In my mind Bali has always been my dream destination. Somewhere where I could see myself living for some time in a small cafe on the beach. How shocked and disappointed I was when in Kuta. The landing into Denpasar is pretty epic though, the runway is right by the beach so you pass right above water before smoothly landing on the tarmac. Kuta is basically created for tourists it seems. On the roads along the beach you will find only craft shops, spas, tour operators, tattoo parlours and restaurants. You are constantly bombarded with “hello massage, hello transport to Gili, hello this hello that”, taxis honk at you while slowly lurking past, hoping to get you to give in and catch a ride, not fun! Also just trying to cross the street took me about 20 minutes due to the constant flow of raging scooters. Its not a two-lane road but rather a 10 lane one!
You can therefore imagine my relief when arriving in the Gillis. Firstly, the water. How is it even possible that water can be that crystal clear?! Its the type you thought only exist in postcards and somehow you are now part of that magnificent postcard. There are no scooters; only people on bikes and little horse carts (which can actually be dangerous due to the speed at which they pass you). You are still approached in the street with “hello want to come take a look?” for the multiple restaurants that board the beach, and there seems to be never a moment of quiet around the restaurant/bar areas due to their constant music playing. Which consists mostly of reggae remixes of the most popular songs to date.
But Gili air has a sort of beauty to it. It reminds me so much of Tofo, Mozambique. If you go more inland you can find hidden little warguns where a main course will cost you a mere 17k! There are delicious fresh juices and fresh coconuts (my favourite when at the beach) that you can sip on while lounging back on the white sand admiring Lombok across the stunning water.
The diving I was unfortunately unable to experience due to a terrible cold that I caught, ironic I know. I was able to do one dive in the house reef of 7seas diving and it was beautiful. There are sunken statues that are now covered in coral! We also saw two turtles, which to me always makes any dive a success.