Our next stop on the big adventure was Gili Meno! The Gili islands are three tiny desert island just off the coast of Lombok you can only really appreciate what they look like if you see an aerial photo so I pinched one off google for you and posted it below! They are so quiet and beautiful and no motorised vehicles or dogs are allowed!
We were picked up from Jimbaran early in the morning by a company called Gili Getaways they operate a fast boat service to the Gilis. We got a speed boat that took around 2 hours across to the main Gili island called Gili Trawangan, this is the main party island. The trip across was lovely and comfortable and they even put a film on for us, gave us drinks and cold cloths as it’s very hot! You can get a ferry across here but it takes ages and we wanted to pay a bit more and make the most of our time.
From Gili Trawangan we then had to get a smaller boat across to Gili Meno where we were staying, spending an hour on Gili T made me glad we weren’t staying it was packed and so busy! The boat across to Gili Meno was funny as they packed as many of us as they could onto the boat, and then as we got to shore we have to transfer onto a tender and then jump ashore, it was hilarious the whole thing was like total wipeout! Gili Meno is beautiful and the quietest and most calm of all the islands, they all have separate attractions even though they are so close together- Gili T is party (the big one), Meno is calm and romantic (the middle one) and Air is the cultural island (the one closest to Lombok).
We headed to our accommodation on Gili Meno which turned out to the amusement of a few locals we asked, to have been closed for two years! We do not know what happened we booked it through Booking.com and all seemed OK, it wasn’t an issue though as we found somewhere else to stay within 10 minutes that actually looked nicer! I stayed very calm too which is unusual for me I think I’m getting the hang of this calm spontaneous traveller malarkey! Our accommodation is in a hut style with an outdoor enclosed bathroom just no roof, which was really cool as when you are having a shower and look up you can see coconut trees!
We headed for lunch after this on this beautiful platform over the waves and had Indonesian curry it was so good! The island is beautiful just golden sand and turquoise water, very relaxing and such a small island. After lunch we just chilled in the afternoon got changed and headed to the other side of the island a small walk though dirt roads in the centre of the island. The other side of the island was even calmer and we had an amazing meal as the sun went down. We decided to go back to the other side of the island after this as it had gone dark, there and no street lights and there was a storm lots of lightening but no thunder.
We had a drink at the other side of the island in this lovely little platforms that a raised off the ground with roofs and cushions and tables they are so cosy and I nearly fell asleep listening to the sea.
Gili Meno is known for having lots of turtles so after breakfast the next day we hired some snorkelling stuff and tried to find some to no avail! The fish were cool though but the coral was very bleached. We went back for a shower after a few hours snorkelling as I hate sand – I know a traveller who hates sand (a bit like my hatred of eggs when my dad used to be a chicken farmer). We then went for lunch in another of the beach huts which was so relaxing and we researched turtle viewing trips! We spent the first half of the afternoon in the hut reading and drinking watermelon juice. We booked a turtle tour for the following day with a local called Ali Baba who said if we didn’t see turtles we would get our money back!
At around 3 we wandered to the saltwater lake and made the epic journey of 20 minutes (it was epic in the heat) across the island to Diana’s Cafe! It was so cool the whole place was on the sand made from drift wood with high platforms and shells and coral strung around. We had a Sprite then trekked back!
The next day Alibaba’s tour did not disappoint he took about 25 of us out on his glass bottomed boat in search of turtles. At the first place we snorkelled there wasn’t much coral as the water was deeper but we saw 3 turtles! They were amazing especially when they swam up close to you they were beautiful. We moved on and swam at the Gili Meno coral wall and coral garden the coral was a lot more colourful here but still not as bright as the Great Barrier Reef (how lucky are we to have done both?). The coral had some neon yellows and blues and loads of colourful fish. We saw 4 more turtles here also, one swam from the bottom of the coral right up to the surface for air and then back down it was amazing. I cannot believe we saw 7 of them it was so special.
The only bad thing about it was I kept getting stung by something really bad on my arms and legs even my face a times and when we got back on the boat a few others had too. The guide called them mosquitos of the sea as he didn’t know the English for them but some people said they were tiny jellyfish and come sea lice. I still don’t know what they were!
The last stop on the tour was a ship wreck that was also really cool to see. It is a 30m long WWII wreck just off the coast and it is now covered in coral. I have stolen some more photos off google of the turtles and the wreck. They look exactly like what we saw, I don’t take any credit for them just wanted you to see what we saw.
After we checked out of the hotel and sat eating lunch before we board the boat to the next paradise island! We are 2 weeks into our trip now only 5 more to go!