On a whim (getting so good at this now) we decided to stay on the east coast of Bali for the boat to Gili the next day. Really just because we could get a free shuttle to the boat from there, we picked Sanur.
Our haggling skills were down to a tee and so we managed to get our previous driver Sudi to take us to our new accommodation for 200 000 IDR, around £10 for an hours drive. It costs me that to get home from Banbury after a night out, a distance of no less than 10 mins. Crazy.
Ubud has been wonderful. The people at our hotel, spa and the restaurants we ate at were so kind and friendly and couldn’t do enough for us. We will miss breakfast on the balcony and the peaceful environment but time to explore more of Bali.
Sanur was a lot less busy than Ubud and smaller. We were staying in a lovely villa with a pool that was just behind the Main Street but, apparently, nestled within the locals. The villa we had to ourselves. Perfection.
Exploring the area the locals seemed a little less friendly than Ubud and definitely less willing to budge on prices. We’d also slightly given up on asking about the ice and just hoping for the best. The girls had an ‘amazing’ coconut concoction that frankly the sight of made me gag, but they assured me it was delicious. Any of the fruit is wonderfully fresh and the juices are to die for. Just not the coconuts for me.
A very stressful afternoon of sun bathing and listening to music commenced. Then we watched Pitch Perfect and ate pot noodles. So Uni. Except in our own private villa. With a pool. On the other side of the world.
After some immense research we had opted for the company Gili Getaway for our boat over. There are tonnes if companies that do the journey, some good, some bad. Always picked ones with a good review on Tripadvisor or the like as over crowding is apparently common and can cause some problems.
We were so impressed with the boat. The pick up was included in our ticket right from our doorstep and will take us back to the airport. The shuttle was on time and check in was efficient and professional. In fact the only thing that went tits up was our ‘brilliant’ decision to sit on top of the boat for two hours. What is it about English people that makes them think, come rain or shine, they must sit in the sun. Maybe because we NEVER see it. Burnt. So burnt. Despite our best efforts to cover up. Hashtag Brits on tour.
Welcome to Gili Air.
Perfect blue water and tranquility. After clambering off the boat with our wet flannels plastered to our heads into the sweltering heat we first noticed no cars. Only horse and cart and bikes. We had been informed that there was only one ATM on the Island and had visions of our time there being quite remote. Perfectly interesting. But even on the walk to our hotel we counted two ATMs and many shops selling all the essentials, and more. I even counted a few Gili man buns. Gili Air was a lot more ‘developed’ than any of the reviews say and it is apparent that tourism has hit.
Omar Gili was set just behind the main strip and was peaceful. The rooms are very big and equipped with modern air conditioning and a quirky outside toilet, although the large window looking out from the room onto the toilet was perhaps a bit too hippie for us.
Quick dip in the pool and we were ready to explore.
The ‘main strip’ is a sand lane and is made up of restaurants and tiny shops. The locals are keen to get you into their spot (sometimes a bit too keen) and the prices are elevated somewhat from Ubud. But, this was a beautiful beach resort with some of the best snorkelling out there. They knew people would flock to their shores.
This would be another amazing place to explore.