I’m getting tired of all the scams and ways of ripping off money from tourists. We’ve landed on the Gilis that are surrounded by divine crystal clear blue waters, but again, getting here wasn’t easy. We had booked a direct transfer from Ampenan to one of the Gilis, that is a shuttle bus and boat, and I just liked to see a time, when everything here goes as planned. The shuttle bus broke down on the way, but the thing that got me near boiling point happened at the harbor, or close to it. The bus left us in the “office”, and the trip-arrangers said we have to stop for a while. We waited for more than half an hour, and nobody told us anything about anything. Suddenly a group of pony cart drivers pumped in and took our bags, and told they are taking all of us travelers to the boats. When we were already sitting in the cart, they revealed it’s gonna cost us extra. I tried to bargain the price with our driver but he just went on, even when we refused to pay and said we would walk instead, since we had already paid for transportation to the harbor. It turns out, we were about 100 metres away from the sea all the time, and they asked 20 000 rupiah for that short ride. It’s a little less than two euros, but still we would have chosen to walk if we’d only knew it was that close! I tried paying only 10 000, but the driver started to get angry. Finally, even when he got he his 20 000 bill he shouted insults at us.
Trouble continued as we got to the peaceful island of Gili Air. The Gilis are three Islands (Air, Meno and Trawangan) that don’t have cars or any motorcycles. The only ways to move around are by foot, on a normal bicycle, or on one of those notorious (at least for J and me) pony carts. The roads are pretty sandy at some points, but luckily the islands are pretty small.
So in Air, we took this room with air-con, but as it turned out, electricity was gone from the whole island, and our hotel didn’t want to use their generator more than two hours per day, because it’s so expensive. Then, trying to cover our bungalows bathroom window to prevent mosquitos from coming in (mosquitos are serious threat, the stings are more itchy than in Finland not to mention all the possible diseases…) J accidentally slashed his toe with his swiss army knife. The wound was pretty nasty, and we thought it needed stitches, but it was Saturday, and the doctor had left to Lombok for the weekend. So we sweat in our bungalow for three nights, and during the day rested J’s toe in the beachside cafes. Since the electricity didn’t show signs of coming back (we heard it usually takes a week in a situation like that) we hopped with a boat to Trawangan. Here boats are left ashore on the shallow water, so we had to wade few steps to get on the dry land. Points to J for managing it with his bags, without getting the toe with the wound wet. For all of those who worry, here J saw a doctor, and the toe is fine. It didn’t get stitches, so we just continue to keep it disinfected.
Now it’s time to enjoy the paradise. I think we just keep landing on more and more beautiful places all the time, and sometimes it’s just hard to believe all of these places really do exist.
Today we tried to bike around the island, but in the end the heat and the soft sandy roads defeated us, and we got only to half-way. Before we leave back to Bali, we should also go snorkelling and check the reefs around the islands… I’m just happy when I get to lie on the sand and unwind in the clear water.