lovina (part 1)

Posted in bali, indonesia, lovina by moonwire on June 30, 2009

I left Ubud on Wednesday morning to go up to North Bali, Lovina Beach to be precise. Lovina is located about 10 km west of Bali’s second largest city, Singaraja. Though the drive was long, almost 4 hours (for 40 kilometres) and mostly through tiny villages and rice paddies, all this in a bumpy mini bus, it was stunning. Originally I wanted to make a stop in Bedugul to see  Mount and Lake Bratan, but when I got there, I was glad I hadn’t. It was definitely chilly up there. Though the scenery was stunning, there wouldn’t be any swimming in the lake. So we kept on going through the mountains, seeing many monkeys, driving through the clouds til we finally hit Singaraja. Then finally, after we drove through the city, the road was actually quite decent and the last 10 kilometres were a breeze.

I had booked a hotel from Sanur already, the Angsoka, which I found quickly. This town is so small, it really only consists of a few streets. There’s quite a few restaurants and hotels, but they are all pretty empty.

So, someone from the hotel took me to my room. I had to laugh a little because this hotel has some really nice bungalows and rooms and there was just one rice barn style bird cage. The bird cage was mine. For 5 bucks a night, I didn’t expect much, but it’s actually really cute. It’s about 2 by 2 metres. There’s a double bed and one little table, a fan and that’s it. In the back I have a tiny little patio with one (quite comfy) chair and a table. My bathroom is right next to it on the ground floor. It’s almost as big as my room, though I wish it was as nice. There’s only cold water, a flushing toilet (which I didn’t expect) , a mandi (a big bucket with a scoop to clean yourself after you do your business. They gave me a bog roll as well, but I’ve grown to love the mandi since I visited  Gili Meno.

My bird cage bungalow.

The pool is fabulous. Especially at night, when the underwater lights are on and nobody is there. I make great use of it. Especially since the beach isn’t all that appealing for sunbathing and swimming. When the tide is low, it’s very hard to swim and because the beach is made up from grey-ish black volcanic sand, it gets incredibly hot. I like walking on it. I just don’t like to go swimming there. There’s also too many people wanting to sell you all kinds of crap. From sarongs and clothing to bracelets and dolphin tours (dolphin ‘hunting’ is the big tourist thing here).

The Dolphin Monument at Lovina Beach.

So I basically spend my time at the pool; reading and swimming, going for walks before and after lunch and going back to the pool in the afternoon again. Then get some dinner, then back to the pool for some more swimming and the occasional Bintang.

I like it a lot here. It’s really chilled out and relaxed. No free wifi anywhere, though. You gotta buy pre-paid cards and the connection is flaky and it’s relatively expensive. I have decided I’m gonna stay here til I’m really bored of it though going to another beach town in Bali will be the same kind of deal.

There’s a lot of little warungs here with cheap, authentic food. That’s where the locals eat. I eat there, too. There’s usually just one big table and you just sit down. A dish like nasi goreng (fried rice with a fried egg and prawn crackers) is only about a dollar. And I’m pretty sure the dollar is only because I’m a tourist and therefore, chances are that I get over charged. It still amazes me that you can live here on 10 bucks a day, including a large beer.

Doing great here.  The sun always shines. The water in the pool is fresh and warm.  I have a nice tan. I’m happy here. The only problem is mosquitos. I wear long pants and long sleeves at night. Luckily it actually gets quite chilly here after the sun goes down.

Rice paddies off the main street in Lovina.

As for the food… never thought I’d say it, but I’m getting bored with nasi goreng and gado gado. Not that I don’t like it, but there’s not a lot variety.  However, just around the corner there’s a fabulous Thai restaurant,  Jasmine Kitchen run by a small group of very nice women. They have the big cushions and the low tables and they always play chill out tunes and there’s cats running around. I seriously had one of the best curries ever there. Their pad thai is also excellent. They also serve some really good Illy coffee and they always have the Jakarta post.  The service is immaculate and oh, they serve ginger tea with big pieces of real ginger (60 cents for a big pot). That place is a little gem, and because it’s in an alley and not on one of the main streets, it’s never busy (then again, the only place I’ve seen busy is the Sea Breeze Cafe. Though its location, right on the beach is fantastic, the food is pricy and mediocre.

