Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 41 - Uncharted Waters

I can't think straight. I can't process a thought in a reasonable amount of time.  I'm sweating pure alcohol and running on 3 hours sleep.

Today is the day of my snorkelling trip.  It's not entirely convenient that I'm doing it the morning after another one of Gili T's notorious island parties.  The location of my demise this time was at Rudy's, a bar on the island infamous for offering magic mushrooms in every dish on the menu.  Again, the local spirits were my poison of choice.  But last night's party was bigger than Wednesday's.  And I think I know why.

Gili T was plagued with thunderstorms yesterday, my original day to go snorkeling. The weather was so bad the trip was cancelled. Activities all around the island met the same fate, and hence, the internet cafes were full and the beach was empty.  Everyone had nothing to do.  So after a day of sitting around, reading books and surfing the net, everyone on the island had a whole load of pent up energy.  Myself definitely included.  We dispelled this energy dancing the night away to the US Top 40 Chart from November 2010 (or so it seemed), getting wet in the pouring rain and watching the lighting light up the night sky.  Walking home at 4am, escorted by a rather cute Irish guy, the streets were so flooded, I thought we might have to swim part of the way.

So armed with two nescafe lattes in-a-can, and an enormous desire to get in the water, I, along with some 50 people piled into the glass bottom snorkelling boat. We made our way out to our first stop, which was a couple hundred metres off the shore of the neighbouring island Gili Meno. We all jumped into the cool, clear water and promptly forgot all about our supposed hangovers.  The conditions were perfect for snorkeling. The sun was shining, the water was crystal clear and with gentle rocking currents.  The biggest attraction at this stop was the abundance of neon coloured fish, and the bright yellow coral which seemed to catch my eye no matter where they wandered.  The second stop was somewhere between Gili Meno and Gili Air, where we were able to go quite deep, and see some turtles. Unfortunately the one I laid eyes on was fast asleep (the lazy bastard!), but was amazing to gaze upon regardless.  At the third stop, just off the shore of Gili Air, we explored a coral reef that was very shallow, so duck diving and holding our breath was not required.  Again, the neon yellow coral was prominent, but was also joined by brillant blues, oranges and greens.

After getting our fill of sunshine, water, amazing sights and stories, our bellies were grumbling. Next stop: lunch.  We ate at a gorgeous little restaurant on Gili Air, the smallest of the three Gili Islands, where I immensely enjoyed the Indonesian favourite, Ayum Sate (or Chicken Satay), and washed it down with fresh watermelon juice.  What is it about being on an almost deserted tropical island that makes everything taste amazing?

It wasn't all fun and games though.  On the boat ride back to Gili Trawangan, it was clear my hungover mind had made one disastrous mistake; I wasn't wearing any sunscreen, and I hadn't applied any all day. Shit, I'm going to pay for that later.

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