Gili Meno

Our last day in Indonesia 🇮🇩 . I have to admit we are ready to move on and test out another country. We decided that we would try out one of the other Gili Islands called Meno, which is more known for its swimming and snorkelling. Once again after breakfast we caught a Blue Bird Taxi to the Bangsal Ferry Terminal and asked for a ticket on the public ferry. The boat doesn't leave at a certain time but when the boat itself is full. So far there was only 5 people waiting  and the boat needed 35 people. The next fast boat was at 1020am and it was only 0940am at that stage. We decided to wait as there is quite a large difference in price. $1.20 pp for slow or $8.50 pp for fast. We sat amongst the locals again in the filthy terminal with everyone smoking around us. We have learnt there is no way to get away from second hand-smoke in this country unless you wear a face mask which some of the locals do! We watched as more people brought pink tickets like us in the hope we wouldn't be waiting too long. We felt a lot more relaxed this time having done this before and knowing how it works.  We saw some people with pink tickets moving towards the exit and followed them again. However, when we got to the boat they were all getting into one that was actually going to Gili T. Our plan had failed this time haha.

Heading back into the ferry terminal and there were other people who still had the pink tickets. We sat down for a bit before going back to the waters edge as the man had told us our boat was further along. After a local pointing out the boat we would be going to say explaining that they were just loading it up with goods before we can get on. A couple from France also came and asked us if they had the right boat to Gili Meno. We talked to them about where they had been in Indonesia and also about our upcoming trip to France. Finally they let us on and we had to climb along the seats as the center of the boat was so full of produce for the restaurants on the island. There were about 4 other western people on the boat this time but we were still the minority. This boat was pretty new and painted in beautiful greens. The trip was about 15 minutes to Gili Meno. They had to back the boat in a few times as the waves were pushing it around and we all hopped off the back onto the white sand beach covered in loose coral. 

utomatically we felt far more relaxed when we got on the island compared go arriving into Gili T. Walking up the main street to the left towards the South East side of the island we picked up a large bottle of water for 90c as somehow Lew had managed to lose the one we brought with us. We estimated that we probably have used about 40 plastic bottles since we first arrived in Indonesia. If you multiple that out by the number of tourists in Indonesia then numbers are quite staggering..we doubt they have proper recycling systems to even deal with that amount of plastic! Anyways back to the island! It took us about 10 minutes to walk to the point where there is the best swimming and snorkelling. On the way we saw a turtle sanctuary filled with turtles of all sizes.

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Lew hired some snorkel gear and headed out. I lay on the beach reading my book. I tried to snorkel a bit later on but when I tightened the mask it broke. When we looked closer to it we realised that the clips on the side were held together by two twigs! Lew set about searching the beach for another similar sized twig to fix it. The day was pretty relaxing. The water wasn't clear but it was an incredibly blue colour against the white sand of the beach. Lew got some drone footage after we walked further down the beach away from everyone. Locals kept trying to sell us produce and handmade jewellery on the beach but Lew had learnt how to say "no thank you" - Tidak terima kasih (for those who are keen to try a bit of Indonesian) so we were able to politely able to tell them no. They left us alone a lot faster when we spoke their language.

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The last public boat left back to Bangsal at 3.15pm but they had fast boats leaving at 4.15 and 5.15pm for $17 NZD so we decided just to take the 4.15 boat. That was if we missed it there was still a back up and we wouldn't be left stranded on the island. Plus we wanted to try out a fast boat. We were loaded into a flat top boat with some dodgy looking metal safety bars. We thought we were heading into the large surf on that and we were excited to have a bit of an adventure back. But we were also concerned that you have pay a lot money for that! One of the others Westerners then broke our bubble and said that this boat is the one that just take you out to the actual fast boat since it's too shallow. The trip took about the same time as the slow boat seeing as we went via the Gili Air harbour as well. Arriving into Bangsal the taxi drivers swarmed lewis for a ride offering a lot more for a ride back to Senggigi that we knew a Blue Bird would cost us. Once again Lew used his excellent Indonesian to fend them off. Although Iv noticed that he does tend to use the same broken English/accent when he's trying to talk to other westerners!! Once back we went for a swim in the beach and pool outside the Sheraton and headed to one of our favourite places for dinner Cafe Alberto. Picking up put washing on the way home we started to pack for our trip to Singapore tomorrow. Lew wanted to go through every crevasse in his bag to make sure no one had snuck any sorts of drugs in there whilst in Bali! 

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Shannen KennedyComment