‘Kuching kecil’ at Jasmine Kitchen.

In the next instalment of my exciting life here I’ll tell about the Balinese cooking class I took 🙂

Tagged with: , ,

Comments Off on lovina (part 1)


Posted in bali, indonesia, ubud by moonwire on June 23, 2009

I left Sanur on Sunday morning in order to go Ubud for a few days. The bus ride, about one hour, was beautiful. I did not have a room booked in advance, so after I got off the bus, near the Sacred Monkey Forest, I walked up Monkey Forest road and the first person who asked offered a room for 88,000 IDR, which is about 9 USD a night. I didn’t expect much, cause I had been used to paying at least double that, but when we got to the room, it was actually really nice. Big bamboo bed, wooden floors, big bathroom with a hot water shower, a private balcony with 2 chairs and a table and brekkie included (delivered to my patio).

So I took the room and I settled myself on the balcony with a book and felt all relaxed til I heard this kerfuffle in the tree in front of my balcony. There was this monkey sitting in it, looking at me. I actually felt a little scared (you know me and wildlife). Just a minute later, another one joined. Then I looked around and I saw all kinds of macaques sitting on the rooftops. I didn’t realise I had chosen a room that close to the Monkey Forest but it’s been great entertainment so far.

Kind of hard to see through a 28mm lens, but this is what I’m looking out on. In the mornings and late afternoons, the roof is filled with monkeys.

So here I am in Ubud. Only 3 days and I’m done with it already. It’s too busy. Too touristy.  The sidewalks are narrow and often broken up. Try moving along with the Japanese girls wearing their stupid umbrellas. Luckily, where I am is a good location. It’s at the end of the road, so it’s not so busy and there’s some really good restaurants just a 5 minute walk up the hill. I like my room a lot but that’s about it and I’ve managed to steal a wonky signal from the mediocre coffee shop across the road. There just isn’t all that much to see or do here, other than shopping (which I don’t do), eating (which I try not to do too much) and going for walks through the rice paddies (for which it is way too hot after 10 AM).

Another, probably rabid, stray dog in the Ubud market place.

Rice paddies in the middle of Ubud.

I did go into the Monkey Forest, but honestly, this was a big disappointment. It’s really a very small area, and though there’s some beautiful spots, the monkeys tend to congregate around the entrances where the people with the bananas come in. However, it was a lot of fun to watch those little bastards jumping on people’s backs when they smelled there were bananas hidden in the bags. They were quite aggressive about it, too. One wouldn’t let a woman go til she had given the monkey all her bananas. Only when he had devoured all of them, would he go away, probably looking for an other victim to rob.

I had already heard that these sweet looking creatures aren’t so sweet when they want your food so I hadn’t bought any for them. I also did go for a short walk out in the paddies, but the sun was too hot for my liking (it was also around noon, not a good time).

I basically spent a good amount of time on my balcony reading books and watching the monkeys. At night I did enjoy walking up and down the road as the day tourists were gone, the traffic was much lighter and it was actually a pretty chilled out place. But during the day… not so much.

I’m off to North Bali, to Lovina. It should be a lovely (and probably long) drive through the hills, which will also give me an idea if I want to go to Bedogul, close to Danau Bratan, volcano lakes. But secretly I hope that I will love it enough in Lovina to stay there for at least a week. After that, I might go back to the South of Bali and spend some time in Padangbai til I catch my flight out. We’ll see.

From what I understand, Lovina is a pretty laidback place but I’d be surprised if I found any wireless there. I know there is an internet café, so I’ll try to stay in touch as much as I can.

