Squeezing the most out of life | An Aussie and a Colombian living life with a wandering spirit. Eight years together & over 60 countries up our sleeves, we're sharing the love |

Swimming with the incredible green sea turtles of Gili Air

green-sea-turtle-bora-boraWith only a few days left of our three week holiday we made the unanimous decision that Bali could wait, we’d had several days on Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan but we just couldn’t pry ourselves away from the idyllic weather of the Gili’s. Everyone we met coming from Bali kept telling us how much nicer it was on the islands; plus we’d already become hooked by the main stars of our trip – the incredible green sea turtles!

DSC_1080We only had Brisbane Winter to return to and months to wait before we’d be jumping in to the ocean close to home, a few more days on a new island felt like the obvious choice. We also knew it was cheaper to stay put compared to Bali and we weren’t in any rush to put our shoes back on.


Considering the Gili Islands only consists of three islands separated by stunning blue water, accessible by a short 20 minute boat ride between each, we wondered how different Gili Air could really be. Within an hour of arriving we knew we’d left the best stop till last.

DSC_1075The atmosphere of the island impressed us immediately – the perfect blend of the previous two islands – low key, no mechanical traffic, plenty of smiling locals, more available internet access and just enough restaurants to satisfy a curious palette. A lot less party than Gili T but the right mix of accommodation options and traditional Indonesian hospitality.

It's love!

For three days we swam with the local green sea turtles – rising early each morning to catch the quiet sea and the hungry turtles. We snorkelled right off the beach, spending time just following the beautiful shelled giants as they fed off the coral, gliding their way to the surface for three short breaths every half hour or so, so close we could hear them blow bubbles and flap their graceful flippers. We’d return to the water in the late afternoon, after the snorkelling day trippers had left and the ferries had returned to Lombok, floating in the path of the most beautiful sea creatures I’ve ever had the pleasure of being near.

DSC_1043Gili Air is also the kind of place that we would love to return to for a two week break, the Indonesian’s on the island outnumber the tourists and the sense of community is tangible. People stopped me to ask for photos so that I could email them an impression of their life. Locals took the time to just chat, without hassling you to buy anything, intent on sharing a song they had just learned to play on the guitar or learn a little about where we came from.

DSC_0999Accommodation costs are still affordably simple if you want them to be but construction and development means the face of Gili Air is changing rapidly. There are a few upmarket places to stay and it’s still easy to get away from the main harbour and find a perfect patch of quiet. Basically you can’t go wrong.

DSC_1111We left reluctantly, with only two nights to spare before our return flight home from Bali, knowing that we’ll definitely return to this beautiful place. Hopefully next time with our own makeshift house boat and with a whole lot more time!


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