For the Christmas weekend we had arranged a trip to the Gili islands. The Gili islands are Lombok's most popular tourist destination. They are three small islands in front of Lomboks west coast and we had booked a hotel on Gili Trawangan, the biggest of the three. The Gili’s are called paradise and it truly was! The pictures underneath also show the paradise, but to explain in words: white sand beaches, turquoise waters, corals ride on the beach, beachside cafes and restaurants, relaxing atmosphere and best of all NO motorized traffic. Especially that last item was very relaxing, now we only had to watch out for horse carts :-)
To come to the Gili’s there are a number of fast boats and slower boats going from Bali. We booked the fastboat Gili Cat, which left from PadangBai. The journey in the boat took 2 hours and was a bit more rough than we thought, which not everybody liked that much, but we survived. In Bali the weather wasn’t good for the past few days, but the Gili’s have 300 sunny days a year so the beach was waiting for us when we arrived. Rino had booked the hotel Big Bubble Dive and Bungalows (see here his review on TripAdvisor). After checking in and lunch we rushed ourselves to enjoy the beach. Marion by coincidence met an old friend from Drenthe, so the world keeps on being small (especially because she saw the same friend one and half week later in Ubud again). Most of our time on the Gili’s we spend on or at the beach, relaxing, snorkeling, reading, playing games, swimming and just having the perfect vacation. We had read that people often stay longer than planned on the Gili, Marion and Jort originally thought they would explore Lombok, soon they decided to stay longer on the Gili’s and Loek and Els quickly followed their idea. The second day we all made a walk around the island, which took only 2 hours. We would also love to come back to the Gili’s one time!
Of course Christmas on the Gili islands felt totally different than normally in Norway or the Netherlands, but we had planned a small Christmas Eve with a few presents. For Iris it’s just an impossible idea not have some kind of Christmas Eve celebration. Els even had arranged a small and very fake Christmas tree and we all sat together in front of one of the hotel rooms and shared our presents (see the pics in the slideshow). For dinner we made a reservation by one of the beachside restaurants, but unfortunately not everything went so smoothly at this restaurant compared to the one we eaten the day before (see Rino’s reviews on TripAdvisor).
Glass bottom boat
On first Christmas day we had booked a glass bottom boat, which is a boat with a few glass windows so you can watch the underwater life from the boat. Unfortunately Roger was sick and not able to join the trip. The boat brought us to several beautiful snorkeling spots around the 3 islands, we had a lunch on Gili Air and a walk on Gili Meno the smallest of the 3. It was a very successful day and we all enjoyed it very much. The underwater life showed us turtles, beautiful young and old corals and lots of tropical fish. We were not in the possession of a underwater camera, so unfortunately we can not show you the underwater life yet, but we have bought a underwater casing for our camera now, so next time we will show the beautiful underwater life of Bali and Lombok :-)
Except one incident in a popular reggae bar about the worst Mojito in the world (see link with Rino’s review about the Gili islands on TripAdvisor), everything was absolutely fantastic on the Gili! :-)
Review Scallywags Organic Seafood Bar & Grill the restaurant we eaten the first day