Tagged with: , ,

Comments Off on ubud


Posted in bali, indonesia, sanur by moonwire on June 20, 2009

This is now my third time that I’ve entered Bali and this feeling of happiness hasn’t faded one bit as soon as I smell the air. Because Bali is Hindu and the ritual of the offerings (baskets made out of woven leaves, filled with rice, flowers, crackers and incense)  is very important, you’ll see and smell those little offerings everywhere. The dogs must be happy here, because on numerous occasions I’ve seen those manky little things rummaging through the baskets to get the crackers out. The Balinese don’t mind. To them, the gods have already received the offering, what’s left is just… left.

The Balinese are such beautiful people. Despite the poverty (and it’s hard to imagine when you spend time at lovely places surrounded by palm trees, flowers and swimming pools, the reality is that many live on $150 a month or even less), they move with so much grace, always smiling, polite and well dressed.

I got to the airport late at night and had already booked my hotel in advance. No matter how much I liked Legian, I wanted something a bit more quiet. Well, more quiet I got. I’m in Sanur, on the coast opposite of  Kuta/Legian, only a 20 minute ride from the airport. Lonely Planet has given it the moniker ‘snore’ and it’s right on. It’s very sleepy. Most tourists here are couples in their 40s and up. No partying at night, actually nothing going on at night, at all. It suits me fine.

I have a lovely room at the Swastika Bungalows, right off the main street. I have an outdoors bathroom with a tub/shower, a separate cold water shower, sink and toilet and a private patio with 2 chairs and a table. Though the room itself isn’t as charming as my gecko bungalow in Gili Meno, it’s big, comfy and kept very clean. Their ‘library’ even amazed me. I found a book by one of the most popular Indonesian writers, Pramoedya Ananta Toer. They had several books I was interested in, but okay, you take one, you leave one.

I don’t have much to write because I’ not doing much. I basically spend my morning at the pool, then go for lunch (and I’ve had some of the best Indo food here so far; satay ayam (bbq’d chicken on bamboo skewers), with rice cakes and veggies, served with peanut sauce and super delicious kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) with fresh hot chillies in it. Another good one was at an organic restaurant; a chickpea pizza with tomato and arugula. Not to mention the ‘nasi campur’ I had, from a little warung (stall with a few tables). I’m eating really well here and it’s yummy. The portions are generally small (according to American standards), which is perfect. I’ve lost a good amount of weight here, without depriving myself of anything.

Kids holding a kitten I found in the street.

After lunch I go to the beach, hang out for a while, or go for a walk. The beach in Sanur is great. In certain places even better than in Legian/Seminyak. However, swimming sucks in almost all places. If the tide is low, there’s barely any swimming possible as there’s the reef. In high tide, you can go about waist deep, because the reef is still there. There’s no waves. Nothing going on. Luckily, the Swastika Bungalows has 2 pools and it’s really nice. Not many people go ever in there, and the water is not heavily chlorinated and it gets warm as soon as the sun hits it.

I’m afraid there’s no stories to tell (or photos to show, as the only time I actually intended on taking some, I discovered I didn’t have an SD card in my camera). I am really just chilling out and enjoying every single bit of it. I’m off to Ubud tomorrow. I booked a flight out of Bali for July 11 so I’ll still have lots of time here. Tomorrow morning I’m leaving for Ubud, stay there for a day and see if I can get into the mountains easily, if not, I’ll continue on to the North and spend some time in Singaraja and Lovina. Ahh….This island is magic. And oh yes, I have a tan.

(Sanur: June 15 – June 21)

Tagged with: , ,

Comments Off on sanur

tasmania (part 2)

Posted in australia, tasmania by moonwire on June 16, 2009

Tuesday evening ended with too much wine (very yummy tassie wine) and me crashing at 8.30 pm. Luckily I ended up sleeping well and I woke up with more energy than I could have imagined. We took another long walk on the beach. This time I was wearing my normal shoes rather than Tul’s Uggs so it was a bit easier. It was still very cold and windy but I managed to do this outdoorsy stuff for over a whole hour. Tul laughs at me, cause she’s one of those very active and energetic people (skinny, too. Ugh) and I am totally not. Exercise for me involves a stroll on the beach in warm weather or walking to the bar for a Bintang.

Betul’s dog Reef on the Nine Mile Beach in front of her house in Dolphin Sands.

