horses, carts, and sea turtles

Can you imagine staying on a small tropical island without the constant noise of cars, trucks or gas motorcycles? Well, we had that great experience on Gili Trawangan, a 3km by 2km island off the coast of Lombok, Indonesia.

We arrived with 30 other passengers on a high speed boat from Bali. They gave us motion sickness pills, which I took, but didn’t really need.

We jumped off the boat onto the beach and crew members dropped our luggage onto the sand beside us. Right away, men hollering “taksi taksi” were inviting us to board their horse-drawn carts. We were only about 6 blocks from our hotel, so we shook our heads and walked on.

The narrow streets were fascinating but we had to walk close to the walls and stores to avoid being run over by the horses and carts rushing by. Sometimes two passed from opposing directions. It was squishy, but we managed it.

Not only for transporting tourists, these carts are used by the locals for transporting everything… from large water bottles and cases of beer to bags of cement and loads of bricks. Everything is brought over by small boat and then moved around the island this way.

Another wonderful aspect of this small island is that you can go to the beach, walk into the water and snorkel over a coral reef. We saw numerous small, medium and large colourful fish as well as two very large green sea turtles!!!

The water temperature was perfect and clear. Not too hot, not too cold… just right! Snorkelling in these perfect conditions couldn’t have been better.

We spent seven days enjoying the water, walking around the entire island, trekking across the centre of the island on rough trails and feeling wonderful!

We weren’t offered motion sickness pills on our return high speed boat trip, but boy we should have been. We were concerned the fibre glass boat would break up as we banged into the ocean waves most of the way back to Bali. Needless to say, we were very happy to arrive in one piece!

Prior to heading for Gili T. we spent two weeks living on the second floor of a rustic AirBnB about 100 metres from the Seminyak Beach. Most days we simply soaked up the sun; the water was good for wading and the the waves were good for jumping. There was usually a light breeze helping us to feel not too hot.

We didn’t see any sharks nor the awful stinging jelly fish aka Medusa, which was a good thing.

We took two days off from the beach. We booked a driver and car to take us on a day trip into the highlands, dropping by Taman Ayun Temple (established in 1627 and still maintained by descendants of the local royal family), a view point overlooking a volcanic crater, the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, and the Elephant Cave Temple.

We had a great guide/driver who spoke excellent English, had very good knowledge of each of the sites we visited, and was very generous in answering our many questions about life in Bali. He noted that Bali is predominately Hindu while the vast majority of the population of Indonesia is Muslim.

Our second day away from the beach was we spent enjoying a three hour massage and spa package. It was totally glorious. A facial was included at the end and when we left, we not only felt years younger, but we looked it too!

Here’s to good health and happiness!

Deborah

Horse-drawn carts rule the narrow road on Gili Trawangan.

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