Saturday, March 21, 2015

3/3/15 Day 411 Exploring the other Gilis: Trawangan and Meno

We were lucky enough to snag a ride to Gili Trawangan on the Cha Cha 4, a glass bottom snorkeling boat, we sweet talked our way on for 35,000 rupiah (3$) each-saving ourselves 10,000 rupiah and 4 hours of wait time compared to taking the normal route. We even got to hop off the boat and snorkel with the paid patrons. Arriving on the concrete road it was shocking how many people come to the island in comparison to our week at Gili Air where the majority of the bules (foreigners) are on a pit stop, a few hours to take a lunch or dinner break from their diving boat. Here at Trawangan the beach bars are packed with drunk Aussies who take the fast boat straight from Bali without ever even touching ground on the island of Lombok. The island is more or less constructed of bars at this point, with a few places to sleep and eat dotted between. We found ourselves a room for 120,000 rupiah dropped our bags off and headed for the hill, the one high point offering a vantage over the islands. After a long night of joining the drunk Aussies in beer pong and other various shenanigans we were hungover but determined to get to Gili Meno. We asked dozens of boats to take us the single kilometer across the water, so close yet for 6 hours no boats would give us a chance. We could do nothing but watch the tide flow between the two islands. At this point we decided to just sneak onto the island hopper which was destined for Meno, we simply crowded on, inconspicuously out of view from the deck hand and wallah onto Gili Meno for free finally. We circled the island which contains the most beautiful and pristine beaches of the three Gilis. We visited the adorable baby turtles at the conservation whom are cared for until they are released into the wild at 8 months of age. There is a  saltwater lake in the center of the island it is located quite close to the beach overlooking Gili Trawangan. There is a limited amount of accomodation in the center crisscrossing dirt paths but we managed to find a brand new homestay for 100,000 rupiah. We couldn't believe our eyes but the Cha Cha 4 was on Meno the next morning when we got to the harbor, how convenient considering we need to get back to Gili Air. The next thing we knew we were snorkeling off of our favorite boat in the Gilis, the Cha Cha 4 and we only had to dish out 25,000 for the ride. In the end Gili Trawangan was too loud and built up, Gili Meno was too quiet and small, our initial island Gili Air was just right-back to Gili Air for a few more days of absolute relaxation and more food. 

Arriving to Gili Trawangan

Much more built up than Gili Air
Beautiful woodwork 

Flip flop tree we found on the deserted backside of the island
Goats in trees
Goats on bars
The reef reach
Our view from the height of the hill

Aboard the Cha Cha 4  

Titan triggerfish

Gili Meno
Gili Meno's saltwater lake

Meno doesn't have a lot, but they do have an Eco hostel

Baby turtles

Gili Meno is the most stunning natural beauty of Lombok's three islands

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