Anyways, after our walk we got our painting stuff out and we started painting like mad for a few hours. It was a lot of fun and we worked on 6 paintings. They turned out great. We’re going to try to set up an exhibition and sell some of the stuff.

After we were done painting, we headed over to Rick and John, friends of Betul, who live in Swansea. It was a lot of fun. Much wine and food was consumed and we had a blast. Rick is a hyper architect who loves to cook up both dinner and techno tunes. John is a builder who loves to smoke weed and is really chilled out. They are both very smart and very funny. Good times. On a side note, now I’ve finally seen kangaroos. They’re mostly active at dusk and dawn. Forget about dawn, but seeing them hopping away just when the sun was going down was lovely.

Thursday morning we went back to Swansea to catch up on the interwebs and do some grocery shopping. We also stopped in at a little restaurant Betul has done design work for and we got a free lunch. Not just a free lunch. A fantastic lunch. The fries I had there were one of the best I’d ever had. They were fried in some special sort of oil and they tasted really fresh and crispy.

Don’t remember what we did in the afternoon. Betul probably took me out for yet another Nazi walk and we probably painted some more. And painted some more on Friday.

On Friday evening we went back to Rick and John’s for drinks (and paracetamol). They are both so funny and so different. Another great evening. We saw them again on Saturday morning when we went to their building site. Rick designed a fantastic guest house just south of Swansea, called ‘The Lair’. Everything is super modern and super chic and classy  (and super expensive, too). They have been working on it for the last two years and it should be done in a few months. Truly stunning.

Betul and Rick at Trelli’s in Swansea.

After that, we had to pack up and head back to Devonport to catch the overnight boat back to Melbourne.

Tassie was so cool.  Hanging out with Betul after not having seen her for 12 years was even cooler. I’m happy to say nothing has changed.

(Tasmania: June 8 – June 14)

Tagged with: ,

Comments Off on tasmania (part 2)

tasmania (part 1)

Posted in australia, tasmania by moonwire on June 14, 2009

Betul and I took the ferry to Tasmania on Monday night.  Pretty much as soon as we got onto the boat, we had some dinner at the buffet. Of course, Tul filled her plate with healthy shit and I piled on lasagna, curry and all kinds of crap. It was all yummy (except for the curry).

After dinner we had a glass of wine and chilled out a bit, then we went to our little room. Very cute. Two single beds, a little table, bathroom and a window in the room. We chatted a bit more, then went to sleep. Luckily, we had a smooth ride. I slept very well. Though the wake up call was early. Very early.

Anyways, as we had gotten onto the boat as one of the last ones, we got off first. We drove to a little town to get some coffee. Then in the next town, we did some shopping and continued onwards to Betul’s house in Dolphin Sands, on the East coast of Tasmania, in a little bay with a beach called ‘Nine Mile Beach’. It’s pretty much right in between Devonport, where we docked and Hobart, which is on the South side of the island.

The drive was great. The nature here is absolutely stunning. When we got to the house, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had expected it to be great, but this is something else. The house is pretty much a hexagon and the front and sides is all window from floor to ceiling, looking out on the ocean. Downstairs there’s a huge kitchen island/table, a fire place, 2 seating areas, a big table with benches, a bathroom with a huge tub and 2 bedrooms. And a huge deck almost all around it.

I am sleeping upstairs in the loft room (with ensuite bathroom). I am also facing the ocean and there’s a big balcony. Really fantastic.

After lunch, we went for a long walk on the beach (according to Tul, we took a stroll, but for me this was a pretty brisk walk). I came back totally exhausted. We chilled out for a bit, had some food then fired up the fire place and drank wine while the fire kept us warm. A storm came over as well. Lots of rain and wind.
However, it wasn’t a night full of partying. Too much wine and too little sleep the night before made me actually crash at 8.30 pm and I slept like a baby. I only woke up a few times because the house was shaking a bit because of the wind. Luckily the roof stayed on 🙂

Tagged with: ,

Comments Off on tasmania (part 1)


Posted in australia, melbourne by moonwire on June 11, 2009

It was so cool to see Betul again. Hadn’t seen her in 12 years and she still looks the same. We went to her place (gorgeous) in Port Melbourne, then went out for food and drinks. It was still sunny then (but cold; around 15C)  so we sat outside on a patio and had a great time catching up.

