The end has come. After 4.5 months of travelling together, Ammun and I were ready for one last week of relaxing before heading back to rainy England.
We arrived on Gili Air way later than planned so the sun was already going down but we jumped straight in the pool anyway and it was beautiful! We instantly knew we were going to like it here. For dinner we went to a restaurant called Ruby’s Cafe as it was rated number one on trip advisor and was close to us. The food was a bit slow but we both agreed it was the best meal either of us had had in a long time!
The next day we were up bright and early and by 9:30am we were out in the sunshine catching some rays. Considering we have been in sunny countries for so long, we’ve had very little time to actually sunbathe and this is finally our chance to make it look like we’ve been away!
In the afternoon we started going for a walk around the island but ended up just seeing the west side as the sunset came earlier than we thought and it was beautiful. We found a place to sit on some sun beds and drink some beers and enjoyed watching the sun set over the other Gili Islands at Gili Lumbung.
We also had dinner here but thought we would be a bit adventurous with our food. We strayed as far away from rice and noodles as we could and Ammun had eggs and avocado on toast while I had chocolate and banana pancakes! The staff all thought we were crazy but they were all high on mushrooms so maybe they thought we were great?! Who knows…
The next day was pretty much the same; we were at the pool at 9:30am again and stayed until lunchtime when it got way too hot so we had a siesta in our air conditioned room. For lunch we had a really yummy jambalaya and then at 2:30 walked the perimeter of the island. It was mostly restaurants and accommodation the whole way round which shows just how touristic these islands have become.
Once again we enjoyed beers at sunset and then went for a BBQ dinner for three. Yes, three. At these BBQs you order your meat and then get salad and carbs from the buffet. However, when I was up at the buffet, Ammun went to the loo and we both came back to see that a cat had grabbed Ammun’s chicken and thrown it on the floor! To make it even worse, the waiter offered to just clean it! She did get a new one don’t worry.
The next day, of course, we spent the whole morning by the pool but then it was time to move on to our final island; Gili Trawangan, more affectionally known as Gili T. It didn’t take us long to be on the bintangs and a short while later we were joined by Jen and Meg who are Ammun’s friends from home. We went out for a late dinner and then partied the night away with Kane and Claire-Anne who the girls had made friends with before. The club started off with a band that liked to sing Coldplay songs (so much that they repeated a few) and then somehow escalated to Rage Against The Machine which was a bit weird.
The next morning was a pretty lazy one and then we met Jen and Meg for the snorkelling booze cruise that they had booked us tickets for. We were all pretty tired and varying amounts of hungover but Ammun and I knew that as soon as we got in the water with the fishies and turtles we would be right as rain and ready to drink again. What we didn’t know, was that there had been a slight miscommunication issue and there was intact no snorkels in sight. We had signed up for a full on booze cruise. It wasn’t the worst surprise we could have had but when there were dance offs going on at 2pm, we weren’t ready for that! After a while we did get in the spirit and I was happy to finally wear my new bikini.
In the evening we went straight from the boat to Jen and Meg’s hotel where we had a swim in the pool, a shower in their crazy outdoors garden bathroom and ordered room service.
The next day we were adamant that we weren’t going home without ever seeing a turtle. We walked to the north east side of the island to Turtle Point and stumbled upon a turtle sanctuary along the way which looks after baby turtles until they’re big enough to defend themselves and then twice a year they release them into the ocean.
A while later we had our flippers on and we’re ready to see some turtles! We had to swim quite far as the sea was very shallow for ages and the floor was covered in coral. We saw lots of fish including rainbow ones and schools of smaller ones and then we saw two turtles! It was so peaceful just floating on the surface and watching them crawl along the seabed, munching on whatever they were munching on while colourful fish swam around them.
Sadly, there were people who ruined it for me. People were swimming down and touching the turtles and trying to get selfies with them (probably just for the Instagram likes) and one girl was even holding onto one of their shells as it came up for air so she could get a picture. It upsets me that people obliviously disrupt these animals in their natural habitat just so that they can get the next best selfie. Leave them alone, people. Please.
As our last day drew nearer, we walked across the island to watch our last sunset from Sunset Ombak which some of our friends from our tour in South America had recommended. Of course, we got the obligatory swing pictures and a drink and then got a horse and cart back to our hostel.
In the evening we went for a big night out for Meg’s birthday. It was the same group of 6 of us from 2 nights before and we all had a great night out. Most importantly, Meg had a great birthday night out and I’m so glad we got to spend a few days with the two of them.
Our last full day arrived and it was only fitting that we spent it all travelling. Our hour and a half boat took nearly three hours and the hour and a half transfer we had paid for was going to take three hours too so we sucked it up and paid more for a taxi to take us straight to our hotel. We had booked a hotel with a pool near the airport so that our last day could be as simple as possible.
We relaxed in our king sized bed, packed our bags and then enjoyed our last Asian dinner and beer. The evening was spent pampering and watching gossip girl and reminiscing on how good the last few months had been together.
Our final day was equally as relaxing. We sat by the pool for a bit, finished all our packing and had a good lunch to keep us going for a while and then got our shuttle to the airport. The flight home via Bangkok was fairly easy and we had a big group of family members waiting for us at arrivals.
4.5 months, 11 countries, a billion buses, one natural disaster, a handful of new friends and 0 arguments later, the two of us have returned home safe and sound.
I think it’s safe to say that this really has been a trip of a life time and I’m so pleased I made the time to blog about it all. I know that I will love reading these back in the future and I’ve really enjoyed reading every comment that I’ve received. If you made it to the end of the 4.5 months reading all my blogs, thank you and well done. I guess now it’s off to another adventure as I’ve just applied to do my masters degree in Spain!
¡Hasta la vista!