Monday, 30 June 2008

Postcard from Gili Air

We made a couple of friends in Padangbai – Danny and Emma from Yeovil
– who told us about their wonderful stay here on Gili Air. We're
staying where they recommended, at Abdi Fantastik - a collection of
rustic huts complete with hammocks, set back ten metres from the
beach. Late afternoon is our favourite part of the day – hammock time
on the veranda contemplating the evening ahead. Chickens run freely
around the yard and the occasional gecko crawls across the ceiling.

Danny and Emma always said that "it's not all about the drink" but all
the bars here do happy hour until 7pm (the earliest start we've found
is 4pm). Watching the sunset with a Pinacolada or a Moscow Mule, day
becomes night at around 6.30pm. As darkness sets in, a couple of 40
Watt light bulbs seems to transform the most run down shack by day
into the island's most happening night time venue. Evening fare
usually consists of barbecued fish – calamari, prawns, lobster,
snapper or barracuda – and rice or chips.

Day time (the time before happy hour) is filled with a mix of
snorkelling where you can see some large turtles on the coral floor,
different colours of starfish and coral forests. There's a few
jellyfish in the water that can give you a minor rash – glad we packed
the calamine lotion. Other activities include lazing on the beach in
the shade of palm trees or circumventing the island in just over an
hour. With various storm damaged boats on the shore, you wouldn't be
surprised to meet Robinson Crusoe.

Electricity rationing across Indonesia means that power-outs are not
uncommon. However, technology has found its way here as the internet
comes via a satellite. Whilst not walking pace, it hasn't learnt to
run yet.