The next 3 days we spent in Melbourne, but didn’t do all that much. On Saturday morning we went to the South Melbourne market and bought lots of really yummy food and wine.

In the afternoon we went for a long walk on the beach all the way to St. Kilda and Betul made dinner that night. Yes! I had kangaroo meat. It was delicious. Can’t compare the taste to anything else but it was yummy.

On Sunday we just chilled out for a bit. In the afternoon we went to Betul’s parents, who also live in Melbourne. Great seeing them again. We had a really nice time playing music with her dad, who builds xylophones, playing billiards, eating her mom’s food and just chilling out.

On Monday we went for another beach walk to St. Kilda but it was cold and rainy. To me this was great exercise though so I didn’t feel all too guilty about pigging out at her parents’ place the night before.

Then we loaded up the van with surfboards, painting supplies and all the rest of the stuff in preparation for our stay in Tasmania.

Sorry about the lack of photographs. Just haven’t taken all that many.

Tagged with: ,

Comments Off on melbourne

bye bye indonesia, hello australia

Posted in Uncategorized by moonwire on June 11, 2009

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt about traveling so far is try not to do many things in one day. Being on a boat or on a bus might seem relaxing, but it isn’t always like that. My trip from Bali to the Gili’s was relaxing, so I decided to do a similar thing for the way back.

So, on Thursday morning, I got up at 5 am, left my gecko bungalow at 6 am to catch the sunrise while waiting for my boat to arrive. I was a bit paranoid it wouldn’t show up as Gili Meno was so deserted, but low and behold, it showed up at 6.45. When I say ‘boat’ you must imagine a tiny little motorboat. There’s no pier, so you wade through the water to get in and out.

My first stop was Bangsal, on Lombok’s mainland. Bangsal was not nearly as bad as I had heard it would be. Yes, it was run down, yes, there were some touts, but I got out with fairly little hassle, other than wading up to my thighs through the water, carrying my backpack, but that has become standard practice.

From Bangsal  harbour, it took me about a 15 minute walk to the bus station. The idea was to take the bus to Senggigi, which is only an 18 km ride. Well, the 18 km ride took about 45 minutes. Everything just takes forever. Traffic, winding roads along the cliffs… but the view was stunning. My initial plan also included some time on Lombok’s main land, but I loved Gili Meno so much that I didn’t feel like leaving til I really had to.

In Senggigi I got onto a tiny motor boat once again, which brought me to the bigger Perama boat, which couldn’t dock in Senggigi’s harbour. Climb in, climb out. At least when it comes to Perama, they take care of your luggage so you won’t  have to haul it back and forth. Though I only carry a 32L backpack which weighs about 14 pounds, when it’s really hot and humid, it really wears you out quickly.

The ride back to Bali (4.5 hours) was nice, but the sun was very hot and strong. I think I stayed in the sun just a bit too long (wearing a bandana on my head, mind you). When I got onto the bus in Padangbai, I started to feel a bit nauseous, which only got worse when I arrived in Kuta, the Seventh Circle of Hell. I cannot understand why anybody would want to stay there. So hectic, such narrow streets full with motorbikes with surfboards attached to them . Sheer craziness. The only reason why I was there because that’s where the bus stopped, and it’s super quick and easy to get to the airport. Ngurah Rai airport is listed as ‘Denpasar’ but in fact, the airport is not in Denpasar at all; it’s in Kuta and it’s only about a 10 minute ride.

The madness in Kuta was so bad that I could not take it anymore. I was exhausted, moody and dizzy so I decided to get to the airport early in hopes of finding a bit of peace. And I did. Ngurah Rai is surprisingly comfy. I just chilled out outside with a few sports drinks, which made me feel instantly better. I took a shower and changed and just chilled out while waiting for my flight to Darwin.

