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Entries about snorkelling

Chapter sixty - Gili Trawangan

Paradise. Suppose my brother has to be right about something...

sunny 30 °C

Day 222: Gili Trawangan, Indonesia 08/05/2012

Picked up at 8.30am by the minibus taking us over to Bangsal (the ferry point serving the Gili islands), where we are told to wait at a cafe with a load of other people that have been dropped off for the boat. We are then all told to get ready to go and are taken to a horse and cart 'not included in the price'. We'll walk then. 'But is 1km away and boat is waiting'. The walk is about a hundred and fifty metres and the boat hasn't even arrived yet. Cheeky bastards. Sly.

Cross the water to the biggest of the tiny Gili Islands and once again the scenery is breathtaking, with the mountains of Lombok looming large over the sea. The views of our destination ain't half bad either. Arrive to what seems on the surface to be a really busy beach given the size of the island and we are taken by a tout to a small homestay, which turns out to be fine and at a good price (though the water supply on the island is salty), reached only by passing the nice looking diving resorts that line the beach front. Check in then off to explore.

Wow! This turns out to be about the only thing Billy has ever been right about in his life as Gili Trawangan is stunning. Amazing views across the impossibly blue water to Lombok, Mount Rinjani and the other Gili Islands. Some surfing at one end of the island, some beautiful beaches at the other, no traffic (literally no cars or bikes - just horse and cart) and job's a good'un. Incredible location and the prices are not as high as first feared (as washing is a lot more pricey). Dinner is at an incredible night market, with loads of food stalls, where food cannot get any cheaper. Stuff ourselves silly.

Day 223: Gili Trawangan, Indonesia 09/05/2012

Up, breakfast, out. Successfully haggle the old lady down on our mammoth load of washing, get a great price on a surfboard for the next four days and go for a surf. The waves are not as good as Pangandaran but what a place to do it! Meet Cribbo up the island at the beach where we have lunch and a perfect afternoon on the beach. Told the best surf is late afternoon so take a walk back to the other end of the island, where the low tide and rocky reef mean I turn straight back round to meet Gemma back where I left her. She hasn't moved a muscle.

Dinner again at the night market, before we go for a few very cheap drinks at the local.

Day 224: Gili Trawangan, Indonesia 10/05/2012

An early surf blows away the cobwebs from last night but no such luck for G, who is dying up at the other end of the island. We have lunch and Gemma cannot even finish her 'deliciousy' chicken baguette and fries (so it is left to me to pick up the pieces...) and she eventually perks up. We absolutely love it here - the beach is perfect, it is quiet and the views are amazing. I play a bit of keepy uppy with the locals in the afternoon, somehow running into the odd WBA fan from Sengiggi...Another great night market dinner!

Day 225: Gili Trawangan, Indonesia 11/05/2012

I head off for an early morning surf, and being a lot earlier than usual (and taking the cross island detour) I arrive and the tide is still out, so I go for a walk around the end of the island, which is scenic, deserted and strangely eerie, with a load of abandoned bungalows and cafes left to decay. I eventually get into the waves - the best since getting here - and meet a couple of brothers from Bali who are insanely good at surfing. Funny how living somewhere like that has that effect.

Meet Gem at the beach bar where we have befriended the staff and taught them to play Uno. D'Hiel the barman is pretty good and enjoys screwing everyone over with the +2/+4 cards! We then go for a snorkel and the scenery underwater is incredible. Unbelievable colours, crazy fish and we are lucky enough to see a big sea turtle. However, an urgent call of nature about two minutes after getting into the water sees me have to make a mad dash to the toilet! Disaster averted and we head back in have an awesome time, even Gemma has gotten confident in the water!

Dinner again at the night market, where we meet a couple from the UK and nice guy from Sydney and we go on for drinks at Rudy's again. We meet up with another British couple and proceed to have more than just the one drink we intended...

Day 226: Gili Trawangan, Indonesia 12/05/2012

Well, feel hellish after last night - Rudy's has a lot to answer for. Breakfast helps marginally before we drag ourselves to the beach (surfing is even on the back burner the way we feel). More Uno, a good lunch and we decide to go surfing again. See another great big turtle and follow it around for what seems like ages (so tame), seeing lots more weird and wonderful things under the surface, including novice divers. The heavens open and we get back out to save the stuff from getting soaked. However, we are now freezing as the wind gets up as well and we have to head back to the room to warm up. This takes a while but we get there eventually.

