East Indonesia Day 6 – Gili Trawangan

Woke feeling decidedly ropey.  Staggered down for breakfast at a table overlooking the fresh blue sea and the mountains in the distance:  I had a fruit platter, omelette, toast and tea.  Decided to work it off by walking around the island.  Walking is far more effective then hiring a bicycle, as half of the track is sand so loose and powdery a motorbike would have trouble cutting through it.  I’d made that mistake in 2004, having to push my bike most of the way.  A nice walk it was, then.  Amusingly, a French couple cycled by early on, the girl almost knocking me over, despite there being ample room either side of me.  Not even a ‘sorry’.  I caught up with them later, as the girl was pushing her bike through the sand, sweating profusely and complaining.  I overtook, and strode past them, leaving them to struggle.  Serves them right.

The walk provides some nice views – and on one side I could see Gunung Agung of Bali, shrouded menacingly in mist, as all volcanoes seem to be, its shape a perfect cone.  In the foreground, sailors floated cargo in wooden boxes to shore on the waves, carrying it some of the way, brown torsos glistening with sweat.  I read a few chapters of the excellent Rohinton mistry book ‘A Fine Balance’, and carried on around the island around which were dotted little boats and an endless ocean beyond them, stopping only once more at a lovely café bar for a coke and some nasi goring.  It had been a lovely walk, which had also taken me through a bustling village, the mullah’s call to prayer echoing in the streets, as men hurried to the mosque with colourful kofti on their heads, women sold eggs, fruit and vegetables at small kiosks, and kids played football in the dirt roads. I returned to the bungalow to sleep for a while.

I emerged in  the dwindling early evening light and went for another walk, before stopping to read my book and have a couple of ice cappuccinos at Dream Café.  Had dinner at Tri Na Nog again, this time a wood-fired pizza, then I headed to SamaSama reggae bar to hear some good live music, with lots of obligatory Bob Marley covers..  Afterwards, went to Rudy’s bar – another place I’d been to in 2003 for a magic mushroom experience.  They had their weekly party tonight, and it was a wild, but not out of control party.  A huge dirt dancefloor, thumping beats, cheap drinks, drugs, glow-sticks….everyone was enjoying themselves.  I got talking to a group of girls from Spain, who used to live in London.  I also met Natasha and Stacey from the night before.  Had a half-hearted dance or two, a few vodka redbulls, and finally returned to my room at 4am.

Author: Neil

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