Island in the Sin

Day 14 – Another blue sky morning and the little shuttle service is filled with backpackers on their way from the one paradise (Bali) to the next (the Gili Islands). Although it is still early in the morning, some of us already having a drink to celebrate the new day. Or maybe they are still drinking from the night before… I am sure some of them won’t remember how they got to the island. The Ferry ride from Padang Bai to Gili Trawangan (or Gili T as most travelers call it) takes about 1 hour 15 minutes before we have to take off our shoes and wet our ankles in the tropical shores since the island doesn’t have a dock, what a beautiful way to arrive at our next destination.

Sebastian, Clemente (Seba’s good friend), and I are finding our way to our guesthouse and take in the first impressions of the island where we will be spending the next seven days. Once we checked in and put down our backpacks we further explore the island. It is about noon now and we are ready to fill our tummies. A lot more people are on wandering around already now and soon enough the bars start to open up. Gili T is slowly confirming its reputation, it is time to party!

Later that day we end up at the Sama Sama Reggae Bar where most tourists have been or at least heard of during their visit. Soon enough we bond with some fellow travelers  Two of them are Daisy and Nellie, two besties from the UK. The first party night comes to an abrupt stop when Daisy makes an unfortunate fall and ends up in the first aid medical center with shards of glass in the palm of her hand. We all walk home together and decide to call it a night.

Day 16 – Today we went for a bike ride around the island of Gili T. My mother was proud I was being so active on my travels. If only she knew the island is as flat as a pancake and it takes about 30 minutes to circle the entire island.

Day 19 – While Seba and Clemente plan a day at the beach, I am planning my first solo trip since the start of our adventure. I am jumping on a ferry to Gili Air, the quiet little sister of Gili T. With my last Indonesian Rupiah bills and 15 minutes of spare time I buy myself a ticket to the island. I reminded myself to get some more cash during my visit. My first impression is how much more laid back this lovely island is. I decide to walk around the island and make sure I make it on time for my ferry back. Not much later I come across my first ATM machine. I quickly try to get some cash but noticed I left my VISA card at the hostel and only had my debit card handy. I have no luck as my card gets rejected. That is okay, there are a few other ATM’s on my way. Unfortunately, I run into the same issue with the next ATM… On the small island there are only a handful of ATM’s and my fear becomes reality when all ATM’s are giving me the same terrifying message. Great, here I stand on a little island with not enough money to buy a ferry ride back to Gili T. I try to explain the situation and make a deal with the guy at the ferry booth. He seems to give me the benefit of the doubt and tells me to jump on at the last minute and stay on the side for now. The ferry arrives and the people are all getting on the ferry. I look at the ticket booth guy across the dock and he stares at me for a long minute. I suddenly feel like one of those first-class guys on the Titanic who decided to crawl into a lifeboat when they told us only women and children can get aboard. I get on, filled with guilt, and not much later I end up back at Gili T. I went back to the hostel, picked up my visa card, got money from the ATM and paid for the ticket at the booth. Conscious cleared, time for a beer to celebrate the last night on the island.

Day 21 – The day before, we took the ferry back to Bali and went back to the place where we started, the guesthouse in Ungasan. Today we are ending our three-week adventure in Indonesia and catching a flight to our next destination, Singapore !

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