Have a skype session, then have another night market dinner, before walking through the storm to have a drink with our friend at the beach bar. Get back, dry off, bed. Packing the bags is so easy now after our huge clearout in Bukit Lawang. I almost look forward to it now!

Posted by tevs 03:40 Archived in Indonesia Tagged beaches snorkelling indonesia paradise gili_trawangan gili_islands Comments (0)

Chapter forty six - Koh Ta Kiev, Cambodia

sunny 31 °C

Day 166: Koh Ta Kiev, Cambodia 14/03/2012

We are off today to camp on a desert island a one and a half hour boat journey from Sihanoukville. Have a full English breakfast to set us up for the day and have a few games of pool to pass the time before our boat departs. We take a walk to the pier we are being picked up from and after a bit of confusion and sitting around like lemons for half an hour we get on the right boat and are away. We are met on the boat by Liam who runs/owns the campsite and arrive on the island to be greeted by a scene out of Castaway.

It turns out we are the only guests and our tent is literally two feet from the high tide line, meaning a nice easy stroll to the beach in the morning! There are hammocks dotted around the place, a reef to snorkel in and a hell of a lot of secluded beach to take ownership of. We have a Cambodian curry for dinner with Liam and his girlfriend, Vanna and head off for an early night. A bit of a hot, sweaty night in the tent but remember it's location, location, location! Would definitely recommend this experience to anybody coming to Cambodia (camp-cambodia.com).

Day 167: Koh Ta Kiev, Cambodia 15/03/2012

Open the tent in the morning to be greeted by the sea, the beach and the jungle all just inches from our bed...Cambodian noodles for breakfast before we grab a couple of snorkels and head out to the reef just in front of where our tent is pitched. Gemma has had a bad experience snorkelling at Disney before so she is not overly confident at first but soon becomes much better. There are lots of fish to see and some interesting looking plant life under the water - some great colours as well, from bright blues and greens to leopard print!

Have a peaceful afternoon on a secluded bit of beach with literally nobody around. I fashion a jungle gym out of a fallen tree and a big log as Gemma has a snooze. Pure improvisation. Good tea - red prawn curry with peanuts. We sleep in the under construction beach bungalow, which is a lot cooler than the tent and take a midnight stroll down the beach.

Day 168: Koh Ta Kiev, Cambodia 16/03/2012

A much better night's sleep followed by a breakfast of omelette and baked beans. We each like only half of the breakfast. Decide to take on the jungle trail through the island recommended by Liam, which winds to the other side of the island, where there are some beautiful bays, and then traipse blindly through the jungle back to the camp, getting lost, stung and chased by an incoming thunderstorm on the way. Another good lunch - it's amazing the quality of food you can get on a desert island, I think Tom Hanks was milking it all a bit...

Back to the quiet beach again, where an old couple on a boat trip dare to walk within a hundred metres of our spot! We snorkel again for a bit before I head to my jungle gym again whilst Gemma reads in the hammock. Have a calamity and drop the makeshift weight on my face, resulting in a fat split lip. Learn that Gemma is always right, as she helps me put the hammock I destroyed back together (she is editing this). Another early night. Could get used to the life here...

Day 169: Koh Ta Kiev, Cambodia 17/03/2012

Omelette baguettes for breakfast, before another day of swimming, snorkelling and sunbathing. Laze about in the hammocks for a couple of hours before lunch and generally live the good life. I do not revisit the gym after yesterday's accident. Pick a can up in the sea, which is housing a squid. Gemma runs to get the camera but the squid jumps out and inks itself before she gets back.

We head out on the boat at sunset for a fishing trip. Surprisingly, we come back empty handed.

An excellent tea, a sort of barbecue placed in the middle of the table, with plates of different meats and veg - you just pile what you want onto the grill. Our last night on the island. Need to do something like this again we think.

Posted by tevs 23:06 Archived in Cambodia Tagged beaches snorkelling fishing cambodia hammock camping koh_ta_kiev desert_island Comments (4)

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