Beaches and diving

After Java it was on towards some of Indonesia’s most famous islands. However I forget that what I consider the ‘mainland’ is also an island and one of 17,000+. In fact with that many islands it must be hard to count as some sources say there are over 18,000. Anyway most are uninhabited and 3 weeks seems a little short to visit them all.

 

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Just a short stop in Bali to do some horse-riding on a black sand beach. That was great, my horse, Cristal, was very happy to splash in the water. By the way the traffic in Bali is crazy and would honestly put me off visiting again…
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…so in that case better to escape! Arriving in paradise, otherwise known as Gili Trawangan. A McGilly on the Gili islands
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This is what rush hour traffic looks like on the car-free Gili islands
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The main reason to visit Gili T was to do a PADI Open Water Diving Course. This was on the last dive of four. We had a photographer along for the dive so the following photos belong to Alfred Minaar. Somehow I didn’t hear that we were taking a group photo while I was adjusting my mask
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Ready to go
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…and gone
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I would say “beneath the waves” but there were none. The water is flat and currents almost non-existent which is great for learning
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Getting up close and personal with turtles! There were a lot
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“Wait, I am wrong? No, no it’s the fish who are wrong”
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Hi mum
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Can always depend on your dive buddy to make fun of you :p
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Group photo! Left to right: me, Alexa, Sebastien our instructor, Paola and Valerie
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Ascending to the surface
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We did it! So much fun and a wonderful experience
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Getting picked up by the boat

 

 

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Now that’s an infinitely pool. A well-deserved rest (really??) on Lombok

 

 

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Walking along the beach
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Time for intense relaxation on Gili Air
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The island of Gili Air is only a couple of kilometres across at its widest point and is ringed by beaches. However if you go ‘inland’ it’s also very nice. I swear the highest point on that island is no more than 2m.
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Why can’t paradise be high-tech?
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Pretty clear water. Ok to give an honest downside, large stretches of the beach were covered in washed up coral which is close to excoriating to walk on. Also many spots just off shore were covered in sea grass which hides spiny sea urchins (which you don’t want to step on). Paradise has its negatives too…so now you can feel sorry for me.
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Couldn’t get away without a swing shot. I don’t know where the first one was but these days the Gili Islands have many of these beach swings, now to be found in Instagram accounts and travel blogs all over the world. Oh by the way, no idea who this couple was, they just seemed very photogenic when I was strolling past
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Honestly speaking, sitting on the beach with a beer and watching the sunset counts for an activity on Gili Air
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“The boat that came to take me away from paradise”
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And so my time in Asia comes to an end! That’s about 7/8 wonderful months in total. Here is a screenshot of my Google Maps showing all the places I’ve been to in the past year and so “starred”. Actually Google Maps skips some stars if it’s too cluttered when you zoom out but you get an idea of the ground that I’ve covered. It’s a pretty good preliminary travel in Asia…

 

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