I came back to the beautiful little island of Gili Meno after 3 years, and as soon as i put my feet on the shore, i have been rewarded with this sunset.
I ‘ve got to the island late in the evening, as there were so few people heading to Meno, that the boat owners at the harbour in Lombok did’nt want to leave until the sunset time. I’ve managed to find a beautiful little bungalow on the road leading to the centre of the village, 5 minutes walk from the beach and in a very genuine and quite setting. For 75ooo rupees a night i could get a roof over my head!
All i wanted to do since i came to Asia was to dip in the crystal waters of the island, especially after long months of busking adventures in busy noisy cities, and a tight gig schedule. I finally could forget about calendars, time, responsabilities and all that stuff.
Gili Meno is the smallest and quietest of the 3 Gili islands. It sits in front of Lombok and normally gets visitors around christmas time or in the summer months, so the season is still low in March/April, yet it’s never too rainy or too hot, and the sea was clear as i was hoping for.
There are 2/3 boats coming to the island everyday, mainly loaded with the locals and the few tourists who decide to reach using public transports, like the ferry from bali and then the little boats from Bangsal. the majority of the foreigners have more money than time, so a quite expensive private fast boat is normally the main way to reach the island.
One of the great things of Gili Meno is the absence of police, dogs and cars: the only thing on wheels, aprt from the children bycicles, are the cidomos, horse towed little cart, that provide a good service, especially when midrange tourists get to the island in the midday heat and have to reach their resorts on the other side.
The range of prices for accomodations is between few dollars and some hundreds for the most stylish resorts, usually catering for divers of older people. But luckily many of the options are still budget friendly.
But no matter how busy the season can get, the people of Gili Meno and its big community of cats, always know how to take a nap in the middle of the day, where the sun is high and the gentle breeze of the sea puts everybody in a lazy mode.
One can walk around the island in less than 1 hour and an half: it’s surprising to see how different the western side can be. Less accomodations, a different beach and reef, and apart from the busy season, many of the places are still very quite, if not completely empty.
The locals don’t seem to worry that much,: apparently they make a living out of those very busy 3/4 months a year, when the rooms get fully booked so quickly that many tourists have to sleep on the beach waiting for some place to get available.
When coming back to my place at sunset, very often this is the beautiful sight on Lombok: it is something i did get addicted to, that’s why i try to spend at least 1 month everytime in this beautiful corner of Indonesia.