Another early start with a 7am transfer to the pier to pick up our fast boat to the Gili islands. We booked online, however the company we booked through wasn’t operating as their boat blew up earlier this year (eek) and was still out of action. However, we were transferred to another boat and made our way to Gili T.
Arriving on Gili T was like stepping into another world. The only mode of transport was a horse drawn carriage (sounds fancy, but it really wasn’t). Being my fathers daughter (such a silly saying), I made sure the horses looked well cared for, which they did apart from flinching when I tried to stroke the one which took us to our hotel – not a great sign. It’s very weird being somewhere with no cars or motorbikes, especially after coming from Seminyak and Ubud where EVERYONE drives a motorbike (normally with 2/3 people at once).
Our hotel was lovely and had the best aircon! Not bad for £50 per night. We had to wait a few hours to check in and once we had checked in we headed for the pool. As we did, the heavens opened!!! So, that evening we waited out the rain and headed for an early dinner once it had cleared a bit. Poor Jack ended up carrying the umbrella around and obviously it didn’t rain again. During our stay on Gili T, we ate in a few different restaurants, however none were partially special. Don’t get me wrong, the food was lovely and not too pricey, but everywhere serves the same thing. The only thing which differentiates the restaurants are those designed for tourists (on the beach) and those for locals (considerably cheaper). As we were still in holiday mode, we chose the touristy ones.
On day 2, we spent the morning at the beach and did our first bit of snorkelling. There were loads of fish to see just off the beach at our hotel, but the amount of fish didn’t really compare to our time in Phi Phi (Thailand). We hired bikes in the afternoon and cycled round the island in about 45 minutes (my mum would be proud). It was lovely to see the mix between empty white sand beaches and those filled with loungers and bars. We visited the famous swing, but that was disappointing as the tide was out and we had to go back the next day for a better pic. That evening, we caught the sunset at a bar called sunset kisses on the west side of the island and found a nice spot for dinner on the way back (again, nothing to scream about). The sunset was beautiful – we could see the sun setting behind Mt Batur on Bali which we had hiked up a few days earlier.
The next day, we made the crossing to Gili Air which is the smaller, more relaxed island of the three. After checking with the hotel that the boat left at 3.30pm, being my normal stressy self we arrived at the port at 2pm (way too early especially when we later found out that the boat left at 4). The boat was meant to take 20 mins but ended up taking double the time as our boat’s anchor was tangled in the anchor lines for the rest of the boats in the port – let’s just say there seemed to be a lot of swearing in a language I didn’t understand, and hand gestures to match 😂.
Our accommodation was really nice and traditional (wooden huts with a four poster bed) however I wasn’t best impressed with the lack of AC! Never ever book a room without AC when the humidity is above 80%. I thought we learnt our lesson from our shed in Thailand, but I have no one to blame but myself (although I did try to blame Jack- as always). It wasn’t actually that bad in the end and most of the irritation was from the really hard mattress. Whilst in Gili Air, we snorkelled some more (better than Gili T) and topped up our tans (whilst turning a lovely shade of pink). The beaches were prettier in Gili Air, so I understand why so many people make the trip. We ate at a few places which were more memorable – notably Chill Out which served fresh fish and kebabs for less than £6 – and drank more Bintang Radlers (my now favourite beer).
We had a great time on the Gili’s and were sad to say goodbye when we made the transfer back to Bali. Our last two days in Bali were spent in Sanur, the original beach resort of Bali, which had lovely beaches and great restaurants. We had brunch in Grocer and Grind which was pricey but worth it and dinner at Lilia on the beachfront which was lovely – they do lovely Balinese food. On our final morning, I booked myself a massage at one of the top rated trip advisor spas – Leha Leha. It was crazy to get an hour massage for less than £10 and that was at the top end of the normal price range. The massage was traditional Balinese and slightly crazier than what I’ve had before, I’m sure I’ll be bruised tomorrow, but it’s definitely worth it.
Bali was beaut, but it definitely wasn’t as cheap as we thought it would be! If we were to go again, we would probably spend slightly less time in Seminyak and make a stop in Uluwatu which I am told is very pretty.
Next stop Sydney (and then to Hunter Valley to get BOOZY as Jack would say 😉).
I hope you are enjoying the posts – love as always xx