pristine, and had barely any structures at all. Just a handful of bars and restaurants, a large choice of places to stay, and the odd place offering diving and snorkelling packages.  Gili T is much more inhabited.  There are hundreds of places to stay, there are hundreds of restaurants to choose from. There are hundreds of people and hundreds of dive shops.  There isn't any motorised transport (after Kuta, thank god!), but there are plenty of bicycles, and a handful of horse drawn carts.  It is just generally busier. But I am absolutely loving it here.  If I only have one calling in life, then it is swimming and lazing in the sun. I must have been a mermaid or a dolphin in a past life, there is something about the ocean that just calms my soul and warms my heart.

Last night I met some fun people. I met Hannah and John, a sister and brother, from London, who were in Indonesia for just 3 weeks (on holiday). Unfortunately it was their last night on the island.  They introduced me to Simon and Angie, another brother-sister team, this time from Scotland.  Angie was a lawyer, and is now a backpacker, she has been travelling for a year now, and has no sign of stopping. She said she will simply stop when she has had enough. Lucky her! I said I would stop when my bank account is empty.  Simon was just visiting Angie on her travels, whilst on his holiday.  They introduced me to Aaron from Norway, who was travelling through Australia and Indonesia before he has to do his uni exams.  He said there was no better place to procrastonate studying than on a tropical island on the other side of the world. I couldn't agree more.  We all had a lovely dinner at a seaside restaurant called Scalywags, where you pick your meat or fish (from a selection on ice), and then they BBQ it for you.  We followed this with drinks at the Irish bar, which was of course on the beach as well, where we had beers and cocktails and shared experiences from our various walks of life.  I couldn't have really asked for a better start to my time on Gili T, the island that has truly stolen my heart.

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