Going through security was something I had never seen before, other than in Tel Aviv. My bag got x-rayed 3 times, searched twice, was tested for explosives and I got the ‘pat down’.

First I took a flight to Darwin, then I had a five hour lay-over there. Nothing to do there. Tiny terminal with 11 dollar sandwiches (got a bit of a shock there as I spent less than that on food a day in Indonesia). I was so tired. I crashed on a little couch and slept for a few hours before catching my (packed) flight to Melbourne, where after traveling for 30 hours, I arrived at 1 pm.

Sorry,  no photos. I might have some later.

Tagged with:

Comments Off on bye bye indonesia, hello australia

gili meno (+ gili air)

Posted in gili meno, indonesia, lombok by moonwire on June 7, 2009

I left Gili Trawangan on Wednesday morning to take the island hopping boat to Gili Meno. I had booked  a room online at the Tao Kombo, but when I got here, they hadn’t read their email, yet. I soon understood why. There’s only one internet place on the island. It’s right inland, very small and the connection is horribly slow.

Anyway, the room I had booked, a sleeping platform (beruga) with bamboo blinds, basically, was not available. But there was a bungalow I could take if I wanted to. Strangely enough, the bungalow was the same price I expected to pay for the beruga, as I had to pay for 2 people even if I only needed space for myself. The bungalow is wonderful. It has a fairly large room with a queen size bed, mosquito net, a shelving unit, a little table with a lamp, a fan and the bathroom is in the back. Open! Really cool. It is very hippy-ish.

There’s also a gecko in the room. When I first saw her, I completely freaked out. I had been to the Tao Kombo bar and had had 2 Bintangs and I felt slightly tipsy. I had to go to the bathroom and as soon as I turned on the light, there were a bunch of little frogs jumping up and down, trying to make their way out. When I came back to the room, I saw this huge lizard on the wall. She’s about 20 cms long. I didn’t know what to do, but I was so freaked out, I went to the bar and said there’s a gecko in my room. They all laughed at me freaking out. She lives here and is apparently a sign for good luck.

I see her now and again. Usually not during the day, but at night she’s here. Though one morning she was on the wall very close to me and woke me up with her very loud barking. I must admit, it was slightly unsettling but I’ve grown to like her. I even bought a little necklace with a gecko, for good luck.

I haven’t done much here in Gili Meno. The Tao Kombo compound is wonderfully secluded in the jungle. It’s about a  300 meter walk to a very good beach but it’s lovely hearing all the birds and chickens that run freely here. There’s 5 bungalows and a few berugas scattered around a large garden and there’s a great bar with mellow tunes at night.

This place is so very different from Trawangan. It’s not at all built up. There’s one general store where you can buy pretty much all you need, but there’s no swanky restaurants, bars or clubs. There’s nothing going on here and it’s great. I took a walk all around the island a few times now and there’s long stretches of beach with nobody there. There’s little ‘warung’ (very basic little restaurants) scattered all along the coast, but mainly the east side, where I am.. I’ve had some really great food here; gado gado (veggies in peanut sauce), nasi and bami goring, a local dish with veggies in coconut milk (forgot the name). Very cheap, too. Today, my lunch (the local dish with rice) cost me less than $1.50. There’s lots of cool, cheap places to eat here. Most of them serve Indonesian food  and a few western dishes. I was surprised to see that French fries with mayo is often on the menu here.

I have decided to stay here til I have to go back to Bali on Thursday. I will take a daytrip to Gili Air (the last of the three ‘Gilis’) but won’t spend the night there. I love Meno so much, especially because it is so super chilled out. The people are nice and it’s way less commercialized than Trawangan. But I guess maybe 10 or 15 years ago, Trawangan must have been like this.

So really, no adventures from here. I basically eat, sleep, drink and chill out on the beach here. That’s all there is to do. Wonderful.

(gili meno: may 27 – june 4)

Tagged with: , ,

Comments Off on gili meno (+ gili air)

gili trawangan

Posted in gili trawangan, indonesia by moonwire on June 6, 2009

I left Legian at around 9 AM on Monday, and I took a taxi to the Perama office in Kuta from where I took a bus to Padangbai, in order to take the ferry to Gili Trawangan.

