Friday, July 3, 2009

Gili Trawangan

The only mode of transportation on the island
Dana took this about 5 minutes ago
The boat we take out to dive

The beach at sunset

For the last few days we've been on Gili Trawangan, one of three Gili islands just off Lombok, the island next to Bali. These islands are commonly describes as "no cars, no dogs, no worries" and I couldn't agree more. It really is a little piece of paradise and just as I read, I really don't want to leave. I wish we had another week here at least. The beaches are white, the water is clear and the diving is amazing. You can sit on the beach all day, each cheap local food (or expensive American) and there is always a reggae band to be found at a local bar in the evenings.
I went on my first dive in 3 years yesterday and it was quite a jolt back into it. Everyone is so laid back here though, they didn't make me take a refresher course, so I just watched everyone and slowly remembered what I was doing. Once we were in the water though it all came back to me, and there was so much to see it was really amazing. I saw a turtle that was about 4 feet long and about a billion tropical fish. The only thing that really proved difficult was the current. The dive was a drift dive so you really don't have much control, and sort of swim where the current takes you. Today however, I went on another dive which was much calmer and it was easier to swim around and get a better look. It was actually quite an exciting dive as we dove 30 meters (about 100 feet) and it was the deepest I've been. Now that I've completed the dive and the test they give you at the bottom I'm qualified to dive at that depth anywhere in the world, so that's pretty sweet. The test by the way, is quite a trip. My instructor gave me a grid with the numbers 1-30 on it, all mixed up and I had to point to the even numbers in order on land, and the odd numbers in order at 30 meters. Needless to say it took me twice as long underwater, but I did finish it. It was a bazaar feeling looking for a number, knowing it's there, and not being able to find it. It's a bit like being drunk to be honest, except underwater.
I have one more dive tomorrow, and I think I might be able to do some underwater photography, which I'm really excited about. I'm sort of a tag along in a group much more advanced than I am, but I'm sure they'll let me snag the camera for a few shots. After my last dive tomorrow we head back to Bali to catch a flight in the morning back to Bangkok. It's been a great experience here though I'm really glad we made it down here despite how much it cost. If anyone is considering going to Indonesia I would highly recommend it, and especially the Gilis, they're really something.

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