Gili Air is tiny. I get of the ferry and have to choose which way to go, left, right, or straight. I’m looking for a bungalow. I decide to go left. There are a few shops, a resort, some bars and a couple of home stays.I stop at a bar to eat something and a mother and her three little kittens welcome me to the island. I immediately feel much more at home.
After my cat feeding and cuddle session I walk back to where the ferry arrived and go straight. It seems to be a better choice,there’s lots of accommodation and locals are trying to get me to see theirs. I check out a few rooms. Eventually I find a beautiful, bamboo cottage with a big balcony and a private, open air bathroom. It’s pretty and I’m very happy with it.
That afternoon, a friend is coming over to meet me and I go back to the ferry terminal to pick him up. I wait around for 2 hours until I finally receive a message that he has arrived. He gives me the name of the bar he’s at, and the directions on how to get there. I follow his directions but his descriptions don’t match any of the places I’m seeing. I’m puzzled and wonder if there’s anything I misunderstood. Suddenly something clicks. I ask him if he’s sure he’s on Gili Air. “ Yes.” “ Are you absolutely positive?” “Yes, I think so.” I hear him asking someone. “ What island is this?” “ Gili Trawangan.”. Mystery solved.
I stop in a reggae bar on the beach for a drink. A tall, skinny waiter with dreadlocks comes over to take my order and asks me if I’m looking for a boyfriend for today or tomorrow. How about no? A beer maybe?
The next day my friend has made it over and we explore the small beaches, play with the cats and stop at some of the bars. We discover that mushroom tea is a better alternative to cocktails here, and we try some. It doesn’t taste as good as a cocktail though, somewhat bitter and gritty , but we have some good laughs.
When we come home to the bungalow there’s a huge spider waiting for me in the corner. She has long hairy legs and is hanging out right above my clothes and most of my stuff. I’m terrified. Thankfully we have slippers. She’s just too large to be a roommate. Sorry spider. In my mind I’m communicating with the spider, because I feel guilty. “ Maybe next time I’ll be more brave so I can put you outside.”
On my last day I go looking for turtles. I see a lot of colorful fish and nice coral, but the turtles have stayed in today. And that’s always a good reason to come back another time.