The bus ride took over 2 hours because from Kuta went to Sanur, Ubud then Padangbai. It was one of those tiny buses, comparable to a small school bus. Initially, there were only a few people on board but it filled up entirely in Ubud. The girl sitting next to me was Stacey from San Francisco. She had moved to Ubud 3 months ago and was planning on staying another 6. We had a nice talk.

Stacey on the Perama boat to Trawangan.

Then in Padangbai we had to get on a tiny little motorboat and for a moment I was afraid we’re gonna have to take that all the way to Trawangan, which is a 4 hour ride. Thankfully no, they took us to a fairly large and comfy Perama boat, which couldn’t dock at Padangbai harbour.

Bali coast, as seen from the boat to the Gili islands.

The ride was great. It wasn’t busy on the boat and they had several areas, including a beach on top. They fed us rice, mie, chicken, tempeh, watermelon and pisan goreng (battered, deepfried banana). Quite yummy.

We reached Trawangan around 6 pm and it was the same story. The boat couldn’t dock so we were taken to the island by tiny motorboat. From there you kind of had to wade ashore yourself, though they did take our luggage off and took it to the beach. The beauty of this island (as well as the other gili’s) is that there is no motorized traffic. Only horse drawn carriages, bicycles and people walking, which makes it really quiet.

There’s also no dogs here, but there’s a ton of cats. Most of them very skinny and lots of them with no tail or half a tail. Some are friendly, some are scared but they are everywhere. Just like chickens that randomly roam the streets.

I walked the little road to my hotel; Tir Na Nog, which is at the South end of the island, where the biggest bars and restaurants are. My room is fantastic. A big queen size bed with nice clean linens, a big Indonesian style dresser and a huge bathroom. The whole room is done in brown (wood, curtains), white towels and bedsheets and little aqua coloured throw pillows. It’s very clean and modern. Bonus, my room is at the very back of the little lane of rooms so it’s very quiet. Right next to me is the private villa. I had a quick peak. Beautiful. Huge glass sliding doors, private garden and pool. I think it’s 125 USD a night, which is a pretty sweet deal if you’re sharing with a few people.

Tir Na Nog cottages. Mine was at the very end of this little lane.

My room at Tir Na Nog.

The hotel bar I didn’t find that interesting, so I went a few doors down to Scallywag’s. Great chill out place. I was enjoying some Bintangs in a huge rattan chair with a ton of pillows. Went back to my room pretty early because I was slightly tipsy and exhausted.

This morning I went for breakfast at ‘Coco’s’. Had some good coffee and a baguette with egg. It came with a piece of bacon, which was gladly received by one of the many stray cats here. She decided she liked me enough so she jumped on my chair and snoozed there while I ate.

The Baconator.

After breakfast I decided to do the tour of the island by foot. I walked all the way around the island while only stopping for a few swims at entirely deserted beaches. The beach on the West side isn’t the greatest though. It’s very narrow but the water was clean and warm. After all that walking I reached the East side, which is my favourite side of the island. There’s little bars and food stalls and some great snorkling.

I came to the Gili’s to do some snorkling and snorkling I did. I rented a mask and fins and one of the guys from the dive shop took me a few hundred meters north to watch the turtles. What an amazing sight. Other than the turtles there were lots of brightly coloured fish. The water was very clear and it was a real treat. Very tiring though. I swam and walked a lot today.

So I had a late lunch at a ‘warung’, which is a tiny little restaurant with a few tables outside. Mie goreng, which is fried noodles with veggies. It was very hearty and spicy and cost me less than a dollar. Can’t go wrong with that.

Back at the room writing this. There’s no working wifi here anywhere and the internet cafes are a nightmare. Tiny, slow connections and incredibly hot.
Though I do like it here, I am leaving tomorrow morning to go to Gili Meno for a few days. Then Gili Air. I want to see all three gili’s then decide where I want to stay.

(Gili Trawangan: May 